Wave sites start consumer registration for eHealth Network

Consumers have begun registering for eHealth services through the eHealth Network, established by the three Wave 1 sites and one Wave 2 site for the implementation of the PCEHR.

The network and the website were launched earlier this year by the four sites – Metro North Brisbane Medicare Local, Accoras, Hunter Urban Medicare Local and Inner East Melbourne Medicare Local.

These groups have set up local eHealth networks in Brisbane North & Moreton Bay, Brisbane South & Ipswich, the Hunter and Melbourne East respectively.

A spokeswoman for the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) said the purpose of the network and website was to provide and promote a 'local community' of eHealth in each of the project areas.

“The sites have been contracted to test key health information exchanges between healthcare providers, build stakeholder support and momentum in eHealth and deploy and test national eHealth infrastructure and standards in real world healthcare settings,” the spokeswoman said.

The website states that the kind of data that can be stored on the network includes health summaries, discharge summaries and referrals and consultants' reports.

Samples of network records and shared health summaries can be downloaded from the website.

She said consumer registration began in March and in the first two weeks, approximately 1000 consumers signed consent forms to participate, with the first registrations from in the Hunter Urban Medicare Local site.

“The four funded sites are developing shared consumer information and collateral in promoting the eHealth Network and its services and this is the 'banner' so to speak under which they are promoting it.”

The website has been created and its call centre being manned by Health Industry Exchange (HIE), which is sub-contracted by the sites to develop shared services.

These services include operating the local electronic health record store, designing and running technical solutions used by all of the sites and running the registration services and support components of the projects, the spokeswoman said.

“There is no direct funding agreement with HIE under the Wave 1 or Wave 2 contracts from [the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA)] or NEHTA.”

Consumers who sign up to the eHealth Network are signing up to that network only, and the information can not be shared with the PCEHR, she said.

“Healthcare information that consumers have consented to be shared for these projects can only be done so under the terms and conditions that exist for the eHealth Network.”

“It is not possible to migrate this information into the national PCEHR as consumers have not consented to this in the terms and conditions that they have agreed to.”

She said if consumers wish to participate in the national PCEHR, they will need to register to participate in a separate process to the one being used by the eHealth Network.

The network is only available to consumers and providers within the catchment areas of the sites.

The spokeswoman said the eHealth Network sites are using a number of methods to educate and register consumers.

“It is envisioned that these will provide valuable lessons learnt into the process of a national registration program for the PCEHR. This includes websites, brochures and direct education by GPs.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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