Work to begin on pharmacy and pathology specs for PCEHR

The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has issued a call for expressions of interest from community pharmacy software vendors to join a new panel to work on incorporating PCEHR specifications into their software.

The deadline for expressions is June 4, with a shortlist to be announced after July 2. The community pharmacy software panel is the third to be established, following the GP desktop software vendors panel and the aged care software vendors panel. Expressions of interest for the latter were published in December last year, although there is no final decision yet on which vendors have been chosen.

The federal budget papers released on Tuesday also reveal that the pathology sector will begin work towards including pathology results in the PCEHR. A health department budget “deliverable” requires that the pathology sector work with NEHTA to introduce national standards for electronic reporting of pathology results by June 30 next year.

Funding for this measure is part of the Pathology Funding Agreement between the government and the pathology sector, which came into effect on July 1 last year.

Vendors chosen to be part of the community pharmacy panel will be required to enter an agreement with NEHTA to participate in a collaborative development process to incorporate specifications supporting the PCEHR into software. They also must commit to developing a deployment plan in collaboration with providers.

Vendors will have to integrate a number of products and specifications, including HI Service functionality, the secure messaging delivery (SMD) and endpoint location service (ELS) specifications, the NASH software development kit (SDK) – which is still in development and won't be released until after July 1 – connectivity to the PCEHR including the ability to upload clinical documents and authenticate access using the provider’s organisational credentials, and the ability to generate and send a CDA event summary to a PCEHR conformant repository.

They must also have electronic transfer of prescriptions (ETP) capability and the ability to incorporate Healthcare Identifiers and standardised medications terminologies including SNOMED CT-AU and the Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT) for the medication history list.

Selected vendors will be paid two instalments to offset costs, including a conformant solution payment upon successful demonstration of conformance and a deployment success payment.

In its EOI document, NEHTA said the magnitude of the two payments will be dependent in part on the number of vendors who participate in the vendor panel. The value of the payments will be established through a moderated negotiation processes with the preferred vendors at the end of the EOI evaluation stage, NEHTA said.

Applications must be submitted through TenderSearch.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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