NACCHO eHealth review submissions close 22 Nov :eHealth vital for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health

Front Page

Front page story from this weeks NACCHO Health News -Australia’s first Aboriginal health newspaper (Out this week in the KOORI MAIL)

The chair of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation’s  (NACCHO) has welcomed the Federal  Health Minister Peter Dutton’s recent announcement for  a review of the current Personally Controlled Ehealth Records (PCEHR ) program, but has called on the Federal Government to support the continued use by Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCH’S).

Update 21 November from NACCHO/AMSANT

The Federal Government have announced a review of the national eHealth Record System (PCEHR) with submissions to be completed by this Friday 22nd November.

 This is a very important review for the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector to be involved in, as the sector has a 10 year history of being early, enthusiastic and skilled implementers and utilisers of eHealth, a basic foundation tool towards closing the gap through improved record sharing and data accuracy to ultimately improve health service provision and outcomes for Aboriginal people.  

 Note that the submission must be less than 1000 words and address the following areas:

  • Your  experience on the level of consultation with key stakeholders during the  development phase
  • The level  of use of the PCEHR by health care professions in clinical settings
  • Barriers  to increasing usage in clinical settings
  • Comments on standards for Terminology, language and technology
  • Key clinician utility and usability issues
  • Key patient usability issues
  • Suggested Improvements to accelerate adoption of the platform

Please return the submission or any comments today  Simon.Stafford@amsant.org.au who will complete it and ensure it is submitted by Friday 22nd November.. Thank you.

Mr. Mohamed said he agreed with the minister that the concept of electronic health records must be fit for purpose and cost effective and that the review should be able to put the controversial electronic health records program back on track.

“Given the state of Aboriginal health in this country and the fact the our Aboriginal population is expected to grow to over a million by 2031 we need to educate healthcare professionals on the role of Telehealth and ehealth technology can play to help close the gap.

We recognised in our recent Investing in Healthy Futures for Generational Change plan 2013-2030 that five years on from setting targets to “Close the Gap”, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) have been responsible for many of the health gains achieved  and that ehealth records have and will have into the future play a vital role  in recording improvements ,identifying risk factors, performing health checks, planning care, and managing and treating high-risk individuals” Mr Mohamed said

“The ACCHS sector has successfully embraced the concept of a national ehealth program to ensure continuity of care for a frequently mobile population with high incidence of illness. ACCHSs are often small health organisations that rely on external providers, including cardiac and renal specialists, physiotherapists, pathologists and radiographers.

If a patient say from Tennant Creek is visiting a clinic in Alice Springs   the administering health professional has in the past been locked out of the patient’s complex medical history, unless they go through the cumbersome process of requesting a health summary from the home clinic, which in turn may also be limited in historic information.

A shared electronic health record has enabled will our Aboriginal patients to receive health care consistent with their condition, treatment history and specialist advice, reducing risk of over treatment or testing.

“Our ACCHs PCEHR systems will meet the needs of a mobile population; enabling a patient to receive health care consistent with their condition, treatment history and specialist advice, reducing risk of over treatment or testing; captures important data that is otherwise easily lost; allows for information sharing and broad analysis; empowers the patients, affording greater flexibility and choice of health care provider.

“The national ehealth record system would do well to mimic the model of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services – regional, locally controlled health services that promote participation and are responsive to local need rather than a big one size fits all model.” Mr Mohamed said

The goals of PCEHR already align well with NT Aboriginal Health KPI Information System to contribute to improving primary health care services for Aboriginal Australians in the Northern Territory by building capacity at the service level and the system level to collect, analyse and interpret data that will:

  • Inform understanding of trends in individual and population health outcomes;
  • Identify factors influencing these trends; and
  • Inform appropriate action, planning and policy development.

Mr Mohamed as active implementers of the PCEHR, the ACCHS sector looks forward to participating in this review in its pursuit of the highest quality and continuity of health care for Aboriginal people towards Closing the Gap.