NACCHO eHealth News: Developing a 21st century electronic health record system


“A functioning national electronic medical records system is essential to ensure doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare providers across the country had instant access to the information needed to treat patients safely and efficiently without having to gamble on unknowns in their medical history,”

“As patients, we’ve all been in the situations where we’ve had to attend another GP surgery because we were out-of-town or couldn’t get an appointment with our regular doctor. It can be a time consuming and often frustrating experience for patients and doctors alike.”

Minister for Health Sussan Ley has announced the Committee that will oversee the rebooted personalised My Health Record system for patients and doctors as part of a $485 million package to deliver Australians an electronic medical record system.

SEE Government website for more info

Ms Ley announced the appointment of Ms Robyn Kruk AM as the independent chair of the eHealth Implementation Taskforce Steering Committee responsible for the establishment of the Australian Commission for eHealth.

Picture above : in 2013 IT trainee Tiara Wilkinson played a key role in the e-health revolution that was quietly taking place in Australia’s remote north-west. 

From her soundproof booth at the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council (KAMSC) in Broome, Tiara was part of a team providing helpdesk support, training and ‘data cleansing’ to around 500 clinical and medical admin staff in 17 medical clinics stretching across 300,000 km in the Kimberley region – plus a few extras, like the Halls Creek Pharmacy and Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Services

In the 2015-16 Budget, the Coalition Government announced $485 million for the redevelopment of the My Health Record system to strengthen and transform national digital health governance through an Australian Commission for eHealth.

Ms Ley said the Implementation Taskforce Steering Committee brings together clinicians, public and private healthcare service providers, consumers, health informatics and analytics specialists, technology innovators and people experienced in delivery of digital health services.

Ms Kruk will be assisted by the skills and expertise of Dr Steve Hambleton, Dr Ewen McPhee, Dr Chris Pearce, Mr Richard Royle, Dr Eileen Doyle, Ms Jan Donovan, Mr Peter Cooper, Mr Mike Walsh, Mr Stephen Moo and Mr Paul Madden.

“In this modern world where technology makes information sharing boundless, it is essential Australia has a national digital health system and My Health Record makes up an important part of this system,” Ms Ley said.

“Ms Kruk has held several significant public service positions at the state and federal government level in health and environment, most recently, as chief executive of the National Mental Health Commission.

“The implementation taskforce steering committee will design, implement and oversee the transition of functions and resources from the Department of Health and the National e-Health Transition Authority to the Australian Commission for eHealth.

“The Australian Commission for eHealth will simplify and streamline the current governance arrangements and will ensure better accountability, greater transparency and improve stakeholder engagement throughout.”

The Australian Commission for eHealth will also oversee the operation and evolution of national electronic health systems and will be the system operator of the My Health Record System.

Ms Ley said next year, the Government will conduct trials of different participation arrangements for My Health Record, including opt-out, to identify the best approaches for increasing participation in the national digital health system.

“It’s important that all Australians are signed up to ensure we have a functioning system and trialling an opt-out model means we can do it carefully, methodically and ensure the appropriate protections are in place to give patients peace of mind,” Ms Ley said.

“If automatic registration for a digital health record in the opt-out trials leads to higher participation in the My Health Record system, the Government will consider adopting opt-out on a national scale.”

The Health Legislation Amendment (eHealth) Bill 2015 was introduced to Parliament recently and includes the allowance of opt-out trials of the My Health Record system to be conducted.

Members of the Implementation Taskforce Steering Committee are:

Ms Robyn Kruk,

Independent Chair
Dr Steve Hambleton Clinician
Dr Ewen McPhee Clinician
Dr Chris Pearce Health Informatician
Mr Richard Royle Private Health Sector
Dr Eileen Doyle Governance and organisational design
Ms Jan Donovan Consumer matters
Mr Peter Cooper Information Technology and Innovation
Mr Michael Walsh Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council
Mr Stephen Moo Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council
Mr Paul Madden Commonwealth

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *