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    ron batagol

    It’s great to see individual and group efforts such as these working towards creating a participatory electronic health system record. Howver, as highlighted in the news item –
    Patients reject eHealth Only 5029 people have joined the federal government’s controversial $466 million eHealth system since it was launched on July – Sydney Morning Herald 12/8/12. This is too important an issue to be mucked up ( more pink batts/school hall disasters in the making?

    Also relevant a comment by The Australian Medical Association’s national president Steve Hambleton in this news report, saying that the sign-up figures were evidence the government should have made inclusion in the eHealth system automatic and let patients choose to ”opt out”.

    Of course, I’d go a step further, and make a point that I have made many times previously, and which to me is so “bleedingly obvious”. Why would any self-respecting health professional want to be involved in promoting system that is designed to, at best, include only a hotchpotch of those parts of the vital medical and therapeutic history that a small percentage of the general public decide they wish to make available on their ehealth record!!!

    There needs to be a radical re-think at all levels, including, as I’ve previously suggested, a workable mechanism with appropriate systems in place to enable access to ALL relevant medical and therapeutic data in a situation where it is considered medically necessary to do so, with patients agreeing in writing for this to occur when they sign up to the system. Obviously, this must include appropriate rigorous auditing and checking systems.

    Anything less is simply not going to motivate any health professionals to have sufficient trust in the integrity and reliability of such a system, and to speak to their clients to encourage participation, without having to worry about the medico-legal consequences of not having access to vital excluded clinical and other health information It also goes without saying that all participating health professionals must be appropriately compensated and/or reimbursed on an ongoing basis for their time and effort in helping to set up and work with a reliable, all-inclusive ehealth system.

    ( BTW has any health economist guru done the sums to show the obvious economic and social benefits of lives saved by undertaking a systematic public-private investment to set up and run an ALL-INCLUSIVE electronic e health system ?- I doubt it!)


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