by Byron Connolly

NEHTA hooks up 267 public hospitals to national e-health system

Nov 06, 20143 mins
Healthcare Industry

The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) said on Thursday that it had worked with CIOs to connect 267 public hospitals and health centres to national e-health infrastructure.

This is just over one-third of about 750 public hospitals across the country.

Most of these providers are in Queensland with 219 of the total connected to the national system. Around half of the 41,632 discharge summaries uploaded to the system have been sent by Queensland Health organisations, NEHTA said in its 2013-14 annual report.

Meanwhile, more than 1.73 million Australians are now registered for an e-health record, an increase of 826,948 over the same period last year, according to NEHTA’s 2013-14 annual report.

There were also 7,234 healthcare organisations registered with the system, up from 5,360 on the previous year, the report said.

NEHTA said several jurisdictions in the ACT, Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania were already submitting discharge summaries from all or almost all public hospitals that can produce electronic summaries.

NEHTA CEO, Peter Fleming, said Tasmania has begun uploading medication information to the PCEHR with plans to implement record viewing in November.

“New South Wales is uploading inpatient and department discharge summaries and PCEHR viewing across five health regions (Western Sydney, Nepean Blue Mountains, Sydney Children’s network, South Eastern Sydney, and Illawarra Shoalhaven),” said Fleming.

Victoria has gone live with Eastern Health’s seven facilities uploading discharge summaries, and two other regions in the state – will soon start uploading summaries. Royal Perth Hospital in WA is live and the Albany health region will follow, he said.

NEHTA is working with the Northern Territory to transition to the ‘My Health Record’ to the PCEHR, which will include pathology and diagnostic imaging reports.

NEHTA reported an operating deficit for the 2013-14 financial year of $12.6 million, down from $73.76 million the year earlier.

During the year, the organisation received contributions from federal, state, and territory government members, and used its cash reserves to fund activities throughout the financial year.

In a May review released by health minister Peter Dutton recommended that NEHTA be dissolved and replaced with the Australian Commission for Electronic Health, reporting to the Standing Council on Health.

This new governance structure would include jurisdictional, technical, consumer advisory, and security committees, the report said.

The review also recommended that the PCEHR (personally controlled electronic health record) should be renamed ‘My Health Record’ and shift to an opt-out model.

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