by Byron Connolly

NSW govt touts e-health future

Dec 18, 20132 mins

The NSW government has unveiled its Blueprint for eHealth in NSW, aimed at improving collaboration between agencies and the development of a strategy to provide services to rural and remote areas.

The blueprint – announced today by health minister Jillian Skinner – outlines a framework for enhanced collaboration between eHealth NSW, the NSW Ministry of Health and the Local Health Districts.

The blueprint formalised the establishment of eHealth NSW, the minister said. The government will appoint an inaugural chief executive of eHealth NSW by April, as well as a chief CIO to engage clinicians on eHealth.

The NSW government previously earmarked $1.5 billion for eHealth NSW over the next 10 years. This includes almost $400 million on ICT programs, including electronic medications management and community health and outpatients care.

“eHealth NSW has enormous potential to transforms healthcare delivery, whether by using digital and online technologies to assist in the management of critically-ill patients in intensive care units or by reducing the need for patients to travel by providing personal eHealth records, tele-health and home monitoring,” Skinner said.

The announcement coincides with the results of audit by NSW auditor-general Grant Hehir on NSW government agencies in the health sector.

In relation to technology programs, the audit found that HealthShare NSW was managing most IT projects “on time and within budget.”

The report said HealthShare NSW planned to spent almost $758 million on 11 major IT projects over the next five years, 0.9 per cent more than the original budget.

“Based on the revised budget, HealthShare NSW expects the health sector will achieve $2.6 billion in quantitative benefits from its $758 million investment. This equates to $3.40 for every dollar spent.”