Health industry CIOs have a real opportunity to drive innovation and break down siloes of information in light of the federal government\u2019s allocation of $467 million to electronic health records over the next two years.\nSpeaking at an AIIA CIO e-health forum in Sydney, CIO of St Vincent\u2019s Mater Health, Sydney, David Roffe, said one of the most important aspects of e-health is change management.\n\u201cBefore we put anything in we need to find out how we will change processes,\u201d Roffe said.\nRoffe is supportive of the government\u2019s decision to invest more in e-health.\nSt Vincents has been investing in and developing IT health systems for at least 25 years and has re-written its own patient records system three times.\n\u201cSeven years ago we started implementing an electronic medication management system and it was the most difficult project I have ever done,\u201d Roffe said. \u201cNow, the work we have done is being used by the NSW and Victoria governments and that\u2019s fantastic. We need to learn from each other.\u201d\nRoffe said NETHA, the National E-Health Transition Authority, has developed a specification to encourage connectivity between health systems in the past and few software vendors participated.\nHow do CIOs know they are on the path to best practice with e-health systems? Roffe said best practices can be taken from innovation within the organisation itself and with industry standards.\n\u201cYou have to be pragmatic and there has to be a stakeholder champion to communicate the benefits,\u201d he said. \u201cIf it does show benefits then we do research. I have a small sandpit of funding that will allow me to do innovation internally.\u201d\nAdam Powick, leading e-health consultant at Deloitte, said governments should not design and build IT systems and the private sector can\u2019t sit back and wait for the government to \u201ctell it what to do\u201d.\n\u201cHealth IT is not special, but the real challenge is how fragmented it is and the preciousness and sensitivity of the stakeholder groups,\u201d Powick said.\n\u201cAnyone with closed or proprietary standards is dead. We are a fragmented industry and need a unified voice.\u201d\nPowick said it is time to push e-health to the next generation of health professionals.\nIndustry experts recently told CIO that a successful e-health strategy would require a bottom-up approach in addition to more funding.