by Byron Connolly

NSW government vows to invest $300M in e-health

Mar 26, 20152 mins
GovernmentHealthcare Industry

The Baird government has vowed to pump $300 million over the next four years into e-health projects if it is re-elected on Saturday.

Health minister, Jillian Skinner said on Thursday that the NSW government had made a record investment in IT in its first term, rolling out new projects across the state’s 15 local health districts and two specialty networks.

If re-elected, the government said it would spend $48 million to expand e-health programs across rural and remote areas; $4 million to deploy an extra 100 tele-health sites, adding to the 1000 sites already in operation; and $4.9 million to rollout HealtheNet to a further 11 local health districts.

HealtheNet provides NSW Health clinicians with access to a consolidated view of a patient’s clinical information from across NSW Health and a patient’s National eHealth Record through the NSW Clinical Portal.

Further, the government promised to spend $3.5 million to enhance the ‘Hospital in the Home’ program in rural areas through initiatives that provide community nurses with laptops and mobile devices, and in-home monitoring devices for patients. The program provides care to patients at their home or clinic as an alternative to hospital care.

Finally, the government said it would create a new NSW Health eHealth Strategic Plan: Enabling eHealth 2021 to provide a clear direction for future ICT investment and e-health programs.

Skinner claimed that the days of paper records being lugged around and physically transferred from treating doctor to doctor will soon be over thanks to the HealtheNet, Electronic Medications Management and Electronic Medical Records systems.

She said the government is adding a voice recognition capacity to the Electronic Medical Records system. Every day in NSW, around 23,000 clinicians log on 250,000 electronic records and order 140,000 tests, she said.

The system has been piloted at Concord Hospital, and has demonstrated a 66 per cent reduction in prescribing errors, and a 44 per cent reduction in serious prescribing errors.

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