At last week’s Health-e-Nation Summit in Melbourne, Department of Health and Ageing secretary Jane Halton revealed that over 397,745 Australians had registered for their own personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR), since the system launched in July last year. Halton also revealed that more than 1470 healthcare provider organisations had also registered for the PCEHR system, and that 17,000 individual healthcare providers had been granted authorisation links.
While a sluggish uptake of the PCEHR had been predicted by some from the beginning, these latest figures prove that the value of the system is starting to be recognised by both individuals and healthcare providers more broadly.
For those consumers that have already registered, a PCEHR provides them with an electronic view of their personal health information such as event summaries, discharge summaries, pathology information and medication information, which are typically held in dispersed records across the country. With a unified system, comprehensive information can then easily and quickly be accessed by healthcare providers, leading to a more efficient health system.
However, the extended benefits of the PCEHR system are expected to emerge as more individuals register for their PCEHR and as more healthcare providers connect to the system.
How can aged care providers prepare for the shift towards personally controlled electronic health records?
This checklist covers the essential elements that you will need to prepare for the eHealth system so your organisation, your staff and your clients can make the most out of it.
- Gain a deeper understanding of eHealth, the PCEHR and consider what it means for the aged care sector and in particular, your organisation. It won’t be long before colleagues and clients are also asking more about the new system so we recommend preparing yourself by attending training or education sessions, and by visiting the National eHealth Transition Authority for the latest information
- Lead by example – register for your own PCEHR by visiting the official eHealth website.
- Register your organisation with the Healthcare Identifier (HI) Service. The HI service is a prerequisite to using the eHealth system and used to identify healthcare professionals, organisations and individual consumers of healthcare services. Your organisation will need to claim a unique Healthcare Provider Identifier – Organisation (HPI-O) number in order to prepare for the eHealth system. Visit Medicare Australia for more information.
- Ensure that your organisation’s data and clinical information is up-to-date and accurate. Make use of software tools in order to maintain precise client records and data quality.
- Ensure that your clinical and care management software is also PCEHR compliant, and meets national eHealth standards. Contact your software provider to find out when the upgrades are available and to request training or support materials to help you understand how to use the new features.
- Assess the existing technology and infrastructure available at your organisation. To access the PCEHR provider portal, you will need a computer, reliable internet connection and other digital credentials.
Click here for more detailed information and advice about registering your aged care organisation for Australia’s eHealth record system.
Have you already registered? Let us know in the comments below if you are one of the early adopters – we’d like to know your thoughts.
(Image credit: Stuart Miles)