[LINK] Patients may have to foot e-health bill

Frank O'Connor foconnor at ozemail.com.au
Fri May 1 16:13:14 AEST 2009

An excellent idea.

Government and the medical profession have failed dismally in getting 
any sort of e-Health on-line. The patient is the traditional poor 
bugger who pays for everything and manages and coordinates the 
accounting systems of the other parties (government, Medicare, 
private health funds, public and private hospitals, doctors and other 
practitioners) so that everything works as it should ... so yeah, the 
patient isn't likely to kick if he's suddenly saddled with the 
responsibility for buying software from MS or some other mediocre 
supplier to handle whatever tiny bits and skerricks of his own 
medical records that his legally frightened GP or specialist will let 
him have ... the bits and skerricks that couldn't possibly attract 
any liability that is.

Hey ... the patient has lived with the current nightmare for their 
whole lives. Why should they kick now?

Don't you just love Health in this country? Nothing ever gets done - 
usually because of the self interest of all the powerful parties 

The patients? They're just the Golden Geese that oil the wheels of 
self interest that keeps all the powerful parties in business. Sadly, 
that's the only status they have in the whole damn mess.


At 2:14 PM +1000 1/5/09, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
>Patients may have to foot e-health bill
>Karen Dearne
>April 30, 2009
>The Australian
>PATIENTS may have to pay for their own electronic health records, with
>the key healthcare reform body urging the federal Government to mandate
>"person-controlled" systems commercially available from providers like
>Microsoft and Google.
>"We believe that the rapid development of new IT applications required
>across the health sector to give people the opportunity to have an
>electronic health record is best undertaken by commercial IT developers
>in an open competitive market," the National Health and Hospitals Reform
>Commission (NHHRC) said in a supplementary paper released today.
>While tech-savvy patients are increasingly keen to manage their own
>medical records, public agencies worldwide have opted to maintain
>control over health information-sharing systems to ensure
>confidentiality, technical security and data quality.
>But in an unexpected turnaround, the NHHRC said "every Australian should
>be able to choose where and how their personal e-health record will be
>stored, backed-up and retrieved", and that the record should be "at all
>times owned and controlled by that person".
>Instead of providing a national health IT infrastructure, the
>Government's role should be "to regulate privacy and technical
>standards", and allow the market to come up with products that suit both
>consumers and healthcare providers
>"By 2012, every Australian should be able to have a personal e-health
>record," said NHHRC chair Christine Bennett. "The Government must
>legislate to ensure the privacy of a person's e-health data, while
>enabling secure access to the data by the person's authorised health
>To thwart likely objections from doctors over sharing information
>contained in their patients' records, the NHHRC wants the payment of
>public and private benefits to health and aged care services "to be
>dependent upon the provision of data to patients, their authorised
>carers and other health providers, in a format that can be integrated
>into a personal e-health record".
>Microsoft has previously told the NHHRC it was feasible to establish an
>affordable, consumer-controlled e-health record nationwide within one
>year. Its HealthVault web-based platform has been designed to allow
>people to collect, store and share their own medical information with
>doctors and family members.
>The commission's interim blueprint, released late last year, has been
>criticised for its failure to put information technologies at the heart
>of planned health sector reform.
>While today's paper said the nationwide adoption of individual e-health
>records would return between $7-$9 billion in economic benefits from
>increased productivity and reduced adverse events over 10 years, the
>federal and state governments have baulked at providing the necessary
>But the NHHRC believes there is no need to finance patients for the
>creation and maintenance of their own e-health records.
>Instead, it calls for public funding for "an appropriate social
>marketing strategy" to inform consumers and health professionals about
>the significant benefits and safeguards of the proposed new approach to
>It also calls for significant funding and resources to help doctors move
>to the new arrangements.
>"Engaging private and public healthcare providers to invest in IT
>systems and infrastructure, change work practices and participate in
>personal e-health records will be critical to success," the NHHRC said.
>"Vendors must ensure their systems are compliant with national standards
>and can receive and send data with patient consent and appropriate
>AushealthIT blogger David More warned that the NHHRC approach was
>"unbalanced" as it over-emphasised the role of the personally held
>record "and fails to recognise the importance of the provider's records".
>"In my view, the person's own record needs to be adjunctive to the
>records, and systems, used by each health professional to optimise the
>care they deliver," Dr More said. "The care provider needs information
>of known provenance and trustworthiness from external sources such as
>referring doctors and labs.
>"As well, the benefits case for health IT rests on clinical decision
>support provided at the point of care, and that is not recognised
>clearly enough in this approach."
>Bernard Robertson-Dunn
>Canberra Australia
>brd at iimetro.com.au
>Link mailing list
>Link at mailman.anu.edu.au

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