[LINK] Governments change direction on health e-records

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Tue Oct 13 10:08:48 AEDT 2009

At 9:30 +1100 13/10/09, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
>Governments change direction on health e-records

I posted comments in two emails to the privacy list this morning.

On NEHTA and National eHealth Strategy:

[Key points:
-   "the original vision of a single e-health record system had been
     abandoned in favour of "person-controlled" records that could be
     adopted more quickly"
-   Five years ago, there was a strong view that there would be an
     e-health record for all Australians held on a massive database
     somewhere. That's no longer the view.
-   undoubtedly people will have an option to choose health records
     from a range of sources and their medical information will be
     stored in a number of locations
-   While the use of patient identifiers may be optional initially,
     Mr Fleming said, over time "we expect this to become ubiquitous"
-   the role of government ... would be to ensure standards and
     privacy rules are all met, but it will probably be necessary to
     build an indexing service, as a person's records will likely be
     scattered across various providers
-   [legislation is necessary, yet] we'll continue down the
     development path. For instance, we're working with Medicare
     on a group of projects that start linking with and using
     identifiers, such as discharge referrals

[This shifts NEHTA in the direction of Criteria 1 and 2 of the APF's 
Policy on eHealth Data and Health Identifiers, but it still breaches 
Criterion 3:

On NEHTA and Consumers:

[In this and the acocmpanying interview, Fleming ignored consumers.

[In Australian Public Service jargon, the term 'stakeholders' 
*excludes* citizens/consumers, and excludes their representatives and 

[Most agencies make some allowance for the public, but Human 
Services, Medicare and NEHTA work very hard to keep consumer and 
privacy advocates outside the fence.

[This violates Principle 6 of the APF's Policy on eHealth Data and 
Health Identifiers, and endangers all of the Criteria:

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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