Clinician and consumer confidence is the key to the PCEHR

Friday, December 6, 2013

Clinician and consumer confidence is the key to the PCEHR

6 December 2013

The Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR), currently under review by the Australian Government, has the potential to be an effective tool supporting high quality healthcare but must address the needs of both clinicians and the consumer.

“The uptake by both patients and clinicians of the PCEHR has been extremely limited,” says Alison Verhoeven, Chief Executive of the AHHA. “To make the appropriate treatment decisions and develop suitable care plans, clinicians require timely access to relevant parts of their patients’ medical history.  This is particularly important for patients with chronic conditions and ongoing care needs who have regular interactions with multiple health providers.”

“Unless clinicians have the confidence that the PCEHR will provide the complete picture they need, they will continue to shun the system.  If clinicians don’t support the system then patients are unlikely to engage and vice-versa.”

“A system that simply creates another repository of data does not automatically improve access to the information that clinicians are looking for. A priority is to improve the exchange of information between different health care providers across the primary, community and acute care sectors rather than just reproducing existing data collections with limits to the currency and completeness of the information they contain.”

“The relatively limited use of electronic health records outside of general practice and hospitals is a further barrier than needs to be addressed to improve the utility of the PCEHR.”

“Our key messages to the review panel are:

  • Focus on enhancing information exchange between systems rather than developing additional data repositories
  • Identify and address the barriers to clinician and patient participation
  • Provide incentives to engage health providers beyond hospitals and general practice, such as physiotherapists and oral health professionals, and
  • Achieve a suitable balance between the clinicians need for information and the patient’s right to privacy, starting with an opt-out system.”

Media inquiries:

Alison Verhoeven, Chief Executive, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association 0403 282 501