27 August 2019

ACT health system step closer to single patient record with tender release

| Ian Bushnell
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The Digital Health Record will make it easier for the clinical workforce to access patient information. File photo.

ACT health carers are one step closer to a single point of access to patient information across public hospitals and health services with the release of a tender seeking a service provider for the new Digital Health Record.

Health authorities are keen to reassure the community that privacy of information and patient confidentiality will be maintained when all patient records go online.

Acting Chief Information Officer for the ACT Health Directorate Sandra Cook said these areas would be key to the project.

“Much of the information to be contained in the new record is already captured through paper records and various clinical IT systems. What the new record will do, is make it easier for the clinical workforce to access the information to get the best treatment outcomes for their patients,” Ms Cook said.

“One of the highest priorities for this project is ensuring we are building up the protections around health information that consumers expect in this digital age, and this will continue to be a key focus. There are also strong privacy provisions in the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997 that protect patient confidentiality.”

The 2019-20 ACT Budget allocated $106 million over eight years to introduce the Digital Health Record, following the release of the ACT’s new Digital Health Strategy in May.

The tender is for a service provider to provide, support and maintain the Digital Health Record solution over a 10-year initial contract period.

The successful tenderer will deliver the territory-wide Digital Health Record solution, implement the services required and operate them together with ACT Health so the Record remains contemporary and meets the evolving needs of the ACT community.

Ms Cook said the Digital Health Record’s implications for the ACT public health system could not be underestimated.

“It will support the other digital systems that we have put in place in recent years to improve the care the community received,” she said. “And it will also assist us in consolidating other paper and legacy electronic clinical records, of which there are more than 250 currently operating due to the rapid innovations in medical technology over the past decade.”

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said the release of the tender represented a significant step forward in the project.

“Technology is completely transforming the way health systems work – improving clinical practices and empowering patients to be more involved in their health,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“The Government recognises that to position the ACT to take advantage of new technologies and advances in health care into the future, we need to have the ICT systems in place to support our staff and patients.”

The Request for Tender closes on 3 October 2019.


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