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eHealth records system kicks off

By johnboy - 10 September 2012 6

Chief Minister Gallagher informs us that she’s launched an online health information system pilot:

My eHealth enables patients to access personal information relating to their health care.

“My eHealth is a secure, online service which improves patients’ access to their health information, and helps them keep track of their appointments,” the Chief Minister said.

“It gives patients more control over their health records and makes using health services more convenient.”

My eHealth has been designed to complement the national Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) and it is intended that My eHealth will integrate with the national eHealth system.

The initial launch of My eHealth includes a pilot group of consumers from the Health Care Consumers Association and a group of 40 chronic care patients. Allowing a small group of healthcare consumers to register for My eHealth means the project team can finetune the online service before making it available more broadly.

What’s Your opinion?


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6 Responses to
eHealth records system kicks off
kakosi 1:01 am 11 Sep 12

Electronic records are only as good as the person entering the data.

This won’t mean mistakes stop happening and it won’t make much difference to treatment other than to “guide” doctors towards a diagnosis based on what previous doctors have written about the patient.

Martlark 9:31 pm 10 Sep 12

I’ve had my medical records go AWOL 3 times as my doctors have closed up, moved or retired. I’d love for them to be held centrally so that I don’t need to worry that things will get lost or missed.

GYW 8:24 pm 10 Sep 12

poppy said :

Probably another huge waste of taxpayer funds that would better have been spent on more hospital beds, more doctors etc…

Before spending all this money, did they have any evidence that improved access to medical records actually improves health outcomes? One major cause of diagnostic errors is doctors assumptions, biases and stereotypes influencing their diagnosis, rather than looking at the evidence/facts directly related to presenting problem. For every patient that might be helped by eHealth, there are probably ten others whose problems will be dismissed because the doctor failed to keep an open mind, perhaps say, because the patient’s record indicated mental health problems.

Have they also considered whether patients will actually want to sign up for this? They say that patients will be able to control who sees what information, how will this be implemented? The last thing I want when faced with an arrogant and rude specialist is to have to confront him and tell him I don’t want him to update/see parts of my record. If I can hide some of my information, then I want the doctor to be completely unaware that I’m doing so.

The only benefit I could maybe see as a patient is being able to see the results of blood tests etc which currently the patient does not recieve a copy of. I’m not sure if this is going to happen though. However, even this wouldn’t be enough for me to sign up given the potential huge downside. If I am seeing a doctor for a second opinion, for example, there is no way I want that doctor to know what the previous doctor’s diagnosis was. It’s a fact that doctors often fail to make a correct diagnosis because they “assumed” that the previous doctor was correct without making their own investigation.

You raise some good points. As someone with a list of conditions and medications a mile long, I was quite positive about not having to go through the whole boring story every single time I see a different practitioner, but of course I am also concerned about the privacy issue, and your post has given me some other things to think about.

poppy 7:00 pm 10 Sep 12

Probably another huge waste of taxpayer funds that would better have been spent on more hospital beds, more doctors etc…

Before spending all this money, did they have any evidence that improved access to medical records actually improves health outcomes? One major cause of diagnostic errors is doctors assumptions, biases and stereotypes influencing their diagnosis, rather than looking at the evidence/facts directly related to presenting problem. For every patient that might be helped by eHealth, there are probably ten others whose problems will be dismissed because the doctor failed to keep an open mind, perhaps say, because the patient’s record indicated mental health problems.

Have they also considered whether patients will actually want to sign up for this? They say that patients will be able to control who sees what information, how will this be implemented? The last thing I want when faced with an arrogant and rude specialist is to have to confront him and tell him I don’t want him to update/see parts of my record. If I can hide some of my information, then I want the doctor to be completely unaware that I’m doing so.

The only benefit I could maybe see as a patient is being able to see the results of blood tests etc which currently the patient does not recieve a copy of. I’m not sure if this is going to happen though. However, even this wouldn’t be enough for me to sign up given the potential huge downside. If I am seeing a doctor for a second opinion, for example, there is no way I want that doctor to know what the previous doctor’s diagnosis was. It’s a fact that doctors often fail to make a correct diagnosis because they “assumed” that the previous doctor was correct without making their own investigation.

Jivrashia 4:50 pm 10 Sep 12

rosebud said :

Is it part of or a competitor to the Commonwealth eHealth system?

Correct me if I’m wrong but that is the PCEHR, which it claims will be complemented by this “My eHealth”.

IIRC, the National eHealth system is for collating patient’s medical history so that doctors and specialists will have easy access to them to help them diagnose the patient.
This is provided that the patient grants them permission, which is why the ‘Personally Controlled’ is emphasised, because personal medical record is something you don’t want falling into the wrong hands.

But My eHealth features are as follows:
– view and update their personal demographic information such as address and telephone numbers;
– view and print future and past appointments and visits at Canberra Hospital and Health Services (including community based services); and
– access and print Canberra Hospital inpatient discharge summaries.

I’m not sure what value this adds, other than an enhanced communication between patient and Canberra Hospital.

In fact I’d like to know whether there is a risk of data from the National eHealth system being accessible through My eHealth credentials, especially if one is weak in terms of security than the other.

rosebud 3:55 pm 10 Sep 12

Is it part of or a competitor to the Commonwealth eHealth system? http://www.ehealthinfo.gov.au/

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