NHHRC Backs Person-controlled Electronic Health Records – 30 April 2009

Posted on May 1, 2009. Filed under: Health Informatics, Nat Hlth & Hosps Reform Comm | Tags: |

NHHRC Backs Person-controlled Electronic Health Records  –  information taken from an NHHRC Media Release – 30 April 2009

The National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) today released a supplementary paper to its Interim Report, which outlines the Commission’s support for person-controlled electronic health records for every Australian.

NHHRC Chair, Dr Christine Bennett, said today that the supplementary paper spells out the Commission’s position that an electronic health record is arguably the single most important enabler of truly person-centred care.

“The timely and accurate communication of pertinent, up-to-date health details of an individual can enhance the quality, safety and continuity of health care,” Dr Bennett said.

“A person-controlled electronic health record would enable people to take a more active role in managing their health and making informed health care decisions.”

According to recent research commissioned by the National Electronic Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), 82 per cent of consumers in Australia support the establishment of an electronic health record.

The Commission has made seven recommendations to make person-controlled electronic health records a reality. These include:

o By 2012, every Australian should be able to have a personal electronic health record that will at all times be owned and controlled by that person;
o The Commonwealth Government must legislate to ensure the privacy of a person’s electronic health data, while enabling secure access to the data by the person’s authorised health providers;
o The Commonwealth Government must introduce unique personal identifiers for health care by 1 July 2010;
o The Commonwealth Government must develop and implement an appropriate national social marketing strategy to inform consumers and health professionals about the significant benefits and safeguards of the proposed e-health approach; and
o The Commonwealth Government must mandate that the payment of public and private benefits for all health and aged care services be dependent upon the provision of data to patients, their authorised carers, and their authorised health providers, in a format that can be integrated into a personal electronic health record.

The NHHRC supplementary paper, Person-controlled Electronic Health Records, is available on the NHHRC website at http://www.nhhrc.org.au under Interim Report of the NHHRC. Feedback can be sent to talkhealth@nhhrc.org.au but must be received by Friday 8 May.

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