A Review of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) has found that “a change in approach…is needed to correct early implementation issues”.
Significant recommendations have been made including the abolition of the National Electronic Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) and a shift from an opt-in to an opt-out model.
The Review found that the implementation of PCEHR was suffering from ineffective governance. It noted that NEHTA “does not have the confidence of the industry or audience that it is attempting to represent”. NEHTA consists of Directors General of State and Territory Health Departments plus the Secretary of the Federal Department of Health.
While the Review acknowledges that it was appropriate in the early phases of the project, the board membership has not changed to suit the different stages of the implementation. Within NEHTA, there are no members who are active users of the PCEHR.
It was recommended that “A revised governance body needs to have relative independence from State and Federal Government departments to ensure it is balanced and represents the needs of multiple key stakeholders”. The Review proposed an Australian Commission for Electronic Health (ACeH) be established as a Statutory Authority, reporting directly to the Standing Council on Health.
Due to “the lack of meaningful use” of the system, the Review Panel has also recommended that the system be transitioned from an opt-in to an opt-out model by January 2015. This means that all Australians who are not registered by then will have an unpopulated record available for use that they can then opt-out of if necessary.
Other recommendation made by the Panel included:
- Changing the name from PCEHR to My Health Record (MyHR);
- Implement a standardised Secure Messaging platform for the medical industry;
- Enable a single sign-on capability that enables simplified usability; and
- Centralise the system operation of the MyHR to the Department of Human Services (DHS).