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Australian Health Insurance Association comments on electronic records

2 September 2011 - 5:54pm

The private health industry's peak representative body has made its submission to the government concerning the introduction of personally controlled electronic health records (PCEHR).

A report by the Australian Health Insurance Association (AHIA) has highlighted its concerns after the Department of Health Ageing opened the call for submissions from industry stakeholders.

AHIA believes that the private health insurance industry "was not specifically addressed as a key participant" during the tabling of the PCEHR Draft Concept of Operations.

It also adds: "PCEHR implementation focus has been on primary care rather than acute settings and therefore the implications for the private health sector are not well understood at this stage or top of mind of those driving implementation."

The issue of data storage has also been raised, with the AHIA concerned that the government has not yet looked into the benefits of cloud computing solutions, as opposed to limiting records to be stored in servers within the country.

It appears that more consultation will be needed before Australians see the introduction of electronic health records.

E-health records have been proposed to improve the standard of care by making a patient's medical history readily available to healthcare professionals, increasing efficiency and the accuracy of treatment.