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e-Health revolution easier said than done

30 November 2011 - 4:35pm

Successfully implementing one of the most important revolutions in Australian healthcare is easier said than done, according to a new research paper.

The Australian Parliamentary Library has published a report - entitled "The e health revolution - easier said than done" - outlining the development of Australia's e-health policy compared to international case studies.

Author of the paper Dr Rhonda Jolly believes that e-health can be utilised to reduce the costs associated with caring for an ageing population.

"The paper concludes that e-health does indeed have great potential, but harnessing that potential has and continues to require finding and negotiating a delicate balance between many interests and issues," she said

According to research conducted by the government body, the possibilities that e-Health offers "requires a different and radical way of thinking about the delivery of health services".

The report highlights the Howard government's Health Online and HealthConnect initiatives are laying the foundation for e-Health in Australia, allowing the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) to be launched in July 2012.

The PCRHR e-Health system will have the capacity to contain summary information such as conditions, medications, allergies and records of events such as hospital stays, as well as existing information from Medicare systems.