The Federal Government has released a new blueprint for the deployment of its e-health project. The blueprint includes a timeline for the rollout of its e-health program, as well as development of personally controlled e-health records (PCEHR in Canberra-speak) and telehealth initiatives.
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It plans to have the national infrastructure for the PCEHR in place in the first quarter of 2012, with further enabling legislation ideally set to pass in March or April.
The Government’s telehealth push is also now under way, with telehealth rebates from Medicare already available. The plan will see the Government set up its after-hours, e-health video-conferencing facility in July next year.
The Federal Government’s first e-health record sites have also become operational, according to the progress report. The Government announced last year that Brisbane, Melbourne and Hunter Valley patients would be the first in Australia to get access to PCEHR records.
First lead sites became operational in the first quarter of this year, and evaluations were done by June. But draft technical specifications are scheduled for release in the October-December quarter and the final specs will not be available until January-March next year.
Health Department records show NEHTA has received more than half of $400 million in total funding allocated to the PCEHR project in the 18 month run-up to next July, with just under $200 million paying for four outsourced industry partnerships, including the actual build, the lead site implementations and nine small e-health pilots.