Magazine article Information Management

Review: Australia's E-Health Records Program Should Be Opt-Out

Magazine article Information Management

Review: Australia's E-Health Records Program Should Be Opt-Out

Article excerpt

When Australia rolled out its Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records system (PCEHR) in July 2012, citizens needed to voluntarily enroll to participate. Given the lack-luster enrollment to date - 1.4 million users by February 2014 - the government is now considering changing the system to an opt-out model.

Late last year Parliament tasked a panel of healthcare and IT experts to review the PCEHR in terms of implementation and uptake. The panel focused primarily on elements that would support realizing the benefits sooner, improve the value proposition for users, encourage stakeholders in the private sector to also "invest and embrace" the system, improve governance so the functions better align with target users' needs, and help minimize ongoing costs to develop and maintain the system.

The panel's report identified such key concerns as the "challenges associated with the registration process linked to the opt-in nature of PCEHR, the limited amount of clinically usable information, inadequate governance arrangements, and the usability of the system," according to Minister of Health Peter Dutton. …

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