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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin August 2010
6 AUGUST 2010 BENEFITS FOR CONSUMERS The benefits for consumers are as follows: • less risk of information being associated with the wrong person or sent to the wrong place; • improved continuity of care; • better healthcare outcomes; and • increased confidence in the healthcare system. The HI Service will issue and maintain national healthcare identifiers for consumers, healthcare providers and healthcare organizations. The HI Service is not intended to provide any explicit eHealth record functionality. Medicare Australia will be the initial HI Service Operator and the design of the service will draw on existing elements of Medicare Australia infrastructure including: • trusted personal information about individuals; • consumer Medicare numbers; • information policies; and • customer services such as shop front, real-time secure web services and telephone support. KEY FUNCTIONS The key functions of the Service will be to: • assign and issue healthcare identifiers -- IHls, HPI-Is and HPI-Os; • allow those authorized to access the Service to retrieve healthcare identifiers; • keep the information associated with healthcare identifiers up-to-date and accurate; and • deactivate or retire health identifiers when they are no longer needed. • Support functions include: - responding to enquiries and complaints; - carrying out regular maintenance including audits and data quality checks; and - reporting to Health Ministers on the performance of the Service. IMPLEMENTATION PATHWAY STAGE 1 'EARLY ADOPTERS' Some organizations critical to successful implementation, such as public hospitals, are ready to adopt the HI Service. In collaboration with these organizations and their vendor partners NEHTA will help ensure that: • the required functions of the HI Service are delivered; • project plans are in place to manage the transition to use of national identifiers; • existing systems and data banks will support efficient operation of the service; • user guides are developed for education and training; and • rollout processes are evaluated and lessons applied in Stage 2 . STAGE 2 'FAST FOLLOWERS' NEHTA will develop a 'fast followers' strategy to engage with individual and organizational providers which may be based on geographical location. These may include remaining public hospitals, private hospitals, general practitioners, medical specialists, pharmacists and allied health professionals. NEHTA will promote the use of materials whose effectiveness has been demonstrated in Stage l, allowing for less direct one-to-one support. STAGE 3 NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT The ADA has been advised by NEHTA that dentistry would be included in this phase and this could take one to two years. WHAT IT MEANS FOR DENTISTS Following passage of the legislation, regulations to support the operation of the Healthcare Identifiers Service will be considered by the ADA's Federal Executive. The regulations will help healthcare providers and software vendors better understand how the IHIs will affect their current business practices. Attempts will be made to keep members abreast of developments in this area. In order to participate in the HI Service, a healthcare provider business will require IT systems that incorporate minimum standards and security features necessary to access the HI Service. The Service can be accessed via a number of channels including HPOS, B2B web interface and phone services. Many providers already use HPOS and it is anticipated that changes required to IT systems will therefore be minimal for these providers. The ADA Inc. Special Purpose Committee (SPC) on eHealth is currently engaging with NEHTA, software providers and the Department of Health and Ageing to ensure that measures introduced with the HI services are compatible with systems used by dentists in Australia and are sympathetic with how dentistry is practised in Australia. One benefit of the HI Service will be the availability of a Provider Directory Service. The provider directory will allow for practitioners to locate other providers (such as specialists) in a timely manner, and facilitate communication with other providers when referring patients or making decisions about the patient's care needs. Consumers will be able to access their own information held by the HI Service through a web portal, telephone or in person from the HI Service. Healthcare providers (individuals and organizations) will be able to interact with the HI Service via their own IT applications (B2B), by web services, telephone or in person. NEHTA will collaborate with Federal, State and Territory Health Departments and private sector organizations and their vendor partners to support the staged implementation of key eHealth services. There will be some setup costs for healthcare providers such as the impact on staff time in terms of considering information supplied to the healthcare provider about how healthcare identifiers should be implemented and consumers are likely to seek advice from their healthcare provider on the new healthcare identifiers and how they can and cannot be used. Healthcare providers will be provided with supporting materials and appropriate sources to refer consumers to for further information. A public awareness programme on the HI Service will provide information to consumers via a range of methods. Members should note that these issues were raised by the ADA in its pre Budget submission to the Federal Government. These are also matters being dealt with by the ADA's SPC in its discussions. While there is still a lot of planning and work to be done before a very clear picture of the ultimate scheme can be provided, the ADA is conscious of the need for participation in the development of the scheme. It therefore will work with the department and others to ensure that what is created is relevant to Australian dentistry. Fiona Morrisby Manager, Policy and Media Relations For more information visit: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/pacd- ehealth-consultation-faqs#providers
ADA News Bulletin September 2010