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Tasmanian aged and palliative care to lead e-health roll-out



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THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP

Minister for Health and Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

28 March 2011

Tasmanian aged and palliative care to lead e-health roll-out

Aged and palliative care patients and their families in North West Tasmania will be one of the first groups of Australians to have access to e-health records thanks to a new national health reform e-health project announced today.

Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon and Member for Braddon Sid Sidebottom MP announced today that the Tasmanian North West Area Health Service has been selected as one of nine new e-health lead implementation sites

nationally for the Gillard Government’s $467 million national personally controlled electronic health records (PCEHR) project.

“E-health is one of the critical elements of the Gillard Government’s efforts to modernise our health system through national health reform,” Minister Roxon said.

“In this project, we can see a practical example of how e-health can improve heath care for aged and palliative care patients and their families.”

Mr Sidebottom explained today’s announcement will target aged and palliative care patients and their families as well as palliative care medical specialists and clinical nurse consultants in north west Tasmania.

“This is good news for Tasmania and it’s exciting that North West Tasmania in particular will be front and centre of e-health,” Mr Sidebottom said.

“The benefits of e-health in aged care are particularly noteworthy, as older Australians are more likely to see a variety of healthcare professionals. With patient consent, an e-health record can help keep all the relevant information about a patient in one spot helping health professionals make better and more informed decisions.”

Minister Roxon said a key feature of these projects is that they can help to reduce the chance of medical errors and save patients from having to repeat their health history every time they visit a new doctor.

“These projects will lead the roll-out of e-health records for a wide range of patients, including Indigenous Australians in the NT, WA and SA, chronic disease patients in Western Sydney and aged care and palliative patients in NSW, the ACT and here in Tasmania,” Ms Roxon said.

“This brings the number of e-health lead implementation sites to 12, with these sites aiming to have more than half a million Australians enrolled before the national launch of e-health records next year.

“With more than 90 applications received, it’s clear there is a high level of support for e-health. These nine new sites will add to our existing three lead implementation sites that are busy working to implement their program.

“Of course, it’s disappointing that Mr Abbott continues to oppose e-health and refuses to back national health reform.”

The Gillard Government is investing up to $55 million in these nine lead implementation sites as a part of its overall investment of $467 million so that patients will be able to sign up for a personally controlled electronic health records from 1 July 2012.

Details of the lead implementation sites and the National e-Health Conference Report can be downloaded from www.yourhealth.gov.au.

For all media inquiries, please contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 7220

Media note: All nine organisations were selected following a competitive process by the Department of Health and Ageing and National E-Health Transition Authority. All organisations managing these projects will now develop their final plans over the next eight weeks to ensure their work programs clearly meet national objectives before receiving final payments to implement the projects.