HISA welcomed the Government’s Budget announcement this week of a $485million package for national electronic health records which would see the trial of a new opt-out system, a new brand for the PCEHR and a newly formed e-health authority.

HISA CEO Dr Louise Schaper said the digital health community would press for health informatics representation in the future governance structure.

“The proposed changes to PCEHR implementation are going to require more consultation, consumer engagement and smart thinking to make it work. Our members can help with that,” she said.

She said this position had been expressed in the November 2013 joint submission to the PCEHR Review Panel. HISA and the Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA) had recommended extensive integration of health information and informatics professionals into current and future PCEHR and related infrastructure design, build and implementation and, importantly, the health provider infrastructure’s implementation of the PCEHR.

The joint submission also recommended the high prioritisation of the engagement of health and health information professional associations and colleges in the change management process required.

“We need to give healthcare professionals well-designed and well-implemented e-health tools and up skill them in health informatics.”

“Healthcare professionals need to be the ones leading the transition from paper to digital and HISA members are experts in this,” she said. ‘This will mean greater productivity and more effective healthcare delivery.”

Dr Schaper said the strong growth trajectory for HISA this year reflected a sense of urgency around the arrival of digital health in Australian health workplaces.

“For HISA, a key focus is workforce development – working with organisations, public and private, to equip them and to fully prepare for this new era of digital healthcare,” she said.

DOWNLOAD the Review Submission (PDF).