eHealth records get another $8m

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eHealth records get another $8m

The Federal Government will pour a further $8 million into its personally-controlled electronic health records system to allow pathology results to be added to a person’s eHealth record.

In a speech to the Health Informatics conference today, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek revealed the further investment and said the total number of users currently on the system was 520,000.

The figure means around 120,000 people had signed up to the PCEHR in the past few weeks.

The Government set itself a target of 500,000 users on the system by June 30 this year, which it missed. It had 397,745 users at that time. 

A Health spokesperson said the system was receiving thousands of registrations per day.

According to Plibersek, around 5000 GP practices, hospitals and healthcare organisations were currently on board, with more than 16 million healthcare documents added to patient eHealth records. 

The minister today announced a further $8 million investment into the $628 million system to enable pathology results and diagnostic imaging reports to be stored on eHealth records. The inclusion of pathology results was scrapped at the last minute for the roll-out of the PCEHR in 2011.

"This will mean things like a patient’s blood tests and x-ray results will be stored securely online, in one place, and can travel with them wherever they go,” Plibersek said in the speech.

“And it paves the way for the diagnostic images themselves, including x-rays and MRI scans to be stored on a patient’s eHealth record.”

The investment follows an additional $10 million spend to allow advance care plans to be added to the PCEHR. 

eHealth records now store a patients’ medical history summary, prescribed and dispensed medication, allergy information, childhood immunisation records, hospital discharge reports, organ donor status, medicare and PBS claims data, and advanced care planning details, among other things. 

The changes are expected to be implemented next year.

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