PCEHR Must Integrate Care For Ageing Population

By Sophie Blackshaw
Monday, 24 November, 2014

The National E- Health Translation Authority (NEHTA) has announced that it will offer funding to private hospitals in order to integrate their systems to the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR).

While the news has been welcomed, it is essential that aged service providers are also included, as integration between the acute setting and home/residential aged care brings with it great opportunity for better care and a significant reduction in costs.

Leading Age Services Australia's (LASA) chief executive officer Patrick Reid said: “Peak body for age service providers, Leading Age Services Australia has strongly advocated that age services be recognised, considering age service providers come second only to the state health system in volume. To date, industry integration has not been supported and yet it is crucial to better care and reducing unnecessary costs.”

“The PCEHR can have a very positive impact on the needs of the increasing ageing population. It is a revolution for consumers and health care providers, but still age services are being left behind," Mr Reid said.

“The PCEHR represents a national infrastructure that enables consumers to use primary care, state hospitals and the aged care sector.

“An integrated health system is a good example of public policy but it is being set up for failure by excluding millions of Australians and their health care providers.

“The number of older Australians engaged in commonwealth funded health and aged care demonstrates the urgent need to support our industry; between the Commonwealth’s funded aged care package program, Home and Community Care Program and Veterans Home Care there are approximately 930,000 care recipients. It is expected this number will rise to 2.8 million over the next 30 years.

“LASA has sought an urgent meeting with Minister Dutton and NEHTA CEO Peter Fleming with a view to progressing PCEHR support for age services. As a representative of frontline care workers we understand the positive impacts that PCEHR integration would have, we also understand the environment the government is working within. With a commitment to a co-designed approach I am confident that Minister Dutton and I will share the desire to enhance the care of older Australians and divert unnecessary funding to areas of greater need.”

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