The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has opened an online consultation for all Australians to have a say on the development of a more modern, digitally connected health system.
The online consultation, part of a nationwide series of discussions used to co-design the National Health Interoperability Roadmap, allows clinicians, healthcare organisations, consumers and the technology sector to converse about standards and priorities required for an interoperable health system.
The roadmap is a key priority of the National Digital Health Strategy, which was approved by all states and territories through the Council of Australian Government (COAG) Health Council in 2017.
The strategy identifies the importance of connected health services and calls for the definition of standards to support interoperability.
“Industry clinical software supports millions of digital transactions daily through public and private health systems. A collaborative consensus on standards will increase the confidence of all users and make a more interconnected health system possible for patients and their healthcare providers,” Medical Software Industry Association CEO Emma Hossack said.
According to the ADHA, interoperability holds the potential to bring patients’ records together from a range of systems and to provide access to information from disparate sources, give consumers and providers greater visibility and enable research and innovation.
“Best use of data and technology is key to sustainable, high quality and person-centred healthcare,” ADHA CEO Tim Kelsey said.
“We’ve made progress since the National Digital Health Strategy was launched in 2018 – including creating a My Health Record for nine out of 10 Australians, and developing standards for secure digital messages to replace letters and fax machines in healthcare.
“We are now developing the plan to move Australia to the next stage of connected care. Improving the interoperability of health and care services so that the right information is available at the right time for the right person is fundamental to improving the outcomes and experience of healthcare.”
[Read more: ADHA rolls out secure messaging initiative to axe the fax | Paving the way for interoperability in Australian healthcare]
In addition to the online consultation, ADHA will be facilitating 50 digital health community conversations nationally in the coming months with members of the healthcare sector, health technology industry and consumer representatives to collaborate on how digital technology can best support the delivery of a person-centred healthcare system.
ADHA is also welcoming written submissions by email or mail.