The government of New South Wales has set aside a total of AU$30.2 billion ($22.8 billion) in its 2021-2022 budget for NSW Health, the state's ministry of health.
Among budget items under the Health Cluster, an initiative to unify NSW's present EMR solutions is getting $141 million ($106.3 million) "to enhance care coordination, further digitisation, improve patient experience and increase service sustainability."
WHY IT MATTERS
The initiative refers to the Single Digital Patient Record (SDPR) system project, which envisions a "single, holistic, statewide view of every patient – and for that information to be readily accessible to anyone involved in the patient’s care", according to Dr Zoran Bolevich, chief information officer of NSW Health.
NSW Health said in December that the SDPR will consolidate the geographically fragmented health record systems in the state, including the Patient Administration System (PAS), the Electronic Medical Record (eMR) and the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), into a unified platform.
The single EMR platform will help clinicians get "better informed", while patients will have a "more seamless" care experience. "It will give patients the confidence that regardless of where they live or which service they attend, their information will be available to their treating clinician in its entirety," the statement read.
In addition, the first phase of the SDPR project will also get funding under the AU$2.1 billion Digital Restart Fund, said Minister for Digital Victor Dominello in a separate statement on Tuesday.
THE LARGER TREND
It was in 2019 when eHealth NSW, the digital health arm of NSW Health, first sought from the market a solution to improve the healthcare system's EMR, which is one of the strategies under the state's decade-long digital health plan launched in 2016.
By October last year, eHealth NSW released its Expression of Interest for the SDPR project to shortlist suppliers.
In other regional news, New Zealand has allocated up to NZ$400 million ($289.4 million) to implement its health sector data and digital infrastructure over the next four years, including NZ$385 million ($279 million) for the development and rollout of Hira, its new national health information platform.