The state government of Tasmania has tapped professional services firm KPMG Australia to help develop its digital health strategy; it has set aside A$1.5 million ($1.12 million) for this purpose.

WHY IT MATTERS

In a statement, Tasmanian Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff said KPMG will bring a "broad range of skills" for the development of the island state's digital health strategy. The former will set up a Tasmania-based team to see firsthand the "unique" challenges in implementing digital health there. KPMG's digital health specialists from across Australia will also share best practices being employed nationwide and overseas that Tasmania can learn from.

"More information will be available in coming months as we progress this important project for the future of health information and services in Tasmania," Minister Rockliff said.

The government expects to see the future implementation of digital health services and technologies, such as telehealth and electronic referrals from general practice to specialists.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

Not only is the Tasmanian government investing in digital health – it has also allotted A$52 million ($38.8 million) for in-home and local community delivered services, employment of an additional 280 full-time equivalent staff to support new and boosted services across the state and infrastructure developments at major public hospitals.

These are all part of the second stage implementation of the government's long-term healthcare reform dubbed Our Healthcare Future. It has outlined immediate actions to take such as a telehealth strategy to provide high quality, integrated patient care across Tasmania; a Health ICT Plan to support future investment in the Digital Health Transformation Programme; and the development of a 20-year Tasmanian health infrastructure strategy.

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