Information Systems Study - Ehealth

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eHealth Introduction

For the purpose of our report we have chose the Department of Health and Ageing’s eHealth system. This choice differs slightly from the instructions of the assignment as eHealth is not a current information system - i.e. it is still being designed and implemented. The key motivation behind decision was we assumed management would much rather a report on a new and upcoming system than one they would most probably already know about. If we have to write a report to management, they don’t need analysis of their current systems, they should know them – so we have decided to why to provide some analysis on a system currently being implemented.

Choosing eHealth gave us greater scope for the inclusion of our own considerations and analysis, which is most evident in the rich picture and transaction process diagrams that we have created. Conversely, one drawback of this choice was the need for assumption was heightened. We have detailed our assumptions in this report also.

eHealth Background

“e-Health is the electronic management of health information to deliver safer, more efficient, better quality healthcare. The Australian Government is fully committed to e-Health and has allocated $188+ million to help facilitate the transition of paper-based clinical record keeping to electronic means for better information exchange” .

E-health falls within a nation wide movement for change in the health sector. The key drivers for this movement seek to improve the safety, reliability, accessibility and quality of patient information. eHealth is a proposition which seeks to create a standardised electronic health information service for all in the health sector. It will provide a variety of information that is currently stored entirely in folders and paper. E-Health main task is to reduce costs while increasing the speed and accessibility of this information while furthering the security surrounding this sensitive information.

eHealth in the News

eHealth has been an issue firmly fixed in the public eye for a long period of time. Much like Centerlink’s Smart Card project, eHealth has political drivers constantly pushing its implementation. Calls for its implementation span as far back as the early 2000s as evidenced by Health Minister Tony Abbott’s description for its need:

“ electronic health record, communicated electronically among health care providers, would mean safer, better, more convenient and more efficient health care. For doctors and other professionals, it means less repetitive taking of histories; for governments and other funders, it means less duplication of diagnostic tests; for patients, it means more access to their health records and more capacity to manage their own health; for everyone, it means fewer potentially disastrous mistakes because of avoidable ignorance”.

eHealth is still currently entrenched within the public eye. As recent as September 2007 “a strategic workshop discussing the challenge of implementing a rational e-health system in Australia was held in Parliament House, Canberra” . Among other things this workshop provided a forum for dialogue on a recently released discussion paper of ideas central to the establishment of eHealth as an information system. The specific discussion paper was entitled "E-Health and the Transformation of Healthcare" and it discussed the cost to the nation and the individual of continuing with Australia's current disjointed chronic health care system.

The paper contended that “improved knowledge sharing and better care plan management for patients with chronic diseases could generate direct savings to the health care system of $1.5billion per annum. Savings to the community from associated non-healthcare costs are of the same order.”

e-Health Aims

eHealth is an information system that aims to provide a centralised store of health records to support the Australian health sector. Specifically the...
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