Australasia's leading voice in digital health news
Twitter X Logo

Blog: Healius gives way on MyHR uploads as aged care makes progress

8 December 2023
By Kate McDonald
Image: iStockphoto

Healius came to the party this week when it reversed its decision to stop uploading pathology reports to the My Health Record, no doubt under extreme pressure from a very disappointed health minister. But while the struggling company was not forthcoming on reasons why it made the decision, it has quickly become obvious that in addition to financial wrangling, the fact that Healius is carrying the load for private providers also comes into play.

Sonic Healthcare’s Queensland subsidiary Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology was the first private provider to connect to the My Health Record and did a sterling amount of work on it, but SNP has long required that only the results of tests that are requested electronically will be uploaded. And as far as we are aware only SNP out of all of Sonic’s brands are uploading.

Much of this has to do with safety – SNP quite rightly does not want to be manually copying IHIs from a paper referral into its systems – and it will only be resolved when electronic ordering becomes routine and the problem of patient choice of provider is sorted out. The hope is that this will helped immeasurably by a standard for eRequesting that the Australian Digital Health Agency and the Sparked accelerator are working on right now that will allow actual pathology and diagnostic imaging data to be shared with MyHR.

ADHA is also working on a big program of work in aged care, which became apparent when the agency’s Laura Toyne gave an end of year round-up in this week’s Department of Health and Aged Care tech talk. These have proven invaluable in understanding that the department is serious about improving data sharing between the government and the sector, but also provide insight into actual change in the aged care sector in terms of digitisation.

Ms Toyne’s presentation came equipped with a slide outlining the government’s 2023 budget investments in digital health that seems to be doing the rounds this week – one version popped up in a speech by ADHA’s Peter O’Halloran and DoHAC’s Simon Cleverley in London – and which we are sure will appear in the government’s digital health blueprint, news of which has been hugely popular if our click rates are to go by.

In addition to work on registering for My Health Record, putting serious money into clinical information systems and electronic medications management systems, developing standards specific to the aged care sector and improving digital maturity, a hell of a lot is happening. The PHNs are also doing good stuff with telehealth infrastructure and training and digital maturity assessments, and long-term work is being done on understanding the barriers to interoperability between GP systems and those used in aged care.

The new eNRMC-compliant systems will most definitely help that situation, but unfortunately one new hurdle will be the extremely disappointing GP in aged care incentive. The department is dangling this as a carrot to get GPs to sign up their aged care patients to MyMedicare in order to receive it, but it’s a pretty limp vegetable at $300 per year per patient. GPs really aren’t going to get out of bed for that and nor should they.

Pulse+IT is gearing down for the year and next week we’ll be running our infamous digital health year in review series, but this week we saw two developments that we reckon you should look out for in the new year. One was a tender opportunity from Alfred Health that specifies an advice and guidance workflow in the eReferral process – advice and guidance is all the rage in the UK NHS – and the other is the expansion of the Halo Connect interoperability platform to Zedmed’s PMS.

Halo Connect was developed with the assistance of Best Practice Software and it looks to be a seriously good contender for finally solving some of the intractable interoperability problems that have plagued general practice systems since they were first developed. It uses FHIR – natch – and it does so in a secure way that will assure PMS vendors and their customers that the data is safe and can be shared. It may also prove a turning point in getting GP systems off prem and in cloud. Watch out for it next year.

So, 2024 looks pretty good from this vantage point, and that’s our poll question for the week:

Are you confident there will be real progress in digital health in 2024?

Vote here and leave your thoughts below.

We did briefly considered think about polling your thoughts on a commenter on last week’s poll who recommended that Australia abolish Medicare altogether to stop the socialist takeover of medical practice, but we reckon that chicken has long flown the coop, Bronnie.

In that poll, we asked: Do you think the federal government’s digital health investment priorities are on the right track? The majority did but there were plenty who were for the negative: 60 per cent voted yes, 40 per cent said no.

We also asked: If not, what could they be doing better? If yes, where do you see the benefits most? Here’s what you said.

8 comments on “Blog: Healius gives way on MyHR uploads as aged care makes progress”

  1. If the push to FHIR happens within Australia in 2024 it could be a year of transition. After working in FHIR resources for 18 months it has significant potential, but there is still spin from some who claim to be FHIR compliant. It is a new way of thinking and working. An international FHIR marketplace of applications could really start to impact the big end of town. Government’s need to step away from their risk adverse strategies that results in feeding cash into constant consultancies and expensive contracts that never realise their claimed potential, and most don’t end up in court because they haven’t delivered. If these things change in 2024, it will truly be the year of the dragon.

    • Quote: “And as far as we are aware only SNP out of all of Sonic’s brands are uploading.”
      This is incorrect, all Sonic Pathology brands are uploading where eRequesting is used. The difference between SNP and the rest is that SNP runs black lists for Surgeries which wish to not be involved whereas the rest run white lists for those that do.

      • Name - Angus Millar

    Leave a Reply

    Australasia's leading voice in digital health news

    Twitter X

    Copyright © 2024 Pulse+IT Communications Pty Ltd. No content published on this website can be reproduced by any person for any reason without the prior written permission of the publisher. If your organisation is featured in a Pulse+IT article you can purchase the permission to reproduce the article here.
    Website Design by Get Leads AU.

    Australasia’s leading voice in digital health news 

    Keep your finger on the pulse with full access to all articles published on
    Subscribe from only $39