The Northern Territory Department of Health has unveiled plans to roll out an e-health communications system across the territory in preparation for the implementation of the Federal Government's e-health agenda.
The e-Health Enterprise Integration Hub being implemented by InterSystems and DWS Advanced Business Solutions will build on the territory's existing secure messaging delivery system that was aligned with the standards proposed by the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA). The system will be able to use individual health identifiers, personally controlled e-health records (PCEHR) and the National Authentication Service for Health.
The current health network provides electronic healthcare records to some 40,000 of the territory's 200,000 residents, NT Department of Health CIO Stephen Moo told ZDNet Australia. The network relies on "system to system" interfaces to connect to 105 sites together processing 60,000 transactions over the network each month.
Moo said the new hub would connect some 425 different healthcare providers in the NT and allow them to share data easily and securely between each other with a single point of integration for each application. The roll-out wasn't expected to take all that long to complete, Moo told ZDNet Australia.
"It'll probably be about a three-month project from go to woe. We expect it'll be live by mid-June."
With such a short deadline, the Health Department along with a number of other healthcare providers in the territory have put a proposal to NEHTA to become one of the next lead test sites for the Federal Government's PCEHR program as part of its $466.7 million e-health agenda.
The first sites were located in Melbourne, Brisbane and the Hunter, and Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon has allocated $55 million in funding for the second test sites.
Moo said the department would also seek to connect healthcare providers from interstate, as the territory often sends a number of patients interstate for treatment.
"We are looking to connect up South Australian hospitals as part of this project because we send a lot of patients to South Australian hospitals," he said.
The contract for the implementation is worth $196,749.