ADHA takes 'open-minded' approach to My Health Record clinical information system

The Australian Digital Health Agency is offering software developers financial support and the chance to workshop their plans.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) said it wishes to take an "open-minded" approach in its search for software providers to help further enhance the My Health Record (MHR) functionality in the clinical information systems (CISs) to encourage more private specialists to use the platform.

"One of the challenges in developing specialist-centric My Health Record functionality in CISs is that specialists comprise an extremely diverse user group. Different types of specialists are likely to have different information needs, and follow somewhat different workflows in accessing and sharing patient information. This industry offer has been designed to help meet that challenge," the agency responsible for the My Health Record said.

In its request for tender, the ADHA outlined it would provide financial assistance to software developers to participate in a "collaborative design exercise" with the agency, which would revolve around a "one-on-one kick-off workshop" scheduled for early May.

The workshop will be an opportunity for software providers to submit a planning document containing release cycle timeframes and resource allocation plans, the ADHA said.

It added the document would also need to specify how users are able to view and contribute clinically relevant MHR information, including the ability to query the Healthcare Identifier Service to look up and validate healthcare identifiers; ability to produce content from the MHR system through the medicines, pathology, diagnostic, and prescription and dispense views; and ability to upload specialist letters and e-health prescription records for the MHR system.

Developing the design document will make up phase one of the work. The ADHA said it will offer a total of AU$40,000 in form of scheduled progress payments for each CIS that is subject to the design exercise.

According to ADHA, detailed designed documents that are accepted would form the software development and implementation stage in phase two. Developers have the potential to receive a minimum payment of AU$150,000 for each CIS for deploying enhanced software to 11 private specialist practices in phase two, as well as "activation payments" as it's used by additional private specialists.

"The agency believes that the best way to design functionality that will maximise uptake of the My Health Record by specialists is through a flexible, collaborative process that combines the software developer's knowledge and experience of their product and their users with the Agency's expertise regarding the My Health Record system itself," the ADHA stated.

To participate in the tender, the ADHA said it is seeking applications from organisations that are the developer of a CIS that is installed and being used in at least 50 private specialist practices in Australia as of 25 March or from developers that have CISs active in less than 50 practices but provide a value proposition to substantiate the benefit of them participating; and are not a state or territory health department.

CISs that were, or are in the process of being, enhanced with My Health Record-related functionality as part of any previous industry offers administered by the Agency since 2017, will be ineligible to participate, however. 

Contracts are scheduled to start on May 4 with an end date of 30 June 2022. However, the agency said it may extend contracts by two periods of 12 months duration.


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