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NEHTA to test health ID this year

The National E-Health and Transition Authority (NEHTA) has today released its strategy for 2009 to 2012, listing priorities and timelines to enable e-health, including developing an "office" model for health identifiers by December.
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Written by Suzanne Tindal, News Editor on

The National E-Health and Transition Authority (NEHTA) has today released its strategy for 2009 to 2012, listing priorities and timelines to enable e-health, including developing an "office" model for health identifiers by December.

The strategy was formed considering the National E-Health Strategy written by Deloitte last year and the recent National Health and Hospital Reform Commission recommendations. NEHTA admitted that there had been a gap between what stakeholders expected of it and where the authority was heading. "As the organisation evolves it is important to ensure a foundation exists for 'what' the organisation has been put in place to deliver," it said.

There are four parts to the strategy: "urgently" developing the foundations to enable e-health, coordinating the progress of priority e-health solutions and progresses, accelerating adoption, and leading the progression of e-health in Australia.

The strategy will see an "office model" for the healthcare identifiers released by December this year. An early adopters release will follow in April 2010, followed by a later adopters release in July 2010.

NEHTA CEO said earlier this year that legislation to enable the use of individual health identifiers was unlikely to be passed until next year.

This year, 2009/2010 will also see the first consolidated version of SNOMED CT — the collection of clinical terminology, where there will be 50 large vendors with their products on NEHTA's national product catalogue and specifications for electronic transfer of prescriptions released for implementation in products.

Base data elements for discharge summaries and referrals will come in the 2010/2011 year along with secure messaging specification as well as collaboration projects with Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia. NEHTA will then also develop a national certification function to measure how products fit with its specifications.

In the final year of the strategy, 2011/2012, NEHTA believed that its specifications would be Australian standards embedded in vendor products.

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