$1.6 million boost for patient data sharing technology

The State Government has announced that it will provide $1.6 million in funding for eight Victorian health services to introduce new Electronic Discharge Summaries (“EDSs”).

EDSs include details about a patient’s stay in hospital, their diagnosis, procedures, prognosis, medication and recommended follow-up. EDSs are delivered securely and electronically to patients’ GPs which should prevent errors being transferred in the data and ensure that doctors have the most current information relating to their patients.

In addition, four local health networks and community health services will be chosen to pilot an e-Referral Program which will allow GPs to create a patient referral from their desktop and instantly deliver it electronically to a nominated healthcare provider.

To view the State Government’s media release, click here.


Government should re-consider proposed ePIP model

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (“RACGP”) has again called for the Federal Government to urgently revisit the proposed changes to the Practice Incentive Program (PIP) Digital Health Incentive. The changes would result in mandatory requirements to upload clinical documents to My Health Record.

RACGP criticised the proposal in November 2015 and on 18 April 2016 again noted in correspondence to Health Minister Sussan Ley that the mandatory ePIP requirements to engage in the My Health Record put doctors and their patients at risk and that the government is ill-advised in adopting these measures as a way to promote use of the system.

The RACGP has recommended fixing the usability issues first and adopting a broader strategy to encourage other healthcare providers to use My Health Record, arguing that this will provide better clinical and healthcare benefits.

To view the RACGP media release, click here


Victoria: The first State to legalise medical cannabis 

The Access to Medicinal Cannabis Bill 2015 has passed both Houses of Victorian Parliament.

The Bill provides for the lawful manufacture and supply of medicinal cannabis products within Victoria.

Children with severe epilepsy will be the first to access the drug as early as next year, with fast-tracked funding of $28.5 million provided in the 2016/17 Victorian Budget to support the scheme.

The government will establish an Office of Medicinal Cannabis to oversee the clinical and manufacturing aspects of the framework and to advise medical practitioners and patients.  The government is also undertaking a cultivation trial at a research facility.

Premier Daniel Andrews stated in relation to the Bill, “Never again will families have to make the heart-breaking choice between watching their children suffer and breaking the law”.

To view the Premier’s media release, click here.

To view the Bill, click here.