The Federal Health Minister, the Hon Peter Dutton, on 3 November 2013 announced a planned review of Australia’s “struggling” Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) program which has failed to attract enough doctors to participate in the project. Mr Dutton said a year after the introduction of the electronic health records system only a fraction of Australians have established a record and for those who have, only a few hundred doctors have added a Shared Health Summary..

The review will be chaired by Richard Royle, Executive Director of the UnitingCare Health group in Queensland, assisted by Dr Steve Hambleton, president of the Australian Medical Association and Andrew Walduck, Chief Information Officer of Australia Post. 

The Review panel will invite submissions from the public along with key stakeholder groups including peak clinical bodies. The Review will report back to Minister Dutton by mid-December 2013.

Review Terms of Reference

The panel will conduct a Review into the personally controlled electronic health record system dealing with implementation, uptake and including, but not limited to the following:

  • The gaps between the expectations of users and what has been delivered
  • The level of consultation with end users during the development phase
  • The level of use of the PCEHR by health care professions in clinical settings
  • Barriers to increasing usage in clinical settings
  • Key clinician and patient usability issues
  • Work that is still required including new functions that improve the value proposition for clinicians and patients
  • Drivers and incentives to increase usage for both industry and health care professionals
  • The applicability and potential integration of comparable private sector products
  • The future role of the private sector in providing solutions
  • The policy settings required to generate private sector solutions

The Panel will make findings and recommendations to the Minister.