E-health systems growing necessity
ADOPTION of electronic health records once depended on practice perception of its affordability, but according to NEHTA clinical lead Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, take-up will soon instead hinge on when it becomes unaffordable not to.
Speaking at the recent National Rural Health Conference in Perth, Dr Haikerwal said the floods and cyclones that have ravaged Australia in recent months could act as a spur for any practice that had not yet shifted to a fully electronic system.
“[In cases of natural disasters] people may have to start again or rescue records,” he told MO.
“There will be a realisation there is more continuity if they use electronic systems… It is the lack of a good electronic system in place which is now making life more difficult [for some affected practices].”
Dr Haikerwal said extreme cases such as patients being transferred out of flood areas with a paper record “hastily thrown”