E-health security may cost government $10m

THE government may be forced to subsidise medical software vendors with contributions of up to $10 million a year in order to provide security for electronic patient records.

According to industry experts, there is still no clear value for GPs in the personally controlled e-health records (PCEHR) system.

MediSecure CEO Phillip Shepherd said if GPs didn’t see value in the system, they would be reluctant to pay enough for clinical software to allow vendors to provide ongoing security upgrades and protect patient information.

“You have to create an environment where stakeholders other than the government see the PCEHR as a value proposition,” Mr Shepherd said.

A spokesperson for Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the system was estimated to save “billions of dollars in costs to governments and the private sector” by reducing “medical and prescription errors, and unnecessary tests or scans”.