Hambleton explains vision for e-health patient information system

Former AMA president Steve Hambleton has seen the future.

It’s a seamless computer system that keeps Australian doctors and hospitals up to date about all their patients’ test results and all the medicines they are taking, in real-time with little effort on their part.

“We will get the ability to minimise unwarranted clinical variations. We will be able to securely share information with and about our patients,” says Dr Hambleton, who has accepted an appointment to replace David Gonski as chair of the ­National E-Health Transition Authority.

The concept is little more than expensive science fiction at present, having cost taxpayers $1 billion with little to show for the money.

But the foundation is there - a system to assign a unique patient number to every Australian, common terminology for medicines and an agreed nomenclature for disease description.