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Frost & Sullivan: Digitisation of Australia's healthcare system met with widespread apprehension
Date:2/11/2013

alth Record (PHR) program opens doors for private investment in eHealth across the country. The Australian market for Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.1% between 2013 and 2018. On average, healthcare providers spend a little less than 2% of their operating expenditure on IT which is less than the global average spend of 3.6% as quoted by CeBIT, Australia. This is essentially because hospital CIOs find it hard to justify significant budget allocations towards activities not directly impacting healthcare delivery, particularly when returns on investment are below expectations. Hospital spend on IT is expected to rise under the influence of government incentives to drive adoption.

However, the PCEHR has been received with strong apprehension and even criticism on some aspects across the country. Adoption of PCEHR has been dismal essentially due to the complexity of procedures and requirements for both physicians and consumers. So severe is the issue that the Australia Medical Association (AMA) has called for a step-by-step toolkit to help medical practitioners to participate in PCEHR. Even the PIP for eHealth, popularly termed ePIP, has been received with criticism and scanty adoption with only about half of all general practices in Australia applying for or assigned a Healthcare Provider Identifier – Organisation (HPI-O) number, a prerequisite for payment eligibility.

Bhuller says, "Moreover, while digitisation of health records has made it easier for people to manage their health information, most consumers are anxious about data security. Data privacy laws in Australia are expected to be amended in the next 15 months, but until then patients are concerned about how their medical information is being stored and shared".

"Legacy health IT systems in Australia have be
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