2020 and HealthBook – Aaaaaarrrrggggghhh
Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-04-20
I’m worried! A "Healthbook" (like Facebook, but for health data of individual Australians) is one of the big ideas mentioned in the preliminary 2020 report.
What were they smoking?!?
Personally, I’d veto such an idea until medical datasets within hospitals and government agencies are managed correctly. AccessCard has been put on hold because near universal incompetence in agencies makes it impossible for them to manage such information properly. This "HealthBook" is an order of magnitude more difficult.
In all of the states, and federally under both Howard and Rudd, there has been no demonstration that any politician with any clout has any understanding of information management issues, apart from an ability to give sound bites the public might like, and open chequebooks to the large consulting firms.
Before even thinking about creating a HealthBook (I can see large consultancies drooling at the mouth for a chance to write a sloppy RFI and get the contract), let’s tidy things up.
- Computer logins within hospitals should be for individuals, rather than allowing open slather to results using username=
results, or something similar which is pretty close to universal practice in every major hospital. This means that any system with medical data should meet at least DSD ACSI 33 standards for information classification and protection, including password cycling.
- Get any health-related body totally hooked up with something like COAS (Clinical Observations Access Service from the OMG Healthcare taskforce), HL7, and proper identity management, and preferably the Eclipse Open HealthCare Framework.
- Let DSD and ANAO audit all information management systems before hooking them up.
I’m looking forward to reading deeper into who made these suggestions and what they indicated were the stumbling blocks… if such stumbling blocks were indeed recognized. When we can get even close to implementing the appropriate technology in a network that only connects to health providers and governments, then, and only then, should we think about connecting this to the public.
I wonder how many advocates for HealthBook were opposed to AccessCard and oppose an Australian ID card? If there are any, they are probably in favor of a larger population while banning sex.
And if we can get the infrastructure in place, a HealthBook site will be nearly superfluous, just a small add-on to the system we should have.
Yeah, I’m almost expecting the next page I look at to talk about getting Australia’s role in the world improved by solving the Middle East crisis with the assistance of the Tooth Fairy.
- If you want the lowdown on eHealth, how other countries do it right, and how Australian governments at all levels of all parties haven’t got a clue (except to throw big bucks to large corporations and get NOWHERE), I recommend browsing through the AusHealthIT blog, unless you’re likely to slash your wrists or pull your hair out when you see how hopeless we are.