ACT begins search for $70m digital health records platform

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ACT begins search for $70m digital health records platform

Gets ready to junk legacy systems.

ACT Health is waiting on the arrival of the territory’s new digital health records platform to begin decommissioning as many of its existing clinical systems as possible.

The agency responsible for the health needs of a 400,000-strong population made the declaration in a market approach this week for a provider to deliver the solution.

The solution, which was funded to the tune of $70 million in this year’s budget, will introduce a single health record for every person engaging with the ACT’s public healthcare system.

A central tenet of the ACT government's plan to deliver a “future-focused” public health system, the digital health record will capture all clinical interactions with patients in one central repository.

This includes core, specialty and ancillary patient information, patient administration and management and “sophisticated” analytics and reporting capabilities.

But this is expected to lead to many existing clinical systems within the territory’s “highly fragmented” IT environment being withdrawn over the next four years.

“Currently the territory’s ICT environment is highly fragmented with more than 250 different systems supporting the delivery and management of health care services,” tender documents state.

“The territory will be seeking to decommission as many existing clinical systems as possible, as soon as possible.

“However, it is recognised that it will be necessary to retain some existing clinical systems particularly in early phases of implementation of the digital health record.”

ACT Health said the e-health record would be introduced using a phased approach, the first of which – to take place over the next two years – will cover the design, build and deployment of the solution to the territory’s three primary hospitals.

This phase will largely cover the core requirements of hospitals, community care and Justice Health facilities, with additional functionality to be introduced during a second three-month phase and a third two-year phase.

“The proposed approach is for ‘big bang’ go-live across all sites for core functions including patient administration functions and all clinical functions where an existing system providing that capability currently is not being interfaced into the digital health record,” tender documents state.

The chosen service provider will be expected to work in a “collaborative relationship with ACT Health to run the e-health record for up to the next 20 years, which will include developing a data migration strategy.

ACT Health said this migration from legacy systems includes 1.2 million PAS Patient Master Index Records, as well as all pathology and imaging results and other information like future outpatient bookings and discharge summaries.

ACT Health also wants the solution to flexible to the future needs of the territory’s healthcare system, asking that the service provider “commit to future development of their product”.

Continued development would be expected to revolve around “future-looking capabilities” such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, augmented reality and virtual reality and precision medicine.

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