ACT gov sinks another $50m into digital health record

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ACT gov sinks another $50m into digital health record

As it looks to expand the ACT Digital account.

The ACT government will invest $50.8 million in its digital health record to support the platform’s implementation ahead of go-live later this year.

The new funding, revealed in the 2022-23 territory budget, comes as the government also plans to expand the digital account used by 200,0000 Canberrans to access online services.

It builds on the $151 million, including $106 million in capital, provided in the 2018-19 budget for the digital health record that will be used to capture all clinical interactions with patients.

ACT Health has been working to introduce the health record across Canberra’s public hospitals and community health centres since early 2021, having selected Epic to deliver the platform in July 2020.

The platform had been slated for completion in the 2022-23 financial year, but some functionality was brought forward last year to accommodate the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

ACT Health is now aiming for the digital health record to be fully implemented in late 2022, allowing patients to access information and manage their interaction with government health services.

Of the new $50.8 million, around half ($26.1 million) is capital to be spent in the current financial year, with the remaining funding for training frontline staff, as well as “related ongoing expenses”.

ACT Digital

The budget also provides $21.4 million to “continue to strengthen the ACT Digital platform”, which has grown from 100,000 to 200,000 account holders in the space of a year.

“This will include design and scoping work for further online government services, including a new school enrolment system and a new vehicle registration system,” budget documents state.

The modernisation of the rego.act system began last year following a $14.8 million injection in last year’s budget to boost the number of government services available through online channels.

Funding is also to be used to allow Canberrans to prove their eligibility for concessions and notify government of changes in their personal circumstances through the ACT Digital Account.

In order to “maintain the effective operation of key government digital services”, the budget also provides $7.7 million to the digital, data and technology solutions group.

The group, which oversees much of this under the stewardship of chief digital officer Bettina Konti, will also use the funding to “boost the capacity and capability to design and develop investments”.

The government is also planning to consolidate and redevelop its websites, though has not disclosed the exact funding for this project.

Outside of the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate, the government has set aside $16.4 million to deliver a modern digital planning system.

This reform will “support planning and approval processes and improve user experience, facilitate communications and training for users of the ACT’s planning system”, budget documents state.

Other new funding includes:

  • $9.5 million for the ACT Revenue Office to upgrade the IT systems that are critical to revenue collection, including the replacement of the ACT valuation office IT system.
  • $6.9 million to provide laptops to all teachers, casual relief teachers and administration staff at ACT public schools
  • $6.6 million for the ongoing development and implementation of the government’s new HRIMS, building on the $49.6 million injection in the 2019-20 budget.
  • $3 million for the ACT Emergency Services Agency to upgrade critical elements of its ICT network, and identify future requirements for the territory radio network with ACT Policing
  • $2.4 million for Canberra Health Services to undertake the first stage of work on a modern rostering solution
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