Queensland's health department will bundle its strategic and operational IT functions into a new unit called eHealth Queensland.
State health minister Cameron Dick announced this week that the Health Services Information Agency and the Office of the Chief Health Information Officer would be combined into the new "single strong agency" that will operate under the leadership of inaugural chief health information officer Mal Thatcher.
“Having our strategic and operational information technology leadership in one agency will better enable us to achieve our eHealth goals," the minister said in a statement.
“Queensland Health is committed to a fully integrated health system, with a mobile workforce that can access information as quickly and as close to the patient as possible."
It follows in the footsteps in the NSW government, which broke out its IT delivery from corporate services agency HealthShare in 2014 to set up eHealth NSW.
But the new Queensland unit will need to immediately look for a new leader, with Thatcher due to return to his primary role as CIO of private health provider Mater next month, after a year-long secondment to Queensland Health.
Dick said at the outset, eHealth Queensland will cast its focus towards the ongoing rollout of an electronic medical record to the state's public hospitals, as well as the deployment of the state's proprietary PCEHR interface 'The Viewer'.
"We are committed to investing in eHealth initiatives such as our integrated electronic medical record (ieMR) solution," he said.
“It’s already been successfully implemented at Cairns Hospital, Mackay Base Hospital, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Princess Alexandra Hospital and Townsville Hospital".
The ieMR scheme has slipped behind schedule due to configuration delays, attracting a red light on the state's ICT dashboard.