Sunday, 14 October 2012

NBN and PCEHR: Transforming the world of Healthcare

A letter I've written to my local member, Dr Andrew Leigh, on changes needed to support a coming revolution in Healthcare resulting from the NBN and PCEHR initiatives.

Pharmacies will be yet another Industry that'll experience a Structural Economic Change due to the Internet.

Subject: The implications of Electronic Prescriptions: Medicare need to subsidise Medication Reviews & monitoring by Pharmacists

Dear Dr Leigh,

Would you be able to pass this onto the Health Minister for me?

I've written a piece that I believe addresses a major blind-spot in Healthcare in the Internet Age:

"The Internet Changes Everything: No more Dispensing Community Pharmacies"

The NETA's introduction of the PCEHR will inevitably lead to wholesale electronic prescriptions by GP's in super-clinics, fulfilled by central, automatic dispensaries.

This will destroy the current business model of Pharmacies and remove community access to an increasingly important resource: independent expert review and monitoring of medications.
[I've termed them "Consulting Community Pharmacists".]

We've probably got 10 years lead time, but maybe much less.
Action is needed to prepare for what will be needed and have it available in good time.

We know from the increasingly fast uptake of smartphones (2007) and tablets (2010) that penetration of new on-line services/devices in Australia is both rapid and pervasive. This service (direct delivery prescriptions) will take off like wild-fire around 2014, when Australia Post have their lockers fully rolled out and the GP practice software developers have implemented electronic prescriptions for the PCEHR.

By then, the Federal Govt needs to develop policies to support the new services needed, training/certification/registration procedures and prescribing-rights (multi-level?) for Consulting Pharmacists and Medicare rebates and appropriate service levels for in-home, remote (video) and in-practice-room consultations.

This Government has introduced significant reforms embracing new technologies (NBN, PCEHR) and will derive substantial efficiencies and cost savings from them.

Anticipating and addressing this predictable and inevitable outcome of those reforms would be yet another notable achievement for you all.

steve jenkin

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