e-health record to help ensure better treatment

A National e-health record promises to ensure patients have access to more expedient and better informed medical treatment, Medicines Australia chief executive Ian Chalmers said today.

Welcoming today’s decision by the Australian Health Ministers’ Conference to move towards establishing a secure national e-health system, Mr Chalmers said patients and healthcare professionals would be the big winners.

“If healthcare professionals understand what treatments a patient has received and what medications have been previously prescribed and dispensed, they will be much better placed to determine quickly the most appropriate treatment option.

“This initiative goes to the core of Quality Use of Medicines.

“An e-health record will help ensure doctors and other health professionals prescribe the right medicine to the right patient at the right time and at the right dose.

“This is a significant step in ensuring medicines are used correctly and avoiding adverse outcomes through the misuse of prescription medicines.”

Mr Chalmers said a national e-health record would also provide an important opportunity to deliver an advantage to Australia’s extensive clinical trial capability.

“There is an opportunity to capture greater value from an e-health record system by ensuring the system also provides remote access to the medical records of trial participants in Australia who have consented to such use of their details.

“Remote access to trial data would remove geographical barriers to participation in clinical trials.

“This would shorten the time taken to complete clinical trials in Australia and would therefore improve Australia’s attractiveness as a destination for global investment in clinical research.

“Medicines Australia has long argued for a national e-health system. I congratulate the Australian Health Ministers’ Conference for taking forward this initiative.

“It is important that all stakeholders have the opportunity to consider this proposal carefully. I look forward to engaging with the Health Ministers during the consultation period.”


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