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 New Zealand


E-Health is the rapidly expanding field of health information and communication technology supporting health systems and services. It will allow health care practitioners to act on accurate and up to date health care information when providing care to patients, and lead to improvements in the quality and efficiency of health care delivery. Through the use of telehealth (also known as telemedicine), it will also assist in addressing rural health disadvantage by providing health care services to patients in rural and remote locations.

The main areas of e-health are:

  • e-health records including: unique identifiers; e-referrals; e-discharge summaries; electronic specialist letter;
  • Electronic prescribing;
  • Telehealth;
  • Clinical decision support;
  • Communications - secure messaging;
  • Broadband connectivity; and 
  • Software and hardware, PDAs, smart phones and gadgets.

Further information on e-health & Physicians:

RACP response to the PCEHR Review

In November 2013, the RACP provided a submission to the Government appointed Review Panel for the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR). The RACP consulted with its Australian members and the submission reflects their priorities for any future development of the PCEHR. The submission discusses the physicians’ experiences and engagement with the implementation of the PCEHR to date and makes recommendations that cover three major areas: 

  • The need for greater engagement with physicians in the development and implementation of the PCEHR. 
  • The need for systematic changes to improve the useability of the PCEHR for both physicians and patients. 
  • The benefits of moving to an ‘opt-out’ model of PCEHR participation to maximise patient participation.

 RACP Submission into PCEHR Review

The RACP has separately responded to a request from the Department of Health for a submission on the ‘Advance Care Directive’ in the PCEHR, which can be viewed here.


Articles in RACP News


External organisations and links

ACRRM TeleHealth Advisory Committee

The RACP is a member of the ACRRM TeleHealth Advisory Committee, which is developing of standards and guidelines for telehealth. In furthering the work of the Committee, ACRRM has created an online community for health care practitioners who are interested in the use of TeleHealth to improve access to care for rural, Aboriginal and aged care patients.

Australia: National E-Health Strategy

Quality and safety are the key drivers behind the National E-Health Strategy and its release in 2008 outlined four major strategic streams of activity: foundations, e-health solutions, change and adoption and governance.

Australia: NEHTA

The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has been established by the Australian State and Territory governments to develop better ways of electronically collecting and securely exchanging health information. NEHTA has a number of reference groups comprising a range of stakeholders, including clinician representatives. For further details, visit their website here. Some of NEHTA's key outputs, including the Concept of Operations for the Personally Controlled E-Health Record (PCEHR) can be found on the Department of Health and Ageing's ehealth website.

New Zealand: National Health IT Plan

The National Health IT Plan supports improvements in the quality and delivery of health care services, underpins new models of care, and seeks to deliver better value for money.

Please contact the Policy and Advocacy Unit for further information:

 Primary care doc abs