By: Karen Dearne
THE National E-Health Transition Authority has released a strategic plan repositioning itself as an implementation agency with a role well beyond its present funding to 2012."Since its establishment, there has been a misalignment between NEHTA's current direction and the expectations of the various stakeholder groups," the plan says. "As the organisation evolves it is important to ensure a foundation exists for 'what' it has been put in place to deliver."
NEHTA will "co-ordinate and manage the uptake of e-health systems which are of a high priority, interoperable and scalable" nationwide.
Chief executive Peter Fleming said the 2009-2012 plan outlined how NEHTA would fulfil its mission in relation to delivering the National E-Health Strategy adopted by the Council of Australian Governments last December.
"We have considered our future work program based on the (Deloitte) strategy and other important work completed this year, including the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission recommendations," he said.
"As a result we have produced our plan to clearly show our stakeholders the directions we are taking to drive the adoption of e-health."
The four priorities echo program outlines produced by the organisation since its creation as a not-for-profit company owned jointly by all state and federal governments. These are to urgently develop the essential foundations required to enable e-health; coordinate the progression of the priority e-health solutions and processes; accelerate the adoption of e-health, and lead the progression of e-health in Australia.
However, the 46-page document contains little new information, and lacks clear action plans or timelines, with most of the real work scheduled post-2012.
While the Deloitte strategy recommended establishing a fresh, independent, national e-health body to handle investment, implementation and regulatory functions - potentially leveraging NEHTA's assets - NEHTA says it is "in a unique position to drive the e-health agenda" within Australia.
"NEHTA has an overarching sense of the landscape of e-health, both nationally and internationally," it says. "This places us in a strong position to orchestrate key activities and inform key decisions."
In January, Mr Fleming told The Australian a number of large-scale production pilots would start this year but so far there has been no major announcements.