Questions and Answers
If you have a question about the eHealth Network that is not included below, please submit your question online.
How do we join the eHealth Network?
Contact one of the eHealth Network sites and they will provide you with a Membership Form.
Healthcare provider organisations will need to agree to the terms of the eHealth Network as part of the Membership Agreement.
In order to participate in the eHealth Network, healthcare provider organisations will need to register for an HPI-O with Medicare Australia. Organisations that are eligible for an HPI-O need to meet the following requirements:
- provides a healthcare service;
- is a legal entity;
- employs or contracts one or more individual healthcare providers or sole traders who are employed for the purpose of providing a health service.
An HPI-O may be linked to all relevant HPI-I numbers in you organisation. Organisations can apply directly to the HI Service via www.medicareaustralia.gov.au and completing the application form.
How does the eHealth Network benefit providers and their patients?
The eHealth Network supports the transfer of your patient's health information between hospitals, community services and other care team members.
The eHealth Network provides 24 hour access to a summary of a patient’s health information for other care providers, such as afterhours services and emergency departments. Having a patient’s current health summary available to all involved in their care when needed facilitates improved health care for the patient, especially for those with chronic and complex conditions.
The eHealth Network has the capacity to integrate with providers existing clinical software. Once connected, providers can ‘publish’ a summary of a patient’s health status to the eHealth Network including medications, allergies and conditions which then can be shared with others involved in the patient’s care.
Patients are happy and reassured that their health information is available to the people that regularly care for them or in an emergency.
The eHealth Network is designed to improve patient care by:
- reducing errors;
- ensuring a patient’s health information is available to all health care providers 24 hours a day;
- sharing summary information such as: conditions, medications, allergies, and diagnostic results; and
- improving access to patient information across the health sector, regardless of point of care.
What can the eHealth Network be used for?
Users can only use the eHealth Network Data for the following:
- Treatment: provided that the healthcare provider has obtained the Individual's consent to receive medical treatment, an Individual's Health Data may be used for that Individual's treatment, planning, advice or care.
- Health service operations and planning: the Network and Health Data may be used to train and educate professional staff and engage in service planning.
- Network Reports: the Local eHealth Network Manager and eHealth Network Provider may create certain reports and evaluations of the Network as part of their functions. The Member agrees to permit us to generate such reports. The Member agrees to provide such information to us as may be necessary for such evaluation or for any other report required under any Government contract. To the extent any such reports contain any Health Data, such Health Data shall be de-identified.
- Disclosure: the Member may disclosure an Individual's Health Data to that Individual or their Authorised Representative.
- Research: the Network and Health Data may be used for research purposes, provided that the Health Data is de-identified.
The eHealth Network Data may not be used to compare patient volumes, practice patterns or for any other commercial purpose. The Local eHealth Network Manager will not resell the Member's data or store data outside of Australia.
Does the Patient have to consent to have their information on the eHealth Network?
The patient must give consent to have an eHealth Network record, they may nominate a Medical Practice who is the only one who can create a shared health summary.
Patients may choose whether records will be added or not to the eHealth Network record.
It is important that providers ensure that patients are informed about what will happen with information that is being shared and that they are satisfied that they have the patients consent.
Is the eHealth Network Record the Patients complete medical record or history?
That eHealth Network record is a health summary data only and therefore is not an Individual’s full and complete medical record or history.
Health Data obtained through the eHealth Network is not a substitute for providers obtaining whatever information they deem necessary in their professional judgment for the proper treatment of a patient. Providers are responsible for all decisions and actions taken or not taken involving patient care, utilisation management, and quality management for their patients and clients.
What if a healthcare organisation no longer wants to be part of the eHealth Network?
A healthcare organisation can choose to stop being part of the eHealth Network by contacting their local eHealth Network Manager.
This means that the organisation's healthcare providers will no longer have access to the information on the eHealth Network, but we will retain a copy of the patient information they previously supplied on our computer system to meet health record obligations in your State.
What should a Provider do if they suspect a Security Breach?
What type of data can be stored on the eHealth Network?
Health summaries (where applicable), may include: patient demographic information, reason for visit, treating health care provider(s), date of visit, place of visit, allergies, medications, immunisations, diagnoses and procedures.
Discharge summaries (where applicable), including encounter information for each visit, for example, patient demographic information, reason for visit, treating health care provider(s), date of visit, place of visit, allergies, medications, diagnoses, and procedures.
Referrals and consultants reports (where applicable).
Who oversees the eHealth Network?
Who owns the health information created by providers?
What if I want more information?
The Commonwealth Government has provided funding for the development and implementation of the eHealth Network, as part of the National eHealth Strategy. You can find out more information about ehealth initiatives generally at:
- National eHealth Transition Authority - http://www.nehta.gov.au
- Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing ehealth information - http://health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/eHealth
- General information about eHealth and work progress - http://www.ehealthinfo.gov.au
- eHealth and national health reform - http://www.yourhealth.gov.au