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eHealth Forum

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The RACGP Expert Committee on eHealth & Practice Systems hosted the second RACGP eHealth Forum on Thursday 27 October 2016. The eHealth Forum is an opportunity for leaders in the eHealth space, key stakeholders across the primary care sector and government to discuss issues currently affecting the profession and industry.

The eHealth Forum was a dynamic and engaging event held at the RACGP National Office and also streamed exclusively on RACGP.TV for members to view. The interactive online Q&A event and live Twitter feed allowed for all RACGP members to be involved and in the lively discussions.  

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The eHealth Forum was a day of vibrant and topical discussion split into three sessions which each explored different aspects, trials and tribulations of the eHealth landscape in Australia. The Forum was facilitated by Dr Nathan Pinskier, chair of the RACGP Expert Committee on eHealth and Practice Systems.

Session 1 - Farewell Fax Machine

The opening session ‘Farewell Fax Machine’ focused on the challenges of implementing interoperable secure electronic communications in healthcare.

The first presenter was Mr Tim Kelsey, CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency. Tim discussed the Australian Digital Health Agency’s strategy, the need to resolve the communications issue in healthcare for better continuity of care, and for digital advances in healthcare to be patient centred and not technology centred.

Mr Brendon Wickham, eHealth Manager of South Eastern Melbourne PHN followed with a presentation on secure messaging, and the journey to reach the ultimate goal of clinicians being able to communicate better with each other and with their patients.

Session 1 presentations were followed by a Q&A session with the following panellists:  

Mr Tim Kelsey, CEO - Australian Digital Health Agency

Mr Brendon Wickham, eHealth Manager - South Eastern Melbourne PHN

Dr Oliver Frank, Member - RACGP Expert Committee – eHealth & Practice Systems

Mr Matthew Cherian, Managing Director – Global Health Ltd

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Session 2 - Usability – your solution is not necessarily my problem

The second session explored clinical usability principles to create and design systems, and discussed the current challenges facing healthcare IT platform developers.

Mr Dan Szuc, Principal Design Researcher at Apogee, presented, an insightful look at usability, and understanding people, and their contexts to make meaningful work.

Ms Emma Hossack, President of the Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA), followed with a presentation on the vision of the MSIA: enabling a vibrant medical software industry and promoting the value of technology to improve health outcomes.

Q&A Session 2 panellists:

Ms Emma Hossack - President - Medical Software Industry Association

Dr Trina Gregory - Member - RACGP Expert Committee – eHealth & Practice Systems

Dr Monica Trujillo – Executive General Manager, Clinical and Consumer Engagement and Clinical Governance – Australian Digital Health Agency

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Session 3 - The data deluge

The final session of the day became a robust discussion around the inundation of data in general practice, how all of this data is collected and how such a large amount of information can be best utilised.

Dr Penny Browne, Senior Medical Officer at Avant spoke about the pitfalls and problems of big and small data in general practice.

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, RACGP Member, talked about how data is used and reported on, including the current challenges and issues faced when trying to aggregate data for reporting purposes.

Q&A Session 3 panellists:

Dr Penny Browne - Senior Medical Officer - Avant

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal – RACGP Member

Ms Kate Ebrill, General Manager – Clinical Informatics, Terminology and tooling – Australian Digital Health Agency

Mr Paul Macdonald, Manager, System Integration – Gippsland PHN

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The role of the RACGP Expert Committee – eHealth & Practice Systems is to focus on eHealth developments, information management, and issues that impact the future operation of Australian general practice. Technology is forever advancing, so the committee has a flexible, dynamic and responsive approach to the changing eHealth environment in Australia. The eHealth Forum helps inform the work of the committee and allows for the ideas and opinions on eHealth of the wider GP community and RACGP membership to be heard. 

For more information about the eHealth Forum or work of the RACGP Expert Committee - eHealth & Practice Systems, email your enquiry to

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

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