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Telstra Health calls for central coordination of ICT

Posted 27 March 2015

Telstra Health's Chief Information Officer, Dr David Doolan, has called for the central coordination of health technology and for healthcare providers to invest further in ICT.

Speaking at the VHA Future Perspectives Forum, Dr Doolan said consumers were ready but health services must invest in technology to "catch up".

He pointed out the need for interoperability between health services, for a seamless patient experience, and for ICT to become 'business-as-usual' for clinicians and specialists.

Dr Doolan also discussed the importance of data and analytics in allowing hospitals to track the whole patient journey, particularly for referrals post-discharge.

He said telehealth could reduce waiting lists and eliminate long travel times for specialist care, particularly in remote areas: "Telehealth is a social intervention in small rural communities, especially in Aboriginal communities. Elders and mothers can be treated at home and supported by a known GP and their wider community."

PWC Partner Travis Grant said health ICT was being driven by consumer demand: "The technology is available and accessible; we need the vision. Clinicians, patients and leadership need to come together with the technology for real reform (to occur)."

Research by PWC has found consumers want direct contact with clinicians via digital means and are embracing ICT at rapid rates. Mr Grant said 61 per cent of people with a wearable digital device were using it to monitor their health.

Today's Future Perspective Forum also featured presentations by South West Area Regional Health's Executive Officer, Garry Druitt, and Eastern Health's Executive Director, Corporate Projects and Sustainability, Zoltan Kokai.

ICT and telehealth are policy priorities in the VHA State Budget Submission 2015-16

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