Australia's National Digital Health Strategy - Safe, Seamless and Secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia.
Digital information is the bedrock of high quality healthcare. The benefits for patients are significant and compelling: hospital admissions avoided, fewer adverse drug events, reduced duplication of tests, better coordination of care for people with chronic and complex conditions, and better informed treatment decisions. Digital health can help save and improve lives.
The Australian community has been clear about what it expects from healthcare services today and in the future. Australians want a health system which puts people first – giving more choice, control and transparency. They want better access to mobile digital health services for the whole community – not just those who are experienced users of new technology. They want their health information to be confidential and secure, protected from cyber criminals and from any unauthorised access.
Healthcare providers have been equally clear. They want secure digital services that will provide instant access to a patient’s information - especially in an emergency, support earlier diagnosis and better management of disease, and the development of new medicines and treatments. They want technology to reduce their administrative burden so that they can spend more time with patients.
Participants across the health sector are making significant investments in programs to modernise health service delivery so that it is more effective and efficient. State-wide electronic medical record initiatives and local innovations that bring together data and transform decision support have led to a need for agreement on a national set of priorities to guide the diverse players in the health sector towards common goals for better connected digital services.
More than 3100 people attended meetings forums, workshops, webcasts and town halls across Australia, and we received over 1050 submissions. Thank you for sharing your views with us!
The Australian Digital Health Agency was established in 2016 by the governments of Australia to lead the development of the National Digital Health Strategy (the Strategy) and its implementation.
The Strategy is the product of detailed consultation and co-production with patients, consumers and carers – and the healthcare professionals, industry, organisations and innovators who serve them. It draws on evidence of clinical and economic benefit from many sources within Australia and overseas.
The Strategy builds on Australia’s existing leadership in digital healthcare. The Australian Government recently announced that every Australian will automatically have a My Health Record which they control – unless they choose not to have one – because of evidence that such a service can improve clinical outcomes. The Australian Medical Association has described this initiative as the “future of medicine”.