Australia's National Digital Health Strategy

Foreword

Australia's National Digital Health Strategy - Safe, Seamless and Secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia.

Download - Australia's National Digital Health Strategy: Safe, Seamless and Secure

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.

Digital Health Today and the Future Timeline

Download - Digital Health Today and the Future Timeline (A3 Poster)

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.

Launch of the National Digital Health Strategy & Framework for Action

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.

Nurse with patient in hospital foyer

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.

Education and Training Request Form

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!

View the video - What you told 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”.

Laying the foundations for a safe, seamless and secure health system in Australia

Executive Summary

All states and territories have prioritised digital health as key to improving service delivery and health outcomes, as have many healthcare providers. Entrepreneurs and developers across the country are investing in new tools and ways to use data as well as innovative ways to provide health services. The Strategy will leverage existing assets and capabilities to fast-track the realisation of benefits for patients and the community.

Australians are right to be proud of their health services: they are among the best, most accessible and efficient in the world. We do, however, face the challenges of financial constraint and rapidly rising demand for services. It is imperative that we work together to harness the power of technology and foster innovation to support high-quality, sustainable health and care for all, today and into the future.

Flying doctor with young family

Digital information can transform the quality and sustainability of health and care. Used effectively, it can help save lives, improve health and wellbeing and support a sustainable health system that delivers safe, high quality and effective health services for all Australians. The National Digital Health Strategy will benefit Australians by helping to:

  • prevent adverse drug events, reduce medical errors, improve vaccination rates, better coordinate care and better inform treatment decisions;

  • sustain a more efficient health system, through less time searching for patient data, reduction of avoidable hospitalisations, and reduced duplicated pathology tests and x-rays which inconveniences patients and increases the cost of healthcare;

  • improve patient experience by putting the patient at the centre of their healthcare, and keeping people out of hospital;

  • provide greater access to healthcare for people living in rural and remote areas of Australia;

  • protect the national digital health infrastructure and secure the personal health information of Australians.

Read more - Where are we now?

The Australian Digital Health Agency has been established by the governments of Australia with a remit to evolve digital health capability through innovation, collaboration and leadership to facilitate digital health integration in the health system.[1] The Agency has developed the National Digital Health Strategy through extensive consultation with the Australian community and comprehensive analysis of the evidence. The Strategy proposes seven strategic priority outcomes to be achieved by 2022.

Read more - A Strategic Direction for Digital Health in Australia

The Australian Digital Health Agency is supported by