Chair’s message

Chair's Message - Jim Birch

The Australian Digital Health Agency was established on 30 January 2016 and tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the use of digital health technologies. I am honoured to be the founding Chair of the Agency’s Board, with the privilege of overseeing the way in which the Agency supports and drives this transformation in the delivery of healthcare.

Technology has changed almost every part of our lives. It is already transforming our ability to predict, diagnose and treat disease. But there is much more we can do to realise its full potential for the health of every Australian: giving consumers more control of their health and care, connecting and empowering healthcare providers and promoting Australia’s global leadership in digital health and innovation.

If we are to fulfil the potential of new and emerging digital health technologies to drive greater safety, quality and efficiency in the healthcare system, this important work must be carried out through deep engagement with key stakeholders in the health system. In this past year the Agency has demonstrated, and remains deeply committed to, meaningful consultation across the health system.

This collaborative approach has been evidenced through the extensive ‘Your health. Your say.’ consultation process, showing the Agency’s commitment to openness and transparency, and to listening to the views and perspectives of the many stakeholders of the health system. This process was a major input into the recent publication of the National Digital Health Strategy, a pragmatic strategy that will guide the delivery of Australian digital health initiatives through 2022.

In addition to renewed momentum in digital health and the co-production of the National Digital Health Strategy, the Agency’s achievements include: building a new organisation, co-producing a 2017-18 work plan with jurisdictions, connecting hospitals and health services to the My Health Record whilst driving adoption, successfully improving the user experience of My Health Record and growing the volume of clinical document sharing.

As I look forward to the next year, I am excited to work with a team of people who are passionate about delivering the benefits of digital health to Australia. On behalf of the Board I thank staff for their ongoing commitment and the community for their continued support.

As Chair of the Australian Digital Health Agency I am proud to be associated with work that will have a positive impact on the future health of all Australians. Our first year has been a highly productive one, and I am confident that we are in excellent shape to advance the national digital health agenda, and to show how data and technology can be used to deliver digital health services that are safe, seamless and secure.

Jim Birch
Jim Birch AM

Chair, Australian Digital Health Agency