eHealth Reference Platform

The eHealth Reference Platform (eHRP) is a clinically-validated technical simulation of digital health functionality. It provides participants and software vendors adopting digital health an ability to demonstrate and consider new capabilities, to test new software and clinical processes, and to conduct training supporting clinically safe work practices. The system went live on the 9 December 2013, initially in support of Primary Health Networks (PHNs) who were undertaking training for healthcare providers such as GPs. Since that time 67 percent of Primary Health Networks (PHNs) have used the system, which is provided at no cost and includes the provision of clinically validated training scenarios and data.

The system supports:

  • Demonstration services
  • Training for healthcare providers based on clinician-developed workflows and sample patient data
  • Testing and Development capabilities.

The digital health "ecosystem" consists of a series of services represented in the model in figure 1. The foundations host the key identity and directory based services upon which everything else depends. Common clinical services are provided by clinical information systems which are available across the sector.

This includes the My Health Record system, the national prescription and dispense view, and the portals and gateways required to access the information. The final layer of this model is the local clinical systems. These range from large scale acute sector systems, and extend into emerging technologies including consumer devices and health related "Apps".

eHealth-ecosystem-Australia-2015

Training and Demonstration Services

This includes a portfolio of specific digital health training and demonstration services. These services would be available via the web and allow a user to connect from anywhere at any time. More comprehensive "train the trainer" type scenarios will continue to be managed through the Help Centre ensuring client demand and expectations are supported.

Product Integration and Validation Services

Where new products are being introduced into the clinical environment, both the Agency and the vendor community must ensure that they are fit for purpose. As well as adherence to specification, vendors must ensure that products interoperate safely and effectively with national infrastructure and the products of other vendors. They must also ensure that products support the care pathway, and are clinically usable and accommodate complex and proven clinical work flows.

Product integration and validation services will provide environments which simulate the My Health Record system, the Healthcare Identifier (HI) Service and other national infrastructure within which vendors can safely ensure interoperability with current and future product releases. These services are not a replacement for formal testing and approval, which are required prior to formal production release, but are designed to assist with the final stages of development and integration with third party components, and to test designs early providing more certainty and guarantees in the respective investments in IT projects supporting digital health adoption.

Concept Development Services

Multidisciplinary teams are often engaged at the early stages of product development, and the ability to quickly visualise and prototype ideas, supports the creation of new concepts, and the refinement of requirements. This has already proven highly useful in planning steps and with clinical engagement into e-medications management areas.

Concept development services will provide support to vendors as they develop new products but will also provide reference material as an illustration of "what good looks like". This additional supporting material further enhances the value the Agency provides supporting software vendors and digital health implementers.

Digital health Integration Toolkits

The digital health integration toolkits are a collection of integration tools and sample code resources available to software vendors and implementers. In addition to making the sample code available to developers, it is used within the eHealth Reference Platform, forming part of the code library for tools and simulators. Access to sample code and the eHealth Reference Platform's online simulator services is supported by suitable right-to-use licenses and terms and conditions regarding the eHealth Reference Platform.

The Integration Toolkit contains libraries for the creation of CDA documents, packaging CDA documents and presenting CDA documents through the use of style sheets as well as connectivity to the Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service, searching for Individual Healthcare Identifiers (I-HIs), Healthcare Provider Identifier–Individual (HPI-Is) and Healthcare Provider Identifier–Organisation (HPI-Os) and to the My Health Record system for uploading and accessing documents.