Australian Medicines Terminology Implementation Plan

While the Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT) has been available for implementation for some time (first release December 2007), adoption has been reserved, partly due to the limited drivers for vendors and implementers to adopt AMT, and partly due to a lack of guidance material on how to implement AMT or an articulated long-term roadmap for the development of AMT.

In mid-2011, the eHealth ICT Industry Implementation Group requested the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) develop an implementation plan to increase adoption. This group is chaired by the Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA) and has representatives from the Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA), Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), Australian Association of Practice Managers, Aged Care IT Vendor Association, the Department of Human Services (Medicare) and NEHTA.

This implementation plan is an important step in addressing barriers to adoption. It puts AMT in the context of other activity by vendors and governments to progress eHealth reform. It also sets out NEHTA’s delivery dates for a set of key products to support the increased adoption of AMT. The immediate focus targets implementation by July 2012 and hence this plan is prescriptive about the activities and outputs required to achieve that goal. Outputs that NEHTA has been asked to deliver over the coming months include an implementation guide, reference implementations, a mapping guideline and a governance model.

In order to develop these additional materials, NEHTA has paused monthly releases of AMT until December 2011 so that the people usually involved in producing the monthly releases could be redeployed to produce these items. NEHTA consulted with all AMT license holders in August to determine whether there would be any impact on operational clinical systems, and only decided to pause releases when we confirmed there would not be an impact.

Further to the detailed activities to June 2012, the plan describes at a high level the development of an AMT roadmap, which will capture the prioritised AMT requirements, define the increasing clinical use cases that AMT will support and the benefits to be gained from these future releases of AMT. This future phasing covers the period July 2012 to July 2014. This long term view of the development of AMT does not presuppose any decision by governments to fund NEHTA beyond June 2012.

This implementation plan sets out the actions that we need to take, based on our initial discussions with members of the eHealth ICT Industry Implementation Group, and in particular the MSIA. However, as we consult with a wider group of vendors and implementers, we will refine the actions require to increase uptake, especially beyond July 2012. This implementation plan will be updated periodically to reflect new information about current implementations and other activity required to increase the use, and ultimately the benefits, of AMT.

For further information, view the AMT Plan here.

If you would like further information, please contact us by email: [email protected]