Annual Report 2016-17: New momentum for digital health in Australia

The first Annual Report of the Australian Digital Health Agency has been tabled in Parliament – it highlights a new partnership between governments, clinical and consumer leaders, industry and the research community to put real momentum behind bringing the benefits of digital health services to all Australians.

Significant progress has been made in the last year, the report says: Australia has a new National Digital Health Strategy endorsed by all health ministers; My Health Record is on track for national expansion in 2018; and new initiatives to enable secure paperless communications between clinicians have been launched.

Agency Chair Jim Birch AM said that the Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the use of digital health technologies.

“Technology 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,” Mr Birch said.

In its first year the Agency has built a new organisation, connected hospitals and health services to My Health Record, improved the user experience for the 5.3 million registered Australians, and grown the volume of clinical document sharing with 14 million prescription and dispense records now uploaded.

Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said: “The Agency is here to serve the patients and citizens of this country – and would like to thank all our partners in the community – leaders in patient and consumer services, in clinical practice, industry and research, as well as the governments of Australia - for their continuing commitment and collaboration to ensure that everybody has access to the benefits of digitally empowered health services.

“Digital information is the bedrock of high quality healthcare and our shared goal is to ensure that all Australians benefit from the increasing number of digital health services,” Mr Kelsey said.

ENDS

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About the Australian Digital Health Agency
The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia. The Agency was established on 1 July 2016 by the Australian Government as a statutory authority in the form of a corporate Commonwealth entity, and reports to all Australian governments through the COAG Health Council.
www.digitalhealth.gov.au