CareConnect

ADHA awards contract to develop Australia’s Health Information Gateway

The Gateway represents the first phase of the modernisation of Australia’s national digital health infrastructure.

The Australian Digital Health Agency has chosen Sydney-based business consulting firm Deloitte to build its Health Information Gateway after a competitive tender process.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

According to ADHA, the single, consolidated Gateway will provide a secure and scalable platform for exchanging and accessing health information, including vaccination records and aged care data. It is based on modern web services and standards for health information exchange (HIE), such as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).

It will enable the agency to deploy and manage additional health information repositories and health data exchanges. Moreover, it will support the integration of health data from multiple sources into clinical information systems.

WHY IT MATTERS

In a media release, ADHA CEO Amanda Cattermole claimed that the gateway will reduce costs and technical and operational complexities for healthcare providers as it features reusable interfaces for developers, requiring “fewer” connections between providers and My Health Record and other digital health products and services.

As it is based on FHIR, the gateway will be able to interoperate with other HIE technologies from the medical software industry and those systems utilised by large healthcare providers, such as state and territory health departments. It will support a range of government authentication mechanisms to allow seamless information sharing across the health ecosystem while maintaining security and controls.

Additionally, the ADHA said all health professionals stand to benefit from the new gateway as it will enable access to “more comprehensive patient information when and where it is needed for the most effective care of patients”. Healthcare consumers are also expected to benefit from access to additional and more detailed health information via their My Health Record.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

Building a new HIE platform represents the first phase of the ADHA’s National Infrastructure Modernisation programme which started last year. “The modernisation of the national digital health infrastructure will provide the framework for future innovation,” Cattermole said in a statement in November.

In that month, the ADHA also commenced a tender process to replace the gateway services for the country’s digital health infrastructure. “This is the first step in the procurement to increase the opportunity to deliver contemporary digital services and enhance connections across the digital landscape,” said Kerri Burden, ADHA’s chief information officer.

The modernisation programme aims to deliver three key outcomes:

  • a secure and sustainable digital infrastructure with improved ability to innovate and expand future capabilities and services nationally​;
  • ensure that digital health needs for all users are further progressed through a modern, future-proofed seamless digital platform​; and
  • ensure that the benefits of digital health technologies and services supported by the national infrastructure are realised for consumers and clinicians, leading to improved health and wellbeing for all Australians.

ON THE RECORD

“A connected healthcare system is at the heart of the National Digital Health Strategy and while our national digital health infrastructure has already delivered significant benefits for Australians, it is now time to modernise and unlock the potential that new technologies offer,” Cattermole said.

“This important gateway services contract will add to Australia’s national digital infrastructure and we are looking forward to making an important contribution to helping the ADHA to deliver contemporary digital services that enhance Australians’ access to health products and services,” Ben Wylie, a partner at Deloitte Consulting, also said.

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