The McGowan Government has released the WA Health Digital Strategy 2020-2030 – a blueprint for digital transformation for the health system over the next decade.
The Digital Strategy was developed in collaboration with an extensive group of stakeholders, including patients, carers and clinical and corporate Western Australian health system staff.
It provides a phased plan for digital innovation, with the first two years of the Strategy focussing on building technological capability across the health system.
A key priority of the Strategy is to establish the necessary work flow and technical foundations to enable the future implementation of an electronic medical record (EMR).
Early planning is already underway to inform the development of options and preparation for a system-wide EMR solution which will future-proof clinical services and provide a single source of truth for clinical records and data sharing across health services.
Alongside this work, the WA health system is continuing to prioritise investment in rolling-out new clinical and support IT infrastructure and delivery of improved State-wide laboratory and medical imaging systems.
The strategy identifies strategic themes and priority initiatives to digitally enable the health system; these will inform robust planning and business cases to be presented to Government over the life of the Strategy.
These new and innovative technologies, including EMR functionality, will be specifically designed for the WA environment and to meet the needs of a wide range of users, including patients and clinicians.
Continued engagement will also occur with industry and consumer groups.
In April, the State Government released the Sustainable Health Review (SHR) to position the WA Health system for the future.
The Digital Strategy 2020-2030 addresses recommendation 22 of the SHR to invest in a phased 10-year digitalisation plan to improve, promote and protect the health of all Western Australians.
The Strategy and more information can be found at https://health.wa.gov.au/digitalstrategy
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“Health is operating in an era of considerable change and we are committed to using digital technology to provide more agile patient-centred care and to address the future challenges faced by the health system.
“This 10-year strategy will guide and propel technological reform and transform the delivery of health services across Western Australia, putting people at the heart of everything we do.
“Under a digitally enhanced system, health staff will have the ability to work more flexibly and effectively and clinicians will have more time to spend with patients.
“Innovation will also lead to better access to health services, empowered health consumers and improved health outcomes for all Western Australians into the future.
“The Department of Health will continue to work with State Government agencies including Treasury and the Office of Digital Government to prioritise investment in digital transformation and ensure the Strategy’s success.”