So, here we are in March and the world is back at work. Forward planning has been locked into the ‘things we must do’ diary and we’re all praying for fair weather so that by the time we get to Christmas – and that’s only 299 days away – the doing will be done.

And that brings us squarely to a dilemma. Roadblocks (and what a lot of them there are!) some real, some perceived, but all impeding progress.

Today’s lesson is, My Health Record.

Towards the end of January, a call came through from the Assistant Minister for Health’s media adviser. There was an event he thought was right up our alley at one of the metropolitan Aboriginal Health Services where Minister Ken Wyatt would be urging consumers to get connected, initiate a record and begin the journey towards improved integrated health.

The event was to take place at 5.30pm in the Eastern Suburbs.

What message does that send? Come and get connected, if you can get here!

If we shove that to one side, the good news is that the tertiary sector is well on the sharing-the-care path. We know WA Health is on a mission because we have seen the ICT tenders roll out in their millions and in our interview with the retiring SJGHC CEO Dr Michael Stanford (P12) we see that his group is committing $200m to do exactly the same.

What needs to be shouted out in large capitals is WILL THEY BE TALKING TO EACH OTHER?

One would hope so. That’s one advantage of Public Private Partnerships – they can’t be avoided even if you wanted to.

The potential for cost savings in this sector is enormous, just the eradication of duplication alone will save millions.

But where to Primary Care?

The shared care model of Health Care Homes (one of the topics needing serious exploration in 2018) necessitates a common, accessible record. Bridges need to be built to connect the sectors. And yes, that will also necessitate hospitals to write coherent, respectful information on management of the shared patient for their Primary Care colleagues.

Establishing a dialogue between the parties that includes the consumer is the key. No one is asking for War and Peace but if you can text, tweet or titter, you can communicate. The means are literally at our fingertips and it is at the heart of the job, not an optional extra.

ICT is a struggle for some and a way of life for others. In the media industry it is our core business. Providing a platform for others to communicate is what we do here at Medical Forum, so perhaps our sensitivities are geared more highly than most.

This month Medical Forum is launching its new website to make it easier for readers to get connected. It has taken many hours of sweat and toil, but it’s been worth it and it was necessary.

On March 29 our Doctors Drum breakfast will be streamed live for the first time to connect all our readers, especially those beyond the city limits, to the important issues that affect their core business. That also took many hours in the planning but it’s a step we needed to take.

Communicating, and doing it well, is crucial.

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