Study Shows Reluctance to Digitize Australian Healthcare System

Australia is celebrated for having an advanced healthcare system supported  by  both  the public and private sector involvement. In fact, as recently as 2011, the country spent  9.3%  of  its GDP on healthcare as Australia’s leaders focus on providing  citizens  with  the  tools  to  support independent aging care and improve  healthcare  services  in  remote  regions.

But according to a new study by Frost & Sullivan, the modernization of healthcare facilities through investment in IT hasn’t yet gone far enough, particularly with regard to winning over the hearts and minds of the masses.

Opportunities to digitize the Australian healthcare system “still lags amongst physicians and consumers due to lack of trust  in information systems,” the report reads.

This apparent lack of trust, Frost & Sullivan finds, stems from the failure of several regional health IT projects in recent years.

“While digitization of health records has made it easier  for  people  to manage their health information, most consumers are anxious about data security,” explains Rhenu Bhuller, Vice President of Healthcare at Frost & Sullivan in the Asia  Pacific market. “Data privacy laws in Australia are expected to be  amended  in  the  next 15 months, but until then patients are concerned about how their medical information is being stored and shared.”

“Legacy  health  IT  systems  in Australia have been largely uncoordinated,” Bhuller adds. “While  the  country  has  put  tremendous  effort  in health IT from both a resource and investment perspective, it is difficult to say that these have been  hugely  successful  due to the lack of integration across regional IT systems,  as  can  be seen from the failure of the HealthSMART project.”

To learn more about the report, click here.

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