Expected benefits of the national PCEHR system

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Based on economic modelling work undertaken in 2010-2011

Overview of the national PCEHR system

The national PCEHR system will comprise a secure network of systems enabling access to consolidated and summarised health information drawn from multiple sources across the Australian health sector.

Summary of expected benefits

The net direct benefits of the national PCEHR system estimated by Deloitte are expected to be approximately $11.5 billion over the 2010 to 2025 period. This comprises approximately $9.5 billion in net direct benefits to Australian governments and $2.0 billion in net direct benefits to the private sector, where the private sector includes households, GPs, specialists, allied health clinics, private hospitals and private health insurance providers.

Economic modelling was undertaken from the commencement of investment in the PCEHR in 2010 and considered benefits that would be accrued over the 15-year period to 2025. The economic modelling considered both the benefits that accrue from the direct investment in the national PCEHR system as well as the benefits that accrue from investment by the broader health sector that is catalysed by the Commonwealth Government’s investment in the national PCEHR system.

Expected net benefits

Deloitte has categorised the expected benefits and costs of the national PCEHR system as follows:
Table 1 below shows the sum of future net benefits of the national PCEHR system over the 2010-2025 period.

Table 1 – Expected total net benefits of the funded national PCEHR system (2010-2025)

          Benefit
          Expected total net benefits
          (2010-2025) ($M)
          Public benefits
          $13,121
          Public costs
          $3,614
          Net public benefit
          $9,507
          Private benefits
          $7,594
          Private costs
          $5,555
          Net private benefit
          $2,038
          Total community benefits
          $20,715
          Total community costs
          $9,170
          Net community benefits
          $11,545

Benefit contribution to priority health activities

The benefits of the national PCEHR system accrue from two key areas:

Reduced avoidable hospital admissions and GP visits due to more effective medication management

With more complete information about a patient at the time of prescribing — independent of location or time constraints — prescribing errors and adverse drug events (ADEs) in both acute care settings and in the community can be reduced. The national PCEHR system will enable this outcome through giving health providers access to clinical documents that contain concise medication information for a patient, such as Shared Health Summary, Discharge Summary and Event Summary documents.



Improved continuity of care
Reducing the time consumers and care providers spend repeating and sharing information across the health sector will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare delivery. The national PCEHR system will enable this outcome through enabling health providers to contribute patient health information to their PCEHR in the form of PCEHR-conformant clinical documents. Other health providers can then access and view this information for the same patient thereby reducing the need for consumers and the original care provider to repeat the same information. For example, a Shared Health Summary document will summarise the current health status of a patient so that this can be accessed by other health providers involved in their care, such as outpatient clinics and allied health professionals.

Table 2 below shows the benefits for priority health activities which the national PCEHR system is expected to deliver over the 2010-2025 period based on available global research.

Table 2– Benefits of the national PCEHR system for priority health activities

          Priority health activities
          Benefits of national PCEHR system
          (2010-2025) ($M)*
          Reduced avoidable hospital admissions and GP visits due to more effective medication management
          $10,237
          Improved continuity of care
          $1,308
          Total net community benefits (as per figure stated in Table 1)
          $11,545
* The allocation of benefits across the priority health activities is an estimate based on their proportional contribution to overall benefits modelled over the 15-year period to 2025.

Table 3 below provides a break down of the above benefits for the national PCEHR system by care setting.

Table 3– Breakdown of PCEHR benefits by care setting


Priority health activities Care setting Benefits of national PCEHR system (2010-2025) ($M)*
Reduced avoidable hospital admissions and GP visits due to the more effective medication management Community setting $9,228
Aged care setting $603
Acute care setting $405
Subtotal $10,237
Improved continuity of care Community setting $1,254
Acute care setting $55
Subtotal $1,308
Total Total $11,545
* The allocation of benefits across the priority health activities is an estimate based on their proportional contribution to overall benefits modelled over the 15-year period to 2025.

Approach to modelling

The economic impact assessment undertaken by Deloitte focused on identifying the incremental health and economic benefits that could be realised from the implementation of a national PCEHR system as distinct from the benefits of other eHealth investments occurring in the Australian landscape, such as:
To identify the incremental costs and benefits associated with the national PCEHR system as compared with other eHealth investments that would be expected to be made independent of the national PCEHR system, two scenarios were developed:
By comparing the benefits that would be realised for different technologies in the PCEHR scenario with the Base Case scenario the analysis is able to identify the benefits associated with the national PCEHR system.

Base assumptions

In modelling the scenarios for the national PCEHR system, five key assumptions about the operating environment of both scenarios were made:
To calculate the benefits of the national PCEHR system over time, Deloitte made assumptions regarding the take-up of the system among consumers and the health sector. An overview of these assumptions is provided below.

Provider take-up assumptions

With the scope of the change and adoption strategy focused towards eHealth, a nationally uniform rate of technology take-up is not expected. It is expected that there will be a faster rate of adoption and take-up within eHealth Site regions, and a slower rate of take-up in the rest of the country. It has also been assumed that there will be comparatively higher rates of take-up by GPs, hospitals, pharmacies and aged care providers, with lower rates among specialists and allied health providers.

Consumer take-up assumptions

The national PCEHR system will be based on an opt-in participation model. This means that the extent to which benefits are generated as a result of the PCEHR will be dependent on the rate of participation by consumers. The consumer participation rate was based on two key assumptions:

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Page last updated 21 March, 2013