Secure messaging standards to be mandatory in Australia

ADHA has been working with industry and governments over a number of years to achieve interoperable secure messaging across different systems.
By Dean Koh
03:12 AM

State, Territory and Commonwealth Governments in Australia released a joint statement in support of new standards for secure messaging, stating that the standards will be mandatory in future procurement for applicable systems.

The joint statement was shared with industry at a workshop in December 2019 which was jointly organized by the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) and Medical Software Industry Association. The workshop was attended by over 50 representatives from clinical and secure messaging software suppliers, governments and clinical representatives.

The workshop launched the approach to national scaling for a consistent, standards-based approach to secure messaging across Australia, to enable healthcare providers to communicate effectively as part of the National Digital Health Strategy 2018-22.

THE LARGER TREND

ADHA has been working with industry and governments over a number of years to achieve interoperable secure messaging across different systems. Last September, ADHA partnered with 42 organizations to ensure their ability to easily share information when using different secure messaging platforms, HealthcareITNews reported

In the same month, Australia’s My Health Record platform received an upgrade with enhanced clinical workflow capabilities, which will enable healthcare providers to more easily identify and group together relevant tests and results and provide the best possible healthcare.

ON THE RECORD

“Many people across industry, governments and peak associations have been working with us since our first meeting in December 2016 to solve what some were describing as an intractable problem. We’ve had quiet confidence that we could co-produce specifications and standards with industry and professionals, try them out in early implementations, and get to a point where Australia’s customers of these systems would require their use,” said Ms Bettina McMahon, soon to be interim CEO of ADHA (current CEO Tim Kelsey is leaving the organization) and co-chair of the December industry workshop in a statement.

“We’re now at that point – with Governments confirming that future procurements will reference the standards as mandatory requirements.

Once again government, the health sector and the software industry have come together to address a key priority in the National Digital Health Strategy. It is this level of cooperation and shared insights that will let us achieve the benefits of digital health.”