NEHTA has made a significant step towards a new era of collaboration with the health informatics industry, with the release of a request for proposals from general practice clinical desktop software suppliers to support Australia’s first ehealth implementation sites.
The move offers a significant carrot to the industry: funding to offset the costs of modifying their software.
The Request for Proposal will establish a panel of vendors to work with NEHTA and the site project teams in Victoria, Queensland and NSW to incorporate new national ehealth specifications and standards into their existing products.
They will play a significant role in the testing and fine-tuning of initial specifications for the PCEHR which are currently being defined by NEHTA in consultation with clinical, consumer and industry representatives.
The collaboration will advance the maturity of the PCEHR specifications and will define ehealth IT standards which are crucial for interoperability between what NEHTA describes as “a myriad” of information systems operating in healthcare.
NEHTA says it will make an initial payment to successful vendors once a software product has successfully passed conformity assessment, with an additional deployment and support payment for each medical practice within the Wave 1 lead sites that successfully takes up the product.
“Payments will be consistent across all successful panelists and will be established through independent moderated negotiation with the key peak bodies and led by Deloitte.,” a NEHTA spokesman announced.
On completion of the moderation process, preferred vendors will be invited to enter into a contract with NEHTA.
A finite set of technical specifications will be available to vendors between December 2010 and March 2011 and panelists will be instrumental in contributing to these. From March 2011 vendors will be required to embed these into their products making allowance for modification in line with experience gathered on the ground at the lead sites.
Vendors can register their interest by emailing: IndustryRFPEnquiries@nehta.gov.au
An industry briefing will be held at The Marriott, 30 Pitt Street, Sydney at 2pm on Wednesday November 24.