Defence signs five-year e-heath records contract with CSC

Undertakes e-health records project

The Australian Department of Defence has has signed a five-year, $56 million information technology contract with CSC to develop and implement an electronic health information system for the Australian Defence Force.

The system, dubbed as Joint eHealth Data and Information (JeHDI), will be one of the first comprehensive e-health records projects in Australia, according to CSC Australia president, Gavin Larkings.

“This project is an important example of a modernised health system optimising the use of e-health technologies to provide the right healthcare at the right time in the right place,” he said in a statement. “JeHDI is a significant project for Defence and we foresee it as a showcase for Australia's e-health evolution."

Defence has contracted CSC to deliver a mature, centralised, Web-accessible, military specific, primary care solution, known as EMIS. The services giant will also work with selected partners to provide application hosting and IT support services, organisational change, communication, training and project management.

Commander Joint Health, Major General Paul Alexander said JeHDI would enable the department to provide high-quality healthcare that supports our members within Australia. In addition to eHealth records for personnel, Defence hopes the system will provide the ability to map health related trends of the Australian Defence Force and create clarity around healthcare costs.

The system is set to be complete in the first half of 2014 and Defence's initial investment is slated at nearly $56 million.

"For JeHDI, CSC assessed the specific requirements of the ADF,” CSC’s general manager of Defence, Russell Hatton, said, adding the EMIS solution operates in both Health and Defence.

CSC has a track record in e-health and has worked in healthcare markets in the UK and US. In Europe, it worked with the Dutch Ministry of Health to create a secure system that lets doctors share medical records without compromising the privacy of patients. The system pulls together records from multiple healthcare providers, but it doesn’t store patient histories and the doctor’s system can’t store the records.

"We have made substantial investments to support the growing eHealth needs of clinicians, consumers and government," CSC's director of Health Services, Lisa Pettigrew, said.

In a separate project, Defence has also signalled intentions to provide all personnel with additional training on technology-related risk.

According to Defence documents, the ICT Security Awareness Training project will help meet requirements to develop a strong security culture and make personnel aware of security threats and their responsibilities.

Follow Georgina Swan on Twitter: @swandives

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