Re-platforming the MyHR

A couple of months ago I made a post proposing that the MyHR could be reworked to use the Argonaut interface. This change could open up the MyHR infrastructure so that providers and vendors could collaborate to build innovative local solutions without being bound to national political concerns about what is possible or not.

That caused quite a bit of discussion and media interest (e.g. in Pulse IT). This week I met with Tim Kelsey (CEO, Australian Digital Health Agency) as part of the follow up, and he pointed out an as-yet under-appreciated aspect of the Agency’s work plan for next year.

Quoting from the Budget Measure:

This measure allows the Australian Digital Health Agency to implement plans that will increase efficiency and sustainability and reduce the ongoing operational costs of the system in the longer term through the transition of Department of Human Services’ support functions to the Agency, the re-tender of the national infrastructure operator and delivery of a new, more flexible platform.

I’ve heard lots of discussion about efficiency and sustainability, but it seems that the commentariat haven’t picked up on the significance of ‘a new, more flexible platform’.

The Agency will be conducting community consultation around this subject in the first half of next year. In advance of that, the community of interest in digital health in Australia – which is a pretty wide set of people and institutions – should start thinking about these questions:

  • How should the Agency conduct the consultation to ensure that it gets good, honest open input from the community, without political noise overwhelming the process?
  • What kinds of improvements could be made to the MyHR to make it a more flexible platform that are both politically and financially realistic? (and that align with the digital health strategy, since that’s that the official national strategy)
  • How should the technical specifications that underpin a more flexible system be managed (e.g. what’s the standards process for digital health in Australia)?

Tim will be commenting in public about this subject too – I’ll link to his comment from here once he makes it (maybe later in January)

Note: I have a contract with the Agency, to provide advice around strategic direction with regard to the Secure Messaging project, which overlaps a little with regard to this subject. But in this case, I’m not speaking on behalf of the agency in any official sense.

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