Proof positive of a working HealthConnect environment was presented at the Health Informatics Conference (HIC 2005), and impressed Health Minister Tony Abbott.
Abbott's fictitious medical and accident incident record (after breaking an arm after a cycling accident) was sent from a hospital to the radiology department, back again, and then to a general practitioner. The Xray images from radiology were sent back to his consulting doctor at the hospital, and then later to the GP.
Abbott said it is great exhibitors can make the system work, but the biggest challenge for HealthConnect still lies ahead.
"It is great to see we can make this system work but the challenge is to convert the systems from their instructive models in conference to real, working systems in hospitals, laboratories and medical practices right around the country," Abbott said.
"We are on the threshold of moving from theory to practice but we haven't crossed that threshold and that is the challenge."
The IHE committee (Integrating Healthcare Enterprise) developed and integrated the demonstration system. The IHE includes vendors such as InterSystems, TrakHealth, Kestrel and the Western Sydney hospital radiology department, and took 10 consecutive working days to develop, integrate, trial and go live with the project.