The National e-Health Transition Authority (NeHTA) is claiming a milestone in the advancement of a national e-health system with the first live implementation of the Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT).
The AMT is a NeHTA-developed set of specifications that standardise the identification, naming, and describing of medicine information.
The standard is needed so that branded and generically equivalent medicines and their components, and standard naming conventions and terminology, are accurately described.
NeHTA claims the use of an AMT also helps reduce errors due to standardised terminology structure, the safer exchange of medicines information using common computer readable codes, and improved decision support.
According to the e-health agency, the debut implementation in a live environment – Box Hill Hospital in east Melbourne – has started generating prescriptions for outpatients and discharge using the AMT, through the HealthSMART Clinical System.
The Clinical System aims to improve patient care through the introduction of information systems, such as ePrescribing and medication management, that support clinical service delivery
NeHTA says the Department of Health Victoria is also using AMT identifiers and descriptions as the basis for search and selection of medication items to create an electronic record and a prescription. This is then used for outpatients.
NeHTA head of solutions development, Paul Williams, said an accessible standard terminology such as AMT was “a major milestone” and an essential part of the transition to a national electronic health system.
July also saw a major milestone in the development of e-health with the Victorian Government stating it was to shortly progress to the third phase in its implementation of NeHTA’s national product catalogue.
As reported by Computerworld Australia the crawl toward a national e-health service took a leap forward in June with the passing of the Healthcare Identifiers Bill 2010 and the Healthcare Identifiers (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2010.
The Senate’s passing of the bills followed four months of debate and a last minute push by the Department of Health and Ageing and the NeHTA to get the bills into law.
Earlier in June, it was announced that just three software vendors had signed a developer agreement to take part in the NeHTA’s software testing environment for the national healthcare identifier service.