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Digital Health and Aged Care

Australia’s health workforce aided by digital health skills and training plan

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 A national digital health skills and training plan, known as the National Digital Health Workforce and Education Roadmap, has just been released by the Government to help the Australian health workforce. 

The Roadmap is a key element of the National Digital Health Strategy. It was developed last year after a summit was attended by healthcare educators, professional bodies and employers.

The intention of the plan was to help the country’s health workforce properly use digital health services in order to meet community demand caused by the pandemic. 

Since the pandemic has highlighted the importance of good healthcare systems, the Roadmap sets out how the Australian health workforce can be transformed over the next decade. 

The development of the National Digital Health Workforce and Education Roadmap is said to not only acknowledge the people as the health sector’s most valuable asset but also shape education and training so as to provide the best care possible to patients. 

Aside from the Roadmap, the Government also invested in other areas to expand the use of digital health. This includes workforce training, incentives to providers, support for telehealth services, My Health Record and electronic prescribing. 

A dramatic expansion of the use of telehealth services has been a key element in the fight against COVID-19. Between 13 March and 9 September, over 29.6 million Medicare-eligible telehealth services were delivered to 10.4 million patients, resulting in $1.52 billion paid in Medicare benefits. 

As part of the COVID-19 National Health Plan, the Australian Government also fast-tracked the start of electronic prescribing. This gives prescribers and patients the option to use an electronic prescription as a legal alternative to a paper prescription. 

The e-prescription contains an electronic token and other instructions which can be shown to or forwarded to the dispensing pharmacist, who will scan the token to reveal the prescribed medicine.

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