Digital health workforce roadmap released

Tuesday, 15 September, 2020

Digital health workforce roadmap released

A national digital health skills and training roadmap has been released to help the Australian health workforce use technology and further drive the digital transformation of health services to meet community demand. The adoption of technology is critical for the healthcare system, with the roadmap outlining how the Australian workforce of more than 767,000 registered healthcare providers can be transformed over the next decade.

The development of the National Digital Health Workforce and Education Roadmap acknowledges that people are the health sector’s most valuable asset, and that shaping education and training to meet their needs will support the provision of the best care possible to patients. The government has invested in a range of areas, including workforce training, incentives to providers and support for telehealth, to expand the use of digital health.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of these systems to ensure the provision of quality patient care during an emergency. Between 13 March and 9 September 2020, 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, enabling prescribers and patients to use an electronic prescription, sent by text message or email, as a legal alternative to a paper prescription.

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

“I thank the Australian Digital Health Agency and all of the individuals and organisations who contributed to development of the roadmap,” said the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt.

The roadmap was developed following a summit late last year attended by healthcare educators, professional bodies and employers.

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