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New governance framework to unify oversight of the design of eHealth NSW’s digital healthcare solutions

A new Clinical Solutions Design Governance Framework is being introduced in the state of New South Wales in Australia to bring together oversight of the design of all of eHealth NSW’s digital healthcare solutions.

eHealth NSW provides statewide leadership on the shape, delivery and management of ICT-led healthcare. It is responsible for setting eHealth strategy, policy and standards, and works with Local Health Districts (LHDs) and Health Agencies to implement statewide core systems and ensure compliance with statewide standards.

The model will ensure for the first time that every group working on the design of digital clinical solutions within eHealth NSW will have consistent governance and support. It will also guarantee that core principles such as Human Centred Design are embedded in all clinical tools.

The framework was developed from a proposal from the Office of the Chief Clinical Information Officer (OCCIO). It has been endorsed by the eHealth Executive Council. The eHealth Executive Council is the peak ICT Committee for NSW Health and is responsible for setting eHealth strategy, advising on eHealth policy and standards, monitoring eHealth performance and ensuring effective eHealth project delivery within a whole of NSW Health context.

This endorsement means the OCCIO can now continue more detailed planning with the support of eHealth NSW’s highest level governance body.

Part of this detailed planning stage includes validating the operational model by consulting with representatives from across NSW Health local health districts, pillars and agencies.

A trial of the model is also underway, with a “prototype” Design Working Group (DWG) being formed to guide the development of an End-of-Life Management solution in core NSW electronic medical records (eMRs) by the eMR Connect Program.

Richard Pannett from eMR Connect said, "The knowledge domains that are a key part of the framework have been very useful for planning the End-of-Life Management DWG. Using the same approach for all DWGs will support consistency and understanding between groups of people with different expertise who are collectively invested in the overall outcome."

eHealth NSW Chief Clinical Information Officer Dr John Lambert said there could be as many as 60 DWGs benefiting from the Framework in the near future.

"This is a significant change in the way we operate, so we will be focusing on the sustainability of implementation as well as speed of implementation," he said.