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Pilot catches bugs in specs

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Australia’s e-health implementation has stalled because of cross-version software incompatibilities, it emerged yesterday.

The agency responsible for the rollout, the National E-Health Transition Authority, made the announcement on January 24, stating that an assessment of the Primary Care desktop software “highlighted some technical incompatibilities across versions”.

The software, part of the introduction of Australia’s personal e-health records, was being piloted at a number of sites in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and the Northern Territory, to give the software a “real world” outing during the implementation.

The problem is reportedly that clinical patient summaries produced by different versions of the software are incompatible.

“NEHTA is acting after internal checks detected issues in the latest release of its specifications in November 2011,” the authority said in a statement.

The authority expects to complete revisions to the specifications by mid-March.

The delay will, however, make it difficult for NEHTA to meet the government’s deadline for the half-billion-dollar project. Australians were intended to have a “personally controlled e-health record” (PCEHR) by July 1 this year. ®

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