A national blueprint has been released for public consultation for the development of personally controlled e-health records (PCEHR) for their 1 July 2012 launch.

The draft Concept of Operations document describes how the PCEHR system will work, its benefits, the structure and the important privacy principles. The release is intended to prompt further discussion on its design and input into areas that require further discussion and development.

Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said e-health will help to address the fragmentation of medical records which exist across a vast array of different systems,  both paper and electronic.

“In the 21st century, patients should be able to visit their local GP, their specialist or emergency department and know their health records are available at a click of a button, if they want them to be,” Ms Roxon said.

“Developing a national consistent e-health record is ambitious, but I’m confident that working together with our stakeholders, that we can deliver e-health records for Australians who want them.”

Nine new projects were recently announced that will lead the development e-health records for up to 500,000 Australians before the wider roll out of e-health records from 1 July 2012.

Feedback on the draft Concept of Operations may be submitted at http://yourhealth.gov.au until 31 May 2011.  The document will then be updated to take account of stakeholder opinions.