National Electronic Health Transition Authority

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The National Electronic Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) was established in July 2005 as a collaborative enterprise by the Australian Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to identify and develop the necessary foundations for electronic health (eHealth).[1] NEHTA aims to unlock eHealth system aspects and improve the ways in which information is electronically collected and exchanged.[2]

In 2014 a government review recommended that NEHTA be scrapped.[3]

The 2015–16 Federal Budget announcement My Health Record – A New Direction for Electronic Health Records in Australia provided funding to strengthen eHealth governance arrangements consistent with the Review. This included the transition of relevant activities and resources from the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), and also from the national My Health Record system operation activities managed by the Department of Health, to a new entity called the Australian Digital Health Agency.[4]

Purpose and vision[edit]


To lead the uptake of eHealth systems of national significance and to coordinate the progression and accelerate the adoption of eHealth by delivering urgently needed integration infrastructure and standards for health information.[5]


NEHTA is the leading organisation in supporting the national vision for eHealth in Australia, working openly, constructively and collaboratively with consumers, providers, funders, policy makers and the broader healthcare industry to enable safer, higher quality, accessible, equitable, efficient and sustainable healthcare.[6] To enhance healthcare by enabling access to the right information, for the right person, at the right time and right place.[7]

2011 – 2012 Strategic Plan[edit]

NEHTA continues to develop and progress the national infrastructure and adoption support required for eHealth in Australia, as mandated and funded by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). The Commonwealth Government approved the development of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) system in 2010, and allocated funding to deliver this by July 2012. NEHTA has been contracted as a managing agent on behalf of the Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA) in relation to contracts and agreements for: National Infrastructure Partner/s; National Change and Adoption Partner; Benefits Evaluation Partner; and eHealth Sites.[8]

NEHTA’s five strategic priorities that define their role in adoption and implementation are:

  1. Deliver, operationalise and enhance the essential foundations required.
  2. Coordinate the progression of priority eHealth initiatives.
  3. Manage the delivery of key components of DOHA’s PCEHR Programme.
  4. Accelerate national adoption of eHealth.
  5. Lead the further progression of eHealth in Australia.

Supporting the Australian Health System[edit]

NEHTA aims to develop Health Care in Australia by adopting eHealth systems. Electronic health information (or eHealth) systems’ ability to securely and efficiently exchange data can drastically improve the ways in which clinical and administrative information is communicated between healthcare professionals.[9] In delivering this, NETHA will support the Australian health system by:

  • Improving the quality of healthcare services, by enabling authorized clinicians to access a patient’s integrated healthcare information and history, sourced directly from clinical notes, test results and prescriptions using standardized clinical data formats and terminologies.
  • Streamlining multi-disciplinary care management, enabling seamless handovers of care by ensuring efficient electronic referrals; authorised access to up-to-date clinical opinions and patient healthcare histories via shared patient health records; and fast, secure mechanisms for directly exchanging important notifications between healthcare providers.
  • Improving clinical and administrative efficiency, by standardising certain types of healthcare information to be recorded in eHealth systems; uniquely identifying patients, healthcare providers and medical products; and reforming the purchasing process for medical products.
  • Maintaining high standards of patient privacy and information security.


NEHTA is leading a national approach to eHealth to support private, national, state, and territory reforms by developing a national e-health infrastructure to enable connected health today, and the future. NEHTA turned on the eHealth record system on 1 July 2012. This included laying the foundations and developing eHealth solutions, such as Healthcare Identifiers, the Australian Medicines Terminology, SNOMED CT, and Secure Messaging. Australia is the first country to have assembled such a large scale, integrated piece of national infrastructure.[10]


A critical aspect in electronically coordinating patient care across the healthcare sector is to ensure that healthcare information can be securely accessed and shared amongst healthcare providers, when and where it is required.[11] To ensure the security of patient information NEHTA has created the National eHealth Security and Access Framework.

The National eHealth Security and Access Framework have been developed as a control mechanism to ‘increase certainty that health information is created and accessed in a secure and trustworthy manner’.[12] It aims to ensure:

  • Access to consumer health information is consistently controlled and monitored as it transitions through independent organisations, business processes and systems in the Australian Health Sector.
  • The provenance of all electronic health information is traceable from its creation at a verifiable trusted source through its transition and possible augmentation en route to its destination.


Privacy is a key priority of NEHTA in leading the widespread adoption of eHealth in Australia. Privacy compliance is a fundamental principle for NEHTA, both in terms of meeting legal obligations and community expectations. NEHTA has developed a privacy management framework that aims to ensure that privacy considerations are integrated into the design, management and policies created with eHealth initiatives across NEHTA.[13]

In the media[edit]

17 May 2013[edit]

On 17 May 2013 The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) was successful in an eHealth trial of secure messaging. NEHTA claims that Australian healthcare professionals will soon be able to share clinical information through online messaging. The trial included five healthcare messaging vendors: Argus Connect, Global Health, Healthlink, LRS Health and Medical Objects. The vendors successfully sent and received secure messages from each other, showing the interoperability of the messaging system.[14]

The progress that has been achieved by this Project will mean any medical practitioner – be they a public or private GP, specialist or surgeon – will be able to share information over time through online secure messaging ... We can see that this technology is available, it does work and all healthcare providers will have the ability over time to connect across a wide range of clinical information systems. It will increase electronic clinical information exchange between healthcare professionals, decrease the use of paper based communication and importantly provide more timely and accurate patient health information.[15] - Dr Mukesh Haikerwal (Head of Clinical Leadership and Stakeholder Management.


  1. ^ "National E-Health Transition Authority: About Us". National E-Health Transition Authority. 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
  2. ^ "National E-Health Transition Authority: About Us". National E-Health Transition Authority. 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
  3. ^ "NeHTA set to be scrapped in radical eHealth overhaul".
  4. ^ "About the Agency". Australian Digital Health Agency.
  5. ^ "National E-Health Transition Authority: Strategic Plan (2011-2013)" (PDF). National E-Health Transition Authority. 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  6. ^ "National E-Health Transition Authority: Strategic Plan (2011-2013)" (PDF). National E-Health Transition Authority. 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  7. ^ "National E-Health Transition Authority: Strategic Plan (2011-2013)" (PDF). National E-Health Transition Authority. 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  8. ^ "National E-Health Transition Authority: Strategy". National E-Health Transition Authority. 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  9. ^ "E-Health Foundations". National E-Health Transition Authority. 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
  10. ^ "National Infrastructure". National E-Health Transition Authority. 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-06.
  11. ^ "Security". National E-Health Transition Authority. 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-06.
  12. ^ "National eHealth Security and Access Framework v3.1". National E-Health Transition Authority. 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-06.
  13. ^ "Privacy". National E-Health Transition Authority. 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
  14. ^ "Australian eHealth messaging trial a success". Computer World: The Voice of I.T Management. 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  15. ^ "Australian eHealth a step closer with successful trial of Secure Message Delivery". National E-Health Transition Authority. 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-09.

External links[edit]