Rural eHealth Program

Rural eHealth Program

The Rural eHealth Program was formed to support implementation of the NSW Ministry of Health’s NSW Rural Health Plan - Towards 2021 (PDF 5.78 MB).

This Plan proposed a multifaceted approach to increasing the digital health capabilities of the six rural local health districts, so that rural health care could be connected and delivered as close to each patient’s local community as possible.

The Rural eHealth Program was run by eHealth NSW in partnership with Murrumbidgee, Southern NSW, Mid North Coast, Northern NSW, Western NSW and Far West NSW Local Health Districts.

The Program was completed in 2018-19 and has implemented secure and reliable ICT infrastructure that delivers ‘anywhere, anytime’ access to patient records. It has given 17,000 rural and remote clinicians in over 150 facilities digital access to patient information. These facilities service a patient population of more than 1.3 million across an area of 650 square kilometres.

By fostering collaboration across entities, the Program was able to overcome the tyranny of distance and affect lasting cultural changes to the delivery of rural health services and improve patients’ experiences.

The challenges and factors of success of the Program are highlighted in a case study - The Collaboration Triumphs over the Tyranny of Distance 2019 – Working as One (PDF 6.19 MB).

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