In 2011 the Future Arrangements for Governance of NSW Health report recommended a whole of NSW Health approach to digital health. This included:
- Establishment of a new entity, eHealth NSW, to be accountable for eHealth across the NSW health system.
- Creating broader governance processes and structures (inclusive of local health districts and other health entities) to support greater agreement, coordination and collaboration on eHealth across NSW Health.
- Refresh of the eHealth Strategic Plan.
As a result, eHealth NSW was established in 2014 as part of the Health Administration Corporation Act. Its role was designed to provide statewide leadership on the planning, implementation and support of ICT and digital capabilities across NSW’s public health system.
Today, eHealth NSW is responsible for setting digital health strategy, policy and standards, coordination and implementation of statewide programs and projects, and delivery of a wide range of ICT support services to NSW Health organisations.
The eHealth Strategy for NSW Health 2016-2026 sets out the guidance for digital health investment, so NSW Health can harness innovations and meet growing healthcare demands long into the future.
eHealth NSW works within a federated governance framework, which facilitates strong engagement across the health system. This approach balances centralisation – with its focus on standardised systems and applications – with a requirement to innovate and adapt locally in response to the needs of clinicians and patients.
The work of eHealth NSW is overseen by the eHealth Executive Council which is the peak ICT governance committee for NSW Health. eHEC oversees the eHealth strategy, advises on eHealth policy and standards and monitors eHealth performance.
A number of portfolio governance committees report to the eHealth Executive Council, as well as executive-level forums, such as the CIO Executive Leadership Group (consisting of CIOs / ICT directors across NSW Health) and the CXIO Executive Leadership Group (consisting of Chief Clinical Information Officers/equivalent roles across NSW Health).
Under eHealth Executive Council, there are four portfolios - Clinical, Corporate, Infrastructure and Integrated Care & Population Health each with its own governance committee supporting a number of programs and projects. These committees are responsible for the programs within their portfolio, prioritisation and resolution of issues and conflicts across their portfolio.
The role of a steering committee is to ensure the success of a program or project through effective governance, so that it can deliver the outcomes and benefits specified in the business case.
An eHealth NSW steering committee ensures
- Review and approval/rejection of deliverables and key management artefacts.
- Resolution of cost, time, risk, resource, safety and quality, operational impact and scope issues escalated to the Committee.
- Progress against approved business case, plans, budgets and delegations.
- All changes are assessed and approved for impact to time, budget, scope, safety and quality, operational impact, risk and benefits.
- Approve or reject changes, use of contingency and program/project closure.
Other responsibilities for a steering committee include;
Cross-functional leadership and direction
- Provide clear and consistent direction on vision, scope and requirements.
- Review strategy to ensure consistency with Ministry of Health, LHDs and other applicable NSW government directives and strategies.
- Monitor business, strategic issues and initiatives to provide advice to the day-to-day team on those that may present a risk or have impact on the rationale or success of the program/project.
- Ensure provision of resources for planning and delivery.
- Actively and overtly support the program/project and act as an advocate for its outcomes.
- Ensure funding is continuous if the program/project spans financial years.
- Establish specialty streams as required under the leadership of a nominated Committee member, in order to further investigate a particular topic area and report findings to the Committee.
- Recommend any changes that may be required within the program/project.
- Establish how benefits will be defined and measured.
- Review, approve or reject benefits management plans.
- Monitor progress against approved benefits management plans.
- Liaise with benefit owners to support the realisation of benefits.
- Monitor realisation of benefits while the program/project is in flight and report to senior executive and governance bodies as required.
- Make decisions in line with clinical and business objectives and ensure the program/project ultimately delivers the benefits, as outlined in the business case.
The role of a design working group (DWG) is to help eHealth NSW design safe, useful, usable and used digital clinical solutions.
An eHealth NSW DWG ensures
- that design decisions are made by the best possible team of clinicians and other health staff
- the group has the delegated authority to make clinical solution design decisions from the user perspective within a defined scope
- all digital clinical solutions are consistently developed using appropriate, evidence-based human-centred design methods.
DWGs operate within the Clinical Solutions Design Governance (CSDG) framework, which governs the design of all digital clinical solutions built by eHealth NSW.
Each DWG must have a clear senior business owner and include members representing six pre-determined knowledge domains in the design process.
Corporate Governance Attestation Statement
The Chief Executive is responsible for the corporate governance practices of eHealth NSW. This statement sets out the main corporate governance practices in operation within the organisation for the 2021-22 financial year.