Overview of the PCEHR SystemPCEHR-System-Concept

eHealth is an integral part of the Australian Government’s agenda for Health Reform, an agenda that aims to create a continuously improved healthcare system for the 21st century. A system that is accountable, affordable and sustainable, with safety and quality at its centre.

The Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) System is the next step in using eHealth to enhance the healthcare system. The PCEHR System enables the secure sharing of health information between an individual’s healthcare providers, whilst enabling the individual to control who can access their PCEHR.

The Government has invested $466.7 million in the first release of the PCEHR System. The first release delivers the core functionality required to establish a PCEHR System that can grow over time.

The PCEHR System will build on the foundation laid by the introduction of the National Healthcare Identifiers for individuals, healthcare providers and healthcare organisations as well as the National Authentication Service for Health, standard clinical terminologies and methods for communicating health information between healthcare providers such as Discharge Summaries and electronic Referrals.

PCEHR SystemPCEHR-system

The national PCEHR System aims to place the individual at the centre of their own healthcare by enabling access to important health information when and where it is needed by individuals and their healthcare providers.

Individuals will be able to choose whether or not to have a PCEHR, and if they choose to participate, they will be able to set their own access controls. With the individual’s permission, key pieces of health information may be viewed by participating healthcare providers across different locations and healthcare settings.

In order to deliver this vision, the PCEHR System will provide the necessary national infrastructure, standards and specifications to enable secure access to an individual’s health information drawn from multiple sources. Suppliers of eHealth systems will be able to enhance their products and services to become conformant with the relevant standards and specifications and support healthcare organisations in accessing the PCEHR System.


Once registered, individuals will be able to set up a number of ‘access controls’, which moderate access by participating healthcare organisations to their PCEHR.

Healthcare organisations will be able to access the PCEHR System from July 2012. Healthcare organisations that choose to participate will have the opportunity to:

  • Access health information more efficiently: The PCEHR System will provide secure, quick and easy access to a Consolidated View of an individual’s key health information from participating healthcare organisations.
  • Ensure safer healthcare: The PCEHR System will provide access to important information about an individual such as their allergies and adverse reactions as well as their medicines, medical history and immunisations.
  • Deliver more effective healthcare: Easier access to information provides opportunities for improved prevention, early intervention and treatment of chronic and complex diseases as well as improved diagnosis and treatment in emergencies.
  • In order to participate, the healthcare organisation will need a healthcare organisation identifier (HPI-O), agree to be listed on the HI Provider Directory Service (HI PDS), use appropriate authentication mechanisms to access the PCEHR and use software that has been conformance tested to be used with the PCEHR System.


The implementation of the PCEHR System will be based upon a combination of ‘top down’ national initiatives and ‘bottom up’ lead eHealth sites. This allows for tangible eHealth project outcomes on the ground whilst at the same time ensuring a focus on the central actions required to deliver a nationally interoperable system.

While all Australians will have the option of registering for a PCEHR in July 2012, adoption of the PCEHR System capabilities by healthcare providers and their eHealth system suppliers will take time. Beyond July 2012, the government will work with healthcare providers and the ICT industry to build upon the capabilities provided by the PCEHR System and look to incrementally expand the breadth and depth of adoption over time.

The PCEHR Draft Concept of Operations: Relating to the introduction of a personally controlled electronic health record system has now been closed off from public comment and is available publically on the Departments website if you would like to >>>>Read More

The PCEHR Legislation Issues Paper was released in July 2011 and this document identified the legal issues which flow from the Concept of Operations and explores how these issues might be addressed within a legal framework. It has also now been closed off from public comment but is still available on the Department’s website if you would like to >>>>Read More