Monday, December 20, 2010

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 20 December, 2010.

Here are a few I have come across this week.

Note: Each link is followed by a title and a paragraph or two. For the full article click on the link above title of the article. Note also that full access to some links may require site registration or subscription payment.

General Comment:

Well, we have almost made it to Christmas and 2011 and sadly I really don’t see much progress has been made.

The minority Government is fixated on executing a deeply flawed PCEHR strategy and tele-health while not coming to grips with the basics. I believe this approach is just utterly flawed and doomed.

On a lighter note this will be the last commentary for 2010, so all I can do is wish all readers everything they hope for, for Christmas and 2011.

It has been fun trying to pierce the relentless spin and deception coming from DoHA and NEHTA and I hope I have helped a few readers with the odd useful educational titbit along the way.

My heavens we will soon be in the second decade of the 21st Century! Amazing - we have made it to the teens - maybe we will grow up this decade! I sure hope so!

All the best!

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http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/doctors-ready-for-online-consultations/story-e6frgakx-1225970511129

Doctors ready for online consultations

AUSTRALIANS can expect a rapid rollout of online health consultations when new Medicare tele-health rebates commence next July.

Existing services will be expanded and new videoconferencing facilities built to boost access to doctors and nurses in the bush -- and also ease pressure in cities through innovations such as home care for the elderly, remote monitoring of chronic conditions and routine tele-health check-ups.

And the Gillard government isn't waiting for the National Broadband Network to push the initiative, despite committing a further $4 million for telehealth trials at "first release" sites in NSW this month.

During the election campaign, Julia Gillard committed $250m over four years to fund the Medicare rebates -- removing a huge financial barrier to widespread adoption -- plus $57m for incentives for GP and specialist uptake, and $35m for training.

A Health Department spokeswoman told The Australian that while these measures would be enhanced by the NBN, "they are not totally dependent on it".

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http://www.australiandoctor.com.au/articles/b5/0c06dfb5.asp

Telehealth payments proposed

15-Dec-2010

By Michael East

GENERAL practices could receive lump sum payments to buy software and high-speed internet access to perform online consultations with specialists under the Federal Government’s $402 million telehealth investment

The proposal is outlined in a discussion paper released by the Federal Department of Health and Ageing last week.

Under the scheme to be rolled out from July next year, the government will offer cash incentives for GPs to perform online consultations and establish video link-ups with specialists in their practices.

It will also introduce Medicare rebates for online consultations in rural and remote areas. Training will also be made available for GPs who want to take part in the scheme.

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http://www.zdnet.com.au/govt-wants-firm-to-grade-e-health-roll-out-339308079.htm

Govt wants firm to grade e-health roll-out

By Josh Taylor, ZDNet.com.au on December 17th, 2010

The Department of Health and Ageing has issued a tender calling for a vendor to establish an oversight framework for the implementation of personally-controlled e-health records in Australia.

According to the tender documents, published today, the successful company will develop software and tools to monitor the roll-out of the program. From there, the company will be required to analyse the roll-out and produce five quarterly evaluation reports over the life of the program. The successful tenderer will also be required to evaluate how well e-health test sites have implemented the e-health record infrastructure within their organisations.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the company would be responsible for ensuring the government's $466.7 million investment in e-health realises its full benefits.

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http://www.arnnet.com.au/article/371718/doha_begins_search_ehealth_rollout_partner_/

DoHA begins search for eHealth rollout partner

The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) has released tender documents for the $466.7 million eHealth program rollout

The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) has launched a tender process, searching for a partner to help build and rollout its Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record Program (PCEHR). The Federal Government allocated $466.7 million towards the e-Health initiative in this year’s Budget.

The DoHA stated the partner will develop and deliver the benefits realisation and evaluation aspects of the PCEHR Program, which includes a framework for the whole program, monitoring and measurement capabilities along with deep and thorough analysis, and evaluation of the entire program. This should also include a complementary research capability to provide the Department with relevant data.

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http://www.aeroscout.com/content/news-and-events/press-releases/bendigo-071210/bendigo-health-implements-aeroscout-s-real-tim

Bendigo Health Implements AeroScout’s Real-Time Location System to Improve Patient Flow, Temperature Monitoring and Staff Safety

Australian Hospital is Using Wi-Fi RFID Solutions to Increase Operational Efficiency and Patient Safety and Care

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., December 7, 2010 - AeroScout, the leading provider of Unified Asset Visibility for the healthcare industry, today announced that Bendigo Health, located in Victoria, Australia, has implemented AeroScout’s Real-Time Location System (RTLS) to automate and improve hospital processes. Bendigo has deployed AeroScout’s Patient Flow and Temperature Monitoring solutions and is in the process of rolling out its Staff Safety solution. The solutions are Wi- Fi-based and thus enable Bendigo to utilize its standard wireless network to increase operational efficiency and enhance patient safety and care.

As the largest, multi-service healthcare organization in the region, Bendigo Health is dedicated to providing high quality care to the community. The hospital uses AeroScout’s Patient Flow solution to track the journey of orthopaedic patients through their surgical processes. With more than 10,000 surgical procedures performed at Bendigo Health each year, knowing the location and status of patients is essential to improving patient care and departmental workflow. Upon arrival, orthopaedic patients receive an AeroScout Wi-Fi Tag that provides staff visibility into a patient’s location and movement. This helps ensure that scheduled procedures start on time and that patients are receiving proper care.

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http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/370950/myhospitals_website_could_go_further_qama/?eid=-255&uid=25465

MyHospitals website could go further: QAMA

The Queensland Australian Medical Association says the federal government's new MyHospitals website doesn't go far enough.

  • AAP (AAP)
  • 10 December, 2010 16:17

The Queensland Australian Medical Association says the federal government's new MyHospitals website doesn't go far enough.

The federal government's MyHospitals website, which includes information on 922 public and private hospitals around the country, went live at 11am (AEDT) on Friday.

It gives nationally-consistent performance data for almost 1000 Australian hospitals online for the first time.

QAMA president, Dr Gino Pecoraro, told AAP it would help the public make decisions.

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http://www.smh.com.au/national/website-will-divulge-the-number-of-infections-caught-in-hospitals-20101213-18vhz.html

Website will divulge the number of infections caught in hospitals

Mark Metherell HEALTH CORRESPONDENT

December 14, 2010

THE rate of infections caught by hospital patients will be published on the My Hospitals website as part of the planned release of more sensitive information.

The Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, has told the Herald that the waiting-time information published nationally on the new My Hospitals website last Friday was ''just the beginning''.

''We are working with the states and territories to expand the website to include a wide range of hospital data that we know consumers are after, including safety and quality data such as infection rates,'' Ms Roxon said.

However, she would not say whether the expansion would include details on waiting times for outpatient services such as chemotherapy.

Public hospitals and consumer groups say that while the My Hospitals site is a welcome start, there is much more information realistically available which should be published.

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http://media.crikey.com.au/dm/newsletter/dailymail_2af18cc3384ddc944b8b26d2bfd5b200.html#article_8461

11. MyHospitals site just a baby step, needs help to grow up

Melissa Sweet writes: MYHOSPITALS, NICOLA ROXON

In health policy, it is rare to find an initiative that is universally blessed.

This is partly because health policy is frequently about finding the "least worst option", there being few measures that don’t have some downside, and also reflects the "strife of interests" that so often drown out reasonable intentions.

So it’s not surprising that the new MyHospitals website -- which enables us to compare waiting times for elective surgery and emergency department care at public hospitals and some private hospitals, and to source some other limited information -- has drawn somewhat mixed reviews.

But it would be premature to consider these the final word; as health minister Nicola Roxon’s statement and the website itself make clear, MyHospitals should be seen as work in progress.

In which case, a critical question seems to be, how should the website be evaluated? This is important if it is to be improved and made more useful.

Croakey today publishes suggestions from a range of experts. The consensus is that MyHospitals is but a baby step and needs a lot more work if it is to really make a difference.

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http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2010/12/16/what-should-we-make-of-the-myhospitals-website/

What should we make of the MyHospitals website?

, by Melissa Sweet

In health policy, it is rare to find an initiative that is universally blessed.

This is partly because health policy is frequently about finding the “least worst option”, there being few measures that don’t have some downside. It also reflects the “strife of interests” that so often drown out reasonable intentions.

So it’s not surprising that the new MyHospitals website – which enables us to compare waiting times for elective surgery and emergency department care at public hospitals and some private hospitals, and to source some other limited information – has drawn a somewhat mixed review.

But it would be premature to consider these the final word; as Minister Roxon’s statement and the website itself make clear, MyHospitals should be seen as work in progress.

In which case, a critical question seems to be, how should the website be evaluated? This is important if it is to be improved and made more useful.

Croakey asked a range of contributors for their views on this. (We’ve also asked the AIHW to tell us exactly what they’re planning in this respect, and will post the response if and when they get back to us).

----- Comment - Great Stuff - Lots of Ideas to Consider!

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/a-doctor-in-your-pocket-20101215-18xlf.html

A doctor 'in your pocket'

Dan Nancarrow

December 15, 2010

Finding a doctor will soon become easier for iPhone users with the launch of a new app that will pinpoint the nearest GP.

The free application allows users to pinpoint the location of their nearest AMA-affiliated doctor and, by utilising GPS technology, can direct patients to the clinic.

A web-based version of the application is also available on browsers at www.amafindadoctor.com.au.

AMA Queensland president Gino Pecoraro said with Christmas approaching, many families would be on holidays away from their local doctor.

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http://ama.com.au/node/6277

AMA plan to get the ‘e-health revolution started

AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today that the Government should concentrate its efforts on delivering the most easily achievable aspects of an electronic medical record in order to get Australia’s much-anticipated ‘e-health revolution’ started.

Dr Pesce said that the AMA has long been a supporter of the Government’s e-health agenda but it is time that people started seeing some results.

"The Government should concentrate all its efforts on getting pathology results, diagnostic imaging results, hospital discharge summaries, and medications dispensed information onto an electronic medical record,” Dr Pesce said.

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http://biomedme.com/general/ama-plan-to-get-the-e-health-revolution-started-australia_25356.html

AMA Plan To Get The ‘e-health Revolution Started, Australia

Written By: sara on December 12, 2010 0

AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said that the Government should concentrate its efforts on delivering the most easily achievable aspects of an electronic medical record in order to get Australia’s much-anticipated ‘e-health revolution’ started.

Dr Pesce said that the AMA has long been a supporter of the Government’s e-health agenda but it is time that people started seeing some results.

“The Government should concentrate all its efforts on getting pathology results, diagnostic imaging results, hospital discharge summaries, and medications dispensed information onto an electronic medical record,” Dr Pesce said.

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http://www.nehta.gov.au/media-centre/feature-story/778-iphone

NEHTA develops iPhone application to show patient journey

NEHTA has developed an iPhone application to show how doctors could access a patient’s record easily with eHealth records including X-ray results and allergies, making diagnosis quicker and safer.

The simulation shows a patient journey of a man, Mr Frank Harding, and his wife travelling interstate with interaction with multiple health services as they holiday. (See graphics below)

At a press conference after opening the national Revolutionising Australia’s Health Care conference in Melbourne in November, Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said new technology is driving how healthcare will be delivered in the future in Australia.

“The iPhone app is in the concept stage, but is a good example of how we can harness technology to help health professionals deliver better patient outcomes,” she said.

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http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/city-beat/isoft-sells-ibs-to-britains-capita-group-shares-jump-87pc/story-fn4xq4cj-1225970797844

iSoft sells iBS to Britain's Capita Group, shares jump 8.7pc

STRUGGLING iSoft has sold its financial management solutions arm to British outsourcing company Capita Group.

iSoft Group, now on a long road towards reducing its debt pile of about $240 million, said today it had sold iSoft Business Solutions (iBS) to Capita for £23.2m ($36.95m), after it classified it as non-core in an ongoing strategic review; UBS is assisting in the program.

Australia’s largest health IT company today also revealed it had sold its GP administration software asset, Monet. From the two sales, iSoft said it would use $28.5m to reduce group debt.

For the year to June 30, 2010, iBS generated revenue of £17.7m, and £5.8m in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

“While iBS is a profitable business, its key products, Oracle’s e-business suite and Integra financial accounting solutions, have little overlap with iSoft's proprietary core patient-focused healthcare IT business,” said chief executive Andrea Fiumicelli.

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http://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/64802/iSOFT_Group_Limited_%28ASX:ISF%29_Announces_Sale_Of_Non_Core_Assets_To_Enable_Debt_Reduction_Of_A285_Million.html

iSOFT Group Limited (ASX:ISF) Announces Sale Of Non-Core Assets To Enable Debt Reduction Of A$25 Million

Sydney, Dec 14, 2010 (ABN Newswire) - iSOFT Group Limited (ASX:ISF) today announced the following to the market:

iSOFT has sold iSOFT Business Solutions (iBS), its financial management solutions business to Capita Group plc (LON:CPI) (PINK:CTAGY). The business was classified non-core as part of iSOFT's ongoing strategic review. Together with the proceeds from another smaller asset sale, Monet, a GP administration software, iSOFT has A$28.5 million available to pay fees related to the refinancing and reduce the senior bridge revolver facility in our group debt.

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http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/371261/isoft_sells_off_business_solutions/?eid=-255&uid=25465

iSoft sells off Business Solutions

Struggling e-health provider will use the proceeds to pay down debt

Embattled e-health provider iSoft (ASX:ISF) has begun selling off the farm to pay down its debts.

The company has sold its financial management solutions unit, iSoft Business Solutions (iBS) to Capita Group PLC.

According to an iSoft statement, the iBS unit was classified as a non-core business under its ongoing strategic review.

The company has also sold off is GP administration software business unit, Monet, to an undisclosed buyer.

The two businesses were sold for $28.5 million and will be used to pay fees related to the refinancing and reduction of a “senior bridge revolver” debt facility.

“While iBS is a profitable business, its key products, Oracle’s e-business suite and Integra financial accounting solutions, have little overlap with iSoft’s proprietary core patient-focused healthcare IT business,” chief executive, Andrea Fiumicelli, said in an ASX statement.

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http://www.mtbeurope.info/news/2010/1012030.htm

iSOFT moves into life sciences market

16 Dec 2010

iSOFT Group Limited (ASX:ISF) has moved into the life sciences market with software that extracts and de-identifies clinical data from electronic medical records for clinical research and other secondary uses.

The move follows a co-marketing agreement with US-based CliniWorks for its AccelFind solutions. CliniWorks has developed the technology behind AccelFind, and provides it as a service, to extract medical knowledge from any type of data, including free text notes, discharge summaries or the structured data contained in electronic medical records and laboratory systems.

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New Zealand Watch.

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http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/national-eprescribing-trial-launches

National ePrescribing trial gets underway after delays

With security issues raised by pharmacists addressed, trial will go ahead

After years of debate and dispute between the various parties involved, the new National Health IT Board has launched a national geographic trial for community ePrescribing.

Simpl Group, which had developed an engine for a similar programme in Australia, has won the business. There were five responses to the tender.

Previously, there had been resistance to ePrescribing by the Pharmacy Guild, which was concerned about security. Those concerns have been addressed.

There will be a 12-month trial over four geographic regions that will cost somewhat less than $1 million, says project lead Shane Hunter.
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http://www.zdnet.com.au/nsw-axes-cio-role-rodriguez-leaves-339308087.htm

NSW axes CIO role, Rodriguez leaves

By Renai LeMay, ZDNet.com.au on December 18th, 2010

New South Wales whole of government chief information officer Emmanuel Rodriguez will leave his post on the wings of a wide-ranging restructure within the State Government which will see his office devolved into the Department of Technology, Services and Administration (DSTA) super-agency.

In a statement, the DSTA confirmed the CIO's departure, first reported by the Australian Financial Review online on Friday afternoon.

The department's statement also detailed an associated wide-ranging overhaul of the state's technology governance structure, which had previously been shared between Rodriguez' government Chief Information Office, the DSTA itself, the Executive Council of agency CIOs and even shared services agency ServiceFirst.

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Enjoy!

David.

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