Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 28 February, 2011.

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:

The theme this week seems to be the lack of transparency in initiatives in E-Health in Australia. Both NEHTA and DoHA seem quite unable to use the ordinary processes of democracy to facilitate proper discussion and review of what is being planned - before it is just dropped on an unsuspecting public.

Any suggestions as to why this is welcome!


NEHTA exempt from FOI laws

  • Karen Dearne
  • From: Australian IT
  • February 22, 2011 4:32PM

THE National E-Health Transition Authority is impervious to freedom of information requests, according to Australia's new Information Commissioner, John McMillan -- at least for now.

Despite an earlier understanding that the heavily taxpayer-funded body was subject to Freedom of Information laws, Professor McMillan told a Senate estimates hearing that "the Act spells out the agencies which are subject to it, and NEHTA does not fall into that category".

Liberal Senator Sue Boyce asked why NEHTA had been listed as an agency subject to the Act in the latest annual report by FOI Minister Brendan O’Connor.

Professor McMillan said the statement in the annual report was "erroneous".


February 11, 2011 11:08 AM Eastern Time

Tunstall Chosen to Provide Telehealth Solutions for Chronic Disease Management Program in New South Wales, Australia

State-wide program will support over 40,000 people with long-term conditions using remote health management

DONCASTER, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tunstall Healthcare, the leader in telehealthcare solutions, has been selected by the state Government of New South Wales in Australia as one of a panel of suppliers for its Connecting Care program, a new, large-scale initiative for chronic disease management.

The program, coordinated by New South Wales Health (NSW Health), will use telehealth systems to support state residents living with long-term health conditions including diabetes, CHF, coronary artery disease, COPD and hypertension.


Comparing an SLK-based and a name-based data linkage strategy: an investigation into the PIAC linkage

Data linkage series no. 11

In 2005, the Institute was funded to create a linked aged care database to enable analysis of pathways through aged care services. The linkage strategy for the project involved using a Statistical Linkage Key (SLK) because of the lack of either a name or a common person identifier on the data sets being linked. This paper validates the results obtained using the SLK linkage strategy by comparing it directly with a name-based linkage strategy.

Authored by AIHW.

Published 23 February 2011; ISSN 1833-1238; ISBN-13 978-1-74249-124-0; AIHW cat. no. CSI 11; 54pp.; INTERNET ONLY


NEHTA anticipates e-health record clarity

Looming release of draft concept of operations will begin wider discussion over e-health record

The Federal Government’s lead e-health agency is anxiously anticipating clarity around the $467 million personally-controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) program, with hopes the imminent public release of a draft concept of operations will catalyse greater cooperation from the wider industry.

Despite promises from health minister Nicola Roxon to publicly release the document, which has so far only been handed to potential bidders on key tenders, a spokesperson failed to respond to questions of exact dates at time of writing.


NSW's ambulance service diagnoses system virus

NSW's ambulance service has identified the computer virus that forced the shutdown of its system responsible for dispatching and tracking ambulances over a weekend but will not reveal which virus did the damage.

Technicians at the ambulance service discovered the virus while performing scanning tests in database boxes accessed by VisiCAD -- a globally adopted computer dispatch system used by the NSW service for 10 years.

Staff resorted to manual processes on the weekend of February 12-13 until the following Monday at all four ambulance control centres in Sydney, Charlestown, Dubbo and Warilla, after the virus struck.


Industry anger over Therapeutic Goods Administration bid to change processes

THE Therapeutic Goods Administration's proposed overhaul of the medical devices approvals and reporting process has been slammed by industry as costly and unlikely to benefit patient safety.

There has been an angry reaction to the TGA's statement that the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods needed to change because some product sponsors were manipulating the listing process.

"If a sponsor has deliberately used this process to put a (non-approved) device on the market, the TGA has a wide range of powers to deal with offenders without passing on extra regulations and costs," said Geoff Purtill, managing director of home care and mobility provider Invacare Australia in a review submission.


Game plan for outsourcing is changing

GAVIN Larkings will require steady hands as he "retools the factory" -- CSC Australia's catchcry in the new year.

The IT outsourcing giant needs to change the way it operates internally to get a jump on the competition and retain customers such as AMP, Westpac, GE, Woodside, OneSteel, NEHTA, Defence, ATO and Immigration. The old outsourcing model may still resonate with some customers but that pool is fast drying up.

Mr Larkings, CSC Australia president and chief executive, realises the clock is ticking.

"The big change that we see is (IT) outsourcing but not as we know it. What's really driving that change is the consumerisation of IT," Mr Larkings says.

"Traditional outsourcing will still have to be retained for particular clients but emerging technologies and services such as cloud computing are going to move traditional services of IT consulting, systems integration and outsourcing into a different dimension.


Global Health 1H loss widens to $511k

Global Health, (ASX:GLH), a e-health solution provider, said its loss widened to $511k in the first half as a result of the strong Australian dollar

Australian e-health solution provider Global Health (ASX:GLH) has reported a net loss of $511,500 for FY11, as a result of foreign exchange losses.

Revenue grew 1.5 per cent to $2.6 million, with core healthcare license and services revenue increasing 15 per cent to $2.46 million. Ebitda losses meanwhile decreased to $229,000 from $288,000 in 1H09.


iSoft fights to get back in the black

By Suzanne Tindal, on February 25th, 2011

E-health company iSoft has logged a net loss after tax for the half year to 31 December 2010 of $84.1 million, staunching the outflow of cash while it attempts to turn itself around.

For the year to 30 June 2010, the company had reported a staggering $383 million loss, announcing plans to carry out a major restructure, cutting staff and implementing other operational savings.

However, the company has put a positive spin on the results for this half year, pointing to the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (not including restructuring costs or exceptional items) of $9.8 million. This compares to -$8.4 million in the half year to 30 June 2010 and $27.5 million in the half year to 30 December 2009. Restructuring and refinancing costs contributed to a high operating cash outflow for the first half year.


iSOFT swings to $84m loss

0 Links | 0 Comments | Submit link | Report | 19:40, 25th February 2011

By Dylan Bushell-Embling (CFO World)

Health IT company iSOFT (ASX:ISF) swung to an $84.1 million net loss in 1H11, due to restructuring costs and impairment charges.

ISF shares fell 10.29% to $0.061 in Friday's trading following the announcement.

The company, which had made a $4.8 million profit in 1H10, spent the most recent half attempting to restore the financial health of the business.

These efforts generated redundancy, property exit and restructuring and refinancing costs of $15.8 million for the quarter.

Revenue also declined 27% to $161.6 million, due mainly to an anticipated $20 million decline in revenue from the UK's National Programme for IT.


iSOFT takes to the sky with IBM

Tuesday 22nd February 2011

iSOFT Group Limited is to release a cloud edition of its Viaduct integration tool to meet the growing demand for simple, low-cost integration by non-specialists, as a first step to offering other market-leading healthcare solutions under its new cloud strategy.

The world's largest healthcare IT provider outside of the US, iSOFT has signed an agreement to run its Viaduct integration tool on the IBM Smart Business Development & Test on the IBM Cloud.

The move gives non-specialists access to a powerful, yet easy-to-use integration tool on a "try-before-you-buy" basis. The application can be downloaded at no cost for developers to design, build and test interfaces and assess its value fully.


Fibre optics to monitor health of IVF embryos. Scientists collaborate on world first research

TWO of the nation's great scientific minds are collaborating on world-first research that could revolutionise reproductive technology using fibre optics.

South Australian of the Year, physicist Tanya Monro, and gynaecologist Robert Norman, the state's 2009 scientist of the year, have established a reproductive health laboratory at Adelaide University.

Professor Norman said teaming physics and biology could provide a unique insight into in vitro fertilisation by using fibre optics to look at the development of an embryo on a nano scale.


Last rites for health IT system

Kate Hagan

February 21, 2011

HEALTH Department staff fear Victoria's $360 million health technology program is being shut down after being told that no contracts will be renewed for people working on it.

The news delivered to staff late last week follows an admission last month by Health Minister David Davis that he was considering abandoning the HealthSMART program, which is five years late and $35 million over budget.

He described HealthSMART - which is supposed to link computer systems in hospitals and give medical staff immediate access to patient records - as ''the myki of the health system''.


Note Date: And The Optimism Then.

Box Hill Hospital's state first in patient care

A GROUND-breaking new system will give Box Hill Hospital medical staff electronic bedside access to patients’ medical information.

Patient Egidio Mattiuzzo, Eastern Health chief executive Tracy Batten (left) and Veronica Whitter with the new system. N23WH311

Eastern Health is the first in Victoria to implement the HealthSMART Clinicals System, which it says will have a huge impact on the way doctors and nurses perform daily roles.

Program director Veronica Whitter said the system would help clinical decisions, making the process a lot quicker.

She said medical practitioners would have access to all the patients’ details, including pathology results, discharge information, allergies, alerts and appointments. “The key is all information at the right place and the right time,” she said.


MJA Supplement Contents

21 February 2011

Research enabling the e-health revolution

HTML The Australian e-Health Research Centre: enabling the health care information and communication technology revolution

David P Hansen, Phil Gurney, Gary Morgan and Bruce Barraclough — Med J Aust 2011; 194 (4): S5-S7.

HTML Developing a national emergency department data reference set based on SNOMED CT

David P Hansen, Madonna L Kemp, Sandra R Mills, Megan A Mercer, Paul A Frosdick and Michael J Lawley — Med J Aust 2011; 194 (4): S8-S10.

HTML The health lessons of a lifetime: what “wellbeing” means to me

Greg McCallum — Med J Aust 2011; 194 (4): S11.

And about 10 more articles


Federal govt collaborates on web traffic spikes

Updated: Talks surround potential internal government Cloud

The Department of Human Services has voiced support for an internal Cloud based on existing infrastructure shared and virtualised between Federal Government agencies, as a means of dealing with spikes in traffic on major government websites.

According to the department’s deputy secretary of IT infrastructure, John Wadeson, talks with other agency CIOs were ongoing about such an arrangement.

“We’re working away at the back-end... some people are calling it a government Cloud of sorts,” he said. “We are trying to get ahead of the game in massive provisioning of infrastructure.


The NBN must start delivering results to taxpayers

    Kevin Noonan, Ovum

KEVIN Noonan has a simple message for the federal government: if it wants the $36 billion National Broadband Network to succeed -- don't stuff up, and start delivering outcomes for citizens.

Similar advice is aimed at bureaucrats in charge of the $467 million personally controlled e-health records system.

The NBN has many backers, including Google chief internet evangelist Vint Cerf. Its critics, chiefly the opposition, have demanded a cost-benefit analysis on the project's viability.


Deal struck for FOI laws to cover National Broadband Network

  • From: AAP
  • February 24, 2011 10:15AM

THE Gillard government and the Australian Greens have struck a deal to make the national broadband network subject to freedom of information laws.

Labor previously had been opposed to such a move, arguing it would compromise the commercial confidence of the NBN Co, the company building the $36 billion network.

But Greens communications spokesman Scott Ludlam said the deal, struck over a fortnight of negotiations, would respect commercial sensitivity.


LibreOffice the last word in open source software

  • DOUBLECLICK: David Frith
  • From: The Australian
  • February 22, 2011 12:00AM

WHY do so many people and businesses keep buying Microsoft Office at about $200 for home users and $379 for businesses when there are good substitutes that cost zilch, or a only small fee?

It's a question DoubleClick, despite being a pretty dedicated Office user, has often pondered. The main reasons, we guess, are historical and environmental: most of us have used the suite for years, so we keep updating -- and so does pretty well everyone else around us with whom we may need to share files.

Then there's the bells-and-whistles thing. Footnotes, endnotes, indexing, collaboration tools, formulae, image editing, ribbons, macros -- Office has more bells, more whistles, more tricks and turns, than most of us are ever likely to learn or use.


Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is ready for download

Microsoft has released its first Service Pack for the Windows 7 operating system addressing minor OS nips and tucks.

Bug fixes and security patches don't make for the most exciting Windows update, but they're the high points of Windows 7 Service Pack 1, now widely available for download.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is now available from Microsoft's Website for download, or via Windows Update, and by ordering an installation DVD. Windows 7 SP1 takes roughly 30 minutes to install, and you'll have to restart the computer halfway through. System requirements and detailed installation instructions can also be found on Microsoft's Website.




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