Monday, July 02, 2012

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 2nd July, 2012.

Here are a few I have come across the last week or so.
Note: Each link is followed by a title and a few paragraphs. 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

A big week with the ‘soft launch’ of the NEHRS.  Hard to know anything other than the impact will be pretty minimal for at least the next year or two. Of course we now know that the launch was not only soft but that it was a full fledged debacle - with people on the phone waiting up to an hour or battling with complex 12 page forms and explanations that are written for people with an IQ well in excess of 200!


I don't know what these people think they are doing but right now they are killing e-health stone dead with the way they are going about things. It really is astonishing!
Otherwise some interesting stuff about NSW Health and falling terminals at SA Health.
Will be very interesting to see how the rest of the week plays out - and welcome to a new financial and budgetary year!
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E-health patient record system (PCEHR) goes live on Sunday

SOFTWARE developers have two days to conduct testing for the $1 billion personally controlled e-health record system before its go-live on Sunday morning, following the proclamation of regulations.
"To date, all testing of the PCEHR system has been undertaken using test data, which comprises fictitious demographic and healthcare identifier details," an explanatory statement says.
"This proclamation enables real data testing of the system before it goes live on July 1."
Staff at Medicare offices and in call centres are ready to commence registration of any Australian wishing to sign-up for their own e-health record.
"People can register for a PCEHR by calling 1800 723 471 or by attending any service centre offering Medicare services," Human Services general manager Hank Jongen told The Australian.
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Underdone e-health record system set for launch

THE personally controlled e-health record system which has swallowed hundreds of millions of dollars in funding will be launched next Monday with no capacity to register online and only a digital notepad for consumers to enter personal diary notes.
Labor senator Jan McLucas has conceded Australians will only be able to register for an e-health record by phone or in person at a Medicare office after the much-vaunted national system commences on July 1.
"To be frank, we are talking about bringing in a fundamental change to the way we provide health services in this country," she told the Senate before legislation permitting the operation of the PCEHR Bills was passed by both houses last week.
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Leading e-health sites to undergo $52m record transition

THE Gillard government will spend $52 million transitioning work done at three lead sites to the new personally controlled e-health record system over the next six months.
Three former GP divisions (now rebadged as Medicare Locals) -- in Brisbane North, Hunter Valley, NSW and in Melbourne East -- each received $5 million in mid-2010 to implement software supporting the PCEHR system and to trial the use of records by doctors and patients.
But in April, the Senate's Community Affairs committee was told the sites were yet to enrol patients for records trials scheduled to end on Saturday -- in time to be rolled into the PCEHR system when it goes live on Sunday.
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E-health records meet online deadline

By Josh Taylor, ZDNet.com.au on June 26th, 2012
From 1 July, consumers wanting to take part in the government's e-health records scheme will have the ability to register online, despite fears to the contrary.
After more than two years of development and over half a billion dollars worth of investment, the Federal Government will launch its personally-controlled e-health record (PCEHR) system on 1 July. Last month, the government indicated the system would launch with a whimper rather than a bang, as patients will initially only be able to register for the records and add their own information through an online portal.
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Fact and fiction of e-health changes

POLITICIANS have voted to introduce a shared e-health record system, but they have got a very different beast in the Gillard government's personally controlled e-health record, says Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton.
"Listening to the debate in parliament last week, I noticed that many of them don't understand the PCEHR," Dr Hambleton said.
"What they were talking about is a shared health record. This is not a shared health record, it's a personally controlled e-health record that contains a point-in-time health summary which is curated by a nominated health provider.
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Central Government, Government Procurement, Healthcare IT

Australia passes new e-Health law

Australia’s widely-debated personally-controlled e-Health record (PCEHR) system has passed both Houses of Parliament – with e-Health services to become available from 1st July 2012.
This PCEHR legislation clears the way to roll out Australia’s e-Health programme. This programme, and related laws, will operate concurrently with Commonwealth, state and territory privacy laws.
Initially, consumers can register for the e-Health system using a dedicated 1800 number. An on-line registration website is being finalised by the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, enabling citizens to register on-line through a dedicated portal.
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How not to set up e-health

IN the nation's capital you can check an X-ray result on your iPad.
Across the country thousands of patients already have a personally controlled shared e-health record and last year 100,000 doctor's appointments were made using a new online booking system for medicos.
E-health is happening in the private sector but when the federal government's $1 billion Personally Controlled e-Health Record (PCEHR) system is launched tomorrow, it will be an empty vessel. No doctor will be able to use it and no X-rays or pathology results will be attached to it.
Patients will be able to register for an e-health record and type in their emergency contact details, the location of advanced care directives, allergies, and medication, and set up a health diary.
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Accenture bags e-health contract

  • by: Karen Dearne
  • From: Australian IT
  • June 29, 2012 5:54PM
ACCENTURE has won a $47 million contract to operate the national infrastructure for the $1 billion personally controlled e-health record over the next two years, following its expected soft launch on Sunday.
The infrastructure has been built by an Accenture-led consortium at a cost of $90m and is currently being put through its paces ahead of go-live, although its real launch is not expected before August.
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PCEHR stumbles on GP support

The forthcoming July 1 kick off for the PCEHR will be the ‘softest launch in history’ unless the federal government radically changes its approach to the GP community, said AMA president Steve Hambleton.
Speaking with eHealthspace.org, Dr Hambleton said a meeting between GP group leaders and the federal minister for health, Tanya Plibersek earlier this week resulted in the GP groups declaring they were unable to support the PCEHR in its current form.
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Sceptics warn of risks and inadequacies in shared e-health records system

FROM Monday, the first results of a $1 billion, two-year experiment to reinvent a shared electronic health record for Australians will start to play out.
Makeshift arrangements for online registration may be in place but it's doubtful consumers will be able to do anything other than jot a few personal notes in an online diary not visible to doctors.
That won't matter initially, as this week leading doctors' groups told Health Minister Tanya Plibersek that they shared the vision but "could not support the Personally Controlled e-Health Record implementation in its current form".
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NSW unveils $1.5 billion ehealth strategy

New South Wales Health Minister Jillian Skinner has announced her department will spend more than $1.5 billion on information technology over the coming decade and will establish a new body, eHealth NSW, charged with oversight of the key ICT investments.
Speaking at the FutureGov Forum NSW, the minister declared: “Our ambitious ICT portfolio has placed NSW Health at the forefront of building and driving the nation’s eHealth agenda.”
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Hospital TV falls on patient, sparks state-wide investigation

  • By Jordanna Schriever
  • AdelaideNow
  • June 29, 2012 3:07PM
  • The 17-inch monitors dislodged from mountings
  • Patient injured when monitor fell on leg
  • Investigation will take several days

ALL bedside entertainment consoles recently installed across 12 South Australian hospitals are being disabled after four recent incidents - including one in which the monitor fell on a patient.
An urgent investigation is being held to ascertain why the 17-inch monitors - which act as telephones, computers and televisions - became dislodged from their mountings at Port Augusta Hospital, the Lyell McEwin Hospital and the Women's and Children's Hospital.
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TGA sets up searchable side effect database

26 June, 2012 Michael Woodhead
The TGA is setting up a  publicly accessible database of adverse event reports for medicines and vaccines used in Australia.
The database will collate notifications of adverse events from doctors and other sources and will allow users to see how many adverse events have been reported for a particular drug or vaccine over a specific period.
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Pharmacists to use iPhone ECGs to screen for AF

27 June, 2012 Michael Woodhead
Pharmacists are to screen customers for undiagnosed atrial fibrillation using an iPhone ECG app and refer them on to their GPs for stroke thromboprophylaxis.
A feasibility study is being launched in which 10 community pharmacists will be trained to perform a pulse palpation on customers and record the result, then assess cardiac rhythm using an iPhone-based single-lead ECG device.
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Add Pathology Report Attachments to NEHTA Clinical Documents

Posted on June 28, 2012 by Grahame Grieve
In previous posts, I’ve shown how to represent a pathology report in a NEHTA Clinical document, and how to convert the PIT format and the TX format into the CDA narrative format. I pretty much left it as an exercise for the reader to represent the pathology report as an attachment. This post explains how to do that.
Firstly, the Pathology report structure in a CDA document includes the logical field “Pathology Test Result > Test Result Representation” (defined in the SCS/SDT, which is the logical structure of the documents). The definition of this is:
“Rich text representation of the entire result as issued by the diagnostic service. Multiple formats are allowed but they must be semantically equivalent”
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Nursing homes see benefits in e-health

29 June, 2012 Michael Woodhead
Electronic health record systems are perceived as having substantial benefits for residential aged care homes by staff, residents and the aged care organisations, a study  has found. 
In a survey of nine nursing homes in NSW, Queensland and the ACT, staff said records would reduce their work burden by giving them easier access to data and providing a more holistic view of residents under their care.
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Health check response shows ‘stick’ didn’t work

25th Jun 2012
THE federal government’s scrapping of GP incentives for child vaccination faces fresh criticism, after the government admitted a similar “stick” introduced for child health checks resulted in almost half of eligible families potentially being penalised because they failed to respond.
The government in its 2012–13 budget said it would ditch the GP Immunisation Incentive Scheme and would instead attempt to maintain high vaccination rates – around 90% nationally – by threatening to withhold the Family Tax Benefit A supplement from families who failed to have their children immunised.
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Telstra signs $474 million contract with Human Services

Five-year deal part of Telstra strategy to grow network application and services business.
Telstra has won a five-year, $474 million contract from the Department of Human Services to build and manage a unified communications network, according to the telco. The network will connect all of the Department and its master programs, it said.
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Newman government scraps $47.3m IT project

The Queensland government will scrap a $47.3 million IT project it argues should never have been approved.
THE Identity, Directory and Email Services (IDES) program was not value for money, and needed a further investment of $25 million over the next three years to be viable, Information Technology Minister Ros Bates says.
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No physical benefit from 'exergames': study

Randall Stross
June 25, 2012 - 12:01AM
Getting our sedentary, overweight children off the couch is a challenge. That's why the Nintendo Wii game console, which arrived in the United States six years ago, was such an exciting prospect. It offered the chance for children to get exercise without even leaving the house.
Tennis was one of the games in the Wii Sports software that came right in the box with the console. This was the progenitor of "exergames", video games that led to hopes that fitness could turn into irresistible fun.
But exergames turn out to be much digital ado about nothing, at least as far as measurable health benefits for children. "Active" video games distributed to homes with children do not produce the increase in physical activity that naive parents (like me) expected. That's according to a study undertaken by the Children's Nutrition Research Centre at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and published early this year in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
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UGPA slammed for lack of faith in MLs' abilities

28th Jun 2012
AUSTRALIAN Medicare Local Alliance has hit back at the GP umbrella lobby United General Practice Australia, (UGPA) declaring after hours services must be run by Medicare Locals rather than maintaining a “one size fits all” approach to incentive payments for individual practices.
The retort from AML Alliance chair Dr Arn Sprogis came after representatives of UGPA – of which AML Alliance’s predecessor AGPN is a member – told Health Minister Tanya Plibersek this week that the group was concerned by the axing of after hours Practice Incentive Payments (PIP) in July next year as “fledgling Medicare Locals do not yet have the capacity to take over after hours services… and could put existing successful services at serious risk”.
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Building traceability in Australian healthcare

CH2 implements GS1 standards and radio frequency system to improve its inventory accuracy
Healthcare logistics company, Clifford Hallam Healthcare (CH2), has undertaken a 10-year plan to improve its supply chain and warehouse initiatives to overcome data and traceability issues in the medical and pharmaceutical wholesale industry.
Partnering with GS1 Australia, CH2 CIO, Ged Halstead, said the company adopted the GS1 System — a set of universal standards for product identification — in 2006 to improve such inefficiencies within supply chain operations, as it “didn’t have enough products with standard identifiers” such as Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) and physical barcodes.
“We had to engage with our suppliers to make them realise that in the supply chain now, you’ve got to have a barcode on your product otherwise it’s invisible to us.”
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Look no hands! Google shows that the future of computing is on your head

Stephen Hutcheon in San Francisco
June 28, 2012
Google has taken the wrappers off Project Glass, a futuristic development in wearable computing.
The device, which was today named Glass Explorer Edition, is an augmented reality, head-mounted display, which looks like a set of spectacle frames.
Except there’s no glass, apart from a small display screen above one eye line, next to which is housed a camera.
The camera can shoot stills and video and the screen can show notifications, such as text messages and maps. You can also play music and make phone calls - all of which is operated hands free.
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Enjoy!
David.

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