Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 20th August, 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

All in all a very interesting week with all sorts of e-Health initiatives happening separate from the NEHRS -PCEHR which has gone spookily quiet as feverish work goes on in the background. (I am told having Medicare information in the record is happening ‘real soon now’. It had not apparently happened on Sunday 19th August which is when I last checked. (At least everything else seemed to be working!)
I continue to be amazed by the Martian rover Curiosity. This really is an amazing feat that shows just what extraordinary capacities exist in the world. I for one really does wish there was more focus on the positive rather than negative uses of what we can now do!
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Cool response to online health record scheme

Date August 14, 2012 - 9:38AM

Fran Molloy

Despite more than 15,000 patients having consented to a shared e-health record in one Brisbane test area alone, only 5000 people have registered with the government's eHealth scheme nationally.
Despite more than 15,000 patients having consented to a shared e-health record in one Brisbane test area alone, only 5000 people have registered with the federal government's eHealth scheme nationally.
The scheme went live on July 1 with little fanfare because the department responsible for it opted for a soft launch that would allow bugs to be ironed out. By yesterday, 5029 Australians had registered for the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR), with 89 per cent of them registering online, despite triple that amount consenting to a shared record via GP clinics attached to Brisbane Metro-North Medicare Local initiative.
The Queensland initiative was one of three national wave sites trialling the new health record system since February 2011.
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Lack of e-faith: hospitals snub identifier system

13th Aug 2012
THE rollout of the national e-health system has hit another barrier, with the hospital sector unlikely to embrace the individual health identifiers (IHIs) allocated to Australians two years ago.
The news comes as the government found itself under further scrutiny as it works to achieve its goal of 500,000 patient sign-ups in the first year with Fairfax papers reporting that just 5029 Australians were so far on board following the system's launch last month.
Coalition e-health spokesman, Andrew Southcott, was quoted as saying that at that rate, the government would achieve just 60,000 of its half-million sign up target by July 2013.
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Learning from the “pioneers of ehealth” in general practice

, by Melissa Sweet
It is fitting that the “pioneers of ehealth” – more than 55 general practices involved in an eCollaborative project around chronic disease care and self management – are using online tools such as wikis and Twitter chats to share what they’re learning along the way.
If you’re interested to hear more, you could always join their Monday night TweetUp, using the #ecollabs hashtag.
In the article below, Samantha Smorgon, Program Officer for eHealth, Quality Improvement and Practice Management at the Inner North West Melbourne Medicare Local, and colleagues describe some of the complexities and challenges of the ehealth agenda.
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Hospital doctors failing to follow up thousands of tests, says study

Date August 15, 2012

Amy Corderoy

Health Reporter

TENS of thousands of hospital tests are not being followed up by doctors, research has revealed.
A review of one major Sydney hospital found that over four months more than 20,000 tests went unchecked when patients left hospital.
And about half of the tests were still unchecked two months after the patients had left hospital.
The study leader, Enrico Coiera, said the lack of follow-up would have serious health implications for some patients, as well as being a waste of money in an already overstretched system.
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Government report backs PCEHR incentives

17 August, 2012 Michael Woodhead
A government report on GPs’ readiness to adopt the PCEHR has backed the profession’s concerns about an increased workload and the need for reimbursement to cover the time spent preparing and explaining the new records.
The results of a 2011 survey of more than 800 GPs show that while most are broadly supportive of the PCEHR concept, there are uncertainties about the details and concerns about the quality and workability of the system
One of the main concerns was with the time required to implement the new system, with  73% of GPs believing  it will take at least 15 mins to explain the PCEHR to patients and 52% believe it will take at least 15 minutes to set one up.
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Chronic disease e-health record successfully launched

17th Aug 2012
A GOVERNMENT-backed electronic health record specifically designed for patients with chronic disease has been launched today with the promise of keeping patients, doctors and allied health workers in the loop.
Chronic Disease Management-Net or cdmNet, is due to go national today after being tested by 10,000 chronic disease patients, 1000 GPs and 3000 allied health practitioners, the collaboration behind it, the Collaborative Care Cluster, said.
The partners behind the program include Monash University, CSIRO’s e-Health Research Centre, Baker IDI, Southern Health, Royal District Nursing Service, Dandenong-Casey GP Association, Bupa, Diabetes Australia and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.
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Healthcare that works for the Facebook and Skype era

17 August, 2012

With Victorian Health Minister David Davis MLC

At The Alfred Centre, Monash University Lecture Theatre, Level 5, 99 Commercial Road

Fed up with explaining your medical history over and over again? Sick of waiting rooms? Can’t remember the name of the drug you had a reaction to? Lost your referral letter? Does your aging father keep forgetting when to have his health checks done?
These are just some of the problems being solved, thanks to a new e-health program that works. It’s been tested by 10,000 chronic care patients, 1,000 GPs and 3,000 allied health practitioners and the results speak for themselves.
This Friday the project – known as Collaborative Care Cluster Australia – will go national, with a call to action for GPs, patients and allied health professionals to get onboard and online to streamline the management of chronic illness and tackle a $60 billion healthcare burden.
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Penny Browne: Minimising record risks

The public debate in the lead up to the launch of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) has missed a crucial point ― the quality of doctors’ medical records will always be critical to the delivery of high-quality and safe patient care.
Clearly a key element likely to impact on the success, or otherwise, of the PCEHR is the quality of the health summaries uploaded by the nominated health practitioner (usually the GP).
Any risks to patients (and medicolegal risks to doctors) resulting from interaction with the PCEHR will emerge slowly (in line with the expected uptake) so the extent of the risk to doctors is difficult to predict so early in the rollout.
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IT helps beats tyranny of distance

BY the time David Glance joined the University of WA's Centre for Software Practice in 2001, life had already handed him a number of rewarding experiences.
After finishing a doctorate in physiology in the mid 1980s, Glance shifted his focus to the intersection of high finance and high technology and started designing the digital innards of trading room technology for London firms. A few years later, with the dotcom bubble deflating, he found himself in the US headquarters of Microsoft in Redmond, Washington.
But he considers working with health workers in remote northwestern Australia for the past five years "the single most significant project I've worked on".
Put simply, the project enables doctors, nurses and other health workers to co-ordinate the care of about 26,000 mostly indigenous patients across the vast distances of the Kimberley, by accessing medical records online.
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Primary scoffs at 'barely profitable' claim

15 August, 2012
Updated on 15/08/12 at 3.45pm
Primary Health Care has rubbished claims its medical centres are “barely profitable” because of the millions it outlays recruiting new doctors.
The company has come under attack for its accounting methods, with an article in the Australian Financial Review on Monday noting that more than $60 million in up-front payments to GPs - who get up to $500,000 to join the medical centres - are not reported as a cost and therefore not included in Primary’s profit and loss statement.
The article claimed some analysts viewed the issue as so serious they considered the medical centre business was “barely profitable”.
Note: Primary Health Care presently owns Medical Director.
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HCF keeps members healthy with big data

Summary: HCF has invested in IBM analytics systems to tackle big data, using them to analyse claims.
By Suzanne Tindal | August 12, 2012 -- 21:31 GMT (07:31 AEST)
As part of an ongoing core systems upgrade, HCF is looking to big data analytics to help keep its members as fit and healthy as possible.
Over the past five years, HCF has been replacing parts of its core systems, which are up to 20 years old.
"Parts of it work very well. Some parts are getting very clunky," HCF CIO Patrick Shearman said.
Within the course of these upgrades, the company had implemented the ILOG, SPSS, Cognos and Lombardi products. All of these products have been bought by IBM in the last five years. According to Shearman, it was a logical step to consolidate the agreements in a formal fashion with the new parent company, as well as enlisting IBM's help on the core systems transformation. Consequently, the company has just signed a multi-million dollar deal that will see IBM help HCF with its IT transformation, with a focus on improving analytics.
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NEHTA Clinical Documents: Exclusion Statements

Posted on August 14, 2012 by Grahame Grieve
This is the first of a series of posts looking at implementation issues associated with NEHTA clinical documents. These are based on the common questions I get from implementers. The focus of the first few posts is going to be the “Medical History” Section in the SHS, and the related sections in other documents. But before I can consider those sections in detail, I need to talk about Exclusion Statements in general.
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PM's $150m spin doctor brigade

TAXPAYERS are spending about $150 million a year on an army of spin doctors to sell the Gillard government's policies to voters.
Figures obtained by The Australian reveal there are about 1600 staff employed by federal government departments and agencies in media, communications, marketing and public affairs roles.
The Australian Taxation Office, Defence and departments of Human Services, Immigration and Health employ more media and communications staff than any other departments or agencies.
A further 60 media advisers are dedicated to federal ministers and parliamentary secretaries.
The total number of public affairs staff in government is more than five times the estimated 300 journalists -- including reporters, photographers, camera crew and support staff -- in the Canberra press gallery.
Note: Health And Ageing Department have 72 spinners
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Billing just got easier with this time-saving phone app

14th Aug 2012
LIKE all GPs Dr Jane Ramsey has more useful things to do with her time than spend it thumbing through the MBS searching for appropriate items to bill.
So as a regular user of a free app simply called MBS Search, she is only too happy to recommend it to her colleagues as a time saver and helpful resource that allows GPs to locate billable items – including some they may not have thought of.
“You can search for any parameter and then put in your favourite categories so I use it for my theatre billing,” Dr Ramsey told MO.
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Firms lag on BYOD security

  • by: Fran Foo
  • From: Australian IT
  • August 17, 2012 9:25AM
ORGANISATIONS that don't take a holistic security approach to bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs do so at their own peril, an industry expert warned.
A survey by Forrester Research Australia found that most companies were effectively outsourcing BYOD security to employees.
According to the study, almost 50 per cent of companies viewed user passwords/PIN as the primary method of securing BYOD devices. These smartphones and tablet computers are allowed to connect to corporate networks and access sensitive or commercial information.
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iAwards recognise finest Australian ICT talent

August 13, 2012
iAwards honours list
ICT leaders and innovators across 25 categories were honoured at the Annual national iAwards ceremony held in Melbourne last Thursday. Now in its 18th year, the iAwards is one of Australia’s leading technology awards program recognising the most innovative companies and leading individuals across 25 categories.
In the E-Health space these people won the award
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Australian Medicare Local Alliance Launched

Joint Release

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP

Minister for Health

The Hon Mark Butler MP

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing

Minister for Social Inclusion

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform

16 August 2012
Australians can look forward to more effective and cohesive primary health care with the launch of a new national body to lead the network of Medicare Locals.
Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek and Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler today attended the launch of the Australian Medicare Local Alliance in Parliament House, Canberra.
Ms Plibersek said the Australian Medicare Local Alliance will play a key role in ensuring Medicare Locals function effectively and efficiently and work as a cohesive group, responsive to changing Government priorities.
Note - Supporting E-Health is a major role of the Alliance.-----

NCTIS Newsletter

Edition:       Edition 6
Date:            10th of August, 2012

NCTIS Newsletter

Welcome to Edition·6 of our NCTIS Newsletter of 2012. We have exciting news about recent and upcoming events as well as information about recent product releases to share with you.
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Curiosity ready to hit the Mars road

  • by: LEIGH DAYTON, science writer
  • From: The Australian
  • August 17, 2012 12:00AM
THE Curiosity rover is flexing its technological muscles, testing its wheels and has had its software upgraded in readiness for its first test drive on the Red Planet.
"It's fair to say that the scientists, not to mention the rover drivers, are itching to move," said Curiosity's deputy project scientist Ashwin Vasavada, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
He said the test drive is tentatively scheduled for early next week. If all goes well, Curiosity will then begin its two-year search for the geological and chemical signatures of past, even present, microbial life on Mars.
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Enjoy!
David.

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