Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 11th March, 2013.

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

When it came to assembling the week’s report I was surprised just how much interesting stuff there was to report. Rather than rabbiting on  I will let you get on and browse. Many of the links are worth a click.
  • March 7, 2013, 11:52 AM ET

When to Hit Abort on Troubled Projects

By Matt McWha and Shvetank Shah
Nearly 30% of the value of a large organization’s IT project portfolio—or roughly $30 million a year—is at risk due to troubled projects that won’t deliver their expected business outcomes. Worse, 20% of IT organizations don’t know whether they have troubled projects or not according to the CEB PMO Leadership Council’s latest research– although it’s pretty safe to assume that they do.
Fixing troubled projects isn’t cheap.  There are costs from delayed delivery, expanded project teams, and the use of costly external contractors and consultants. Moreover, troubled projects that should be terminated often aren’t, tying up resources that could be deployed more effectively elsewhere.
CEB research suggests that effective management of troubled projects can save up to 8% of total annual IT portfolio spending, but most IT organizations never see a dime of these savings because their approach is too narrow and too process-focused.

Standoff over e-health identifiers

6 March, 2013 Paul Smith
Some GPs are apparently refusing to hand over the e-health identifier numbers that their practices need to claim the ePIP incentive.
The standoff, understood to be largely between contractor GPs and practice owners, appears to be the result of fears among doctors that giving out their Healthcare Provider Identifier (HPI-I) — a 16-digit code meant to ensure secure e-health communication — will mean they have to sign up to the personally controlled electronic health record system.
Under the new ePIP rules announced last year, practices need to supply the identifiers of all doctors working at the practice to receive the incentive payments, which can be worth up to $50,000 a year for a practice.

PD breaking news – ACCC approves eRx, MediSecure interoperability

Prescription exchanges allowed to communicate.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has just issued a final authorisation which will permit eRx Script Exchange to enter into a contract with MediSecure to facilitate interoperability between the rival pharmaceutical prescription exchange systems.
The move will allow a $10 million government contract to proceed (TD 23 Nov 2012), with the exchanges to each receive $660,000 to undertake the work, and a further $8.3 million available as a “PES Electronic Prescription Fee” which will see an amount ranging from 35c-85c paid to an exchange for each eligible electronic prescription downloaded and dispensed.

Making a game out of e-health

Date March 4, 2013 - 12:45PM

Cynthia Karena

Computer games and home-based self-help should be considered as part of healthcare in Australia, according to those shaping its future.
Healthcare providers, technology suppliers and developers met last week in Melbourne to discuss the challenges and opportunities for patient treatment in the next decade.
They came up with more issues than answers, but all agreed on the need to connect remote patients with their care providers more efficiently, something proponents of e-health have been hoping the national broadband network will help solve.
A series of healthcare CIO solution roundtables, promoted by the Healthcare Solutions Foundry, sponsored by Cisco, will be held across Australia in the next six months.

Hospital upgrades computer security to prevent data-doctoring

Peter Jean and Lisa Cox

The Canberra Hospital will push ahead with new computer security measures designed to help prevent a repeat of the emergency department data-doctoring scandal.
Hospital executive Kate Jackson last year confessed to altering emergency department performance data and suggested that other people might also have been interfering with the system.
Investigations into the affair were hampered by the staff's widespread use of generic log-ins such as ''nurse'' and ''doctor'' to access the hospital's Emergency Department Information System (EDIS).

Electronic transfer of prescriptions – update to Medisecure and eRX users

The RACGP supports electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP) as a prescribing process to reduce transcription errors and increase medicine safety for the community. However, the College has become aware of potentially significant issues in relation to the dispense notifications provided to general practitioners by the two proprietary eTP vendors (Medisecure and eRX). The receiving of dispense notifications is a departure from current clinical practice whereby GPs are generally unaware as to whether or not a prescription has been dispensed, unless advised by the patient at a subsequent visit. Whilst GPs may find it useful to know whether their prescriptions have been dispensed, it requires patient consent to receive or read such notification; this may impact on a GPs duty of care.

eHealth Records - What's new

First Australian - 'Shared health summary' uploaded in Sydney's West
Kean-Seng Lim's Medical Practice at Mt Druitt in Sydney's West has recorded another first. This time his medical practice is the first in Australia to upload a 'shared health summary' and an event summary using the PEN Computer Systems PrimaryCare Sidebar.
The MHC Roadshow - (eHealth NEHTA truck) is in town
The first of two days of visual tours on eHealth commenced at 10am on Monday 25 February in Blacktown. The NEHTA truck tours were very well attended by Western Sydney clinicians, nurses, health practitioners and service providers along with allied health, dental and pharmaceutical organisations and private and public healthcare groups.
The MHC Roadshow is a guided tour for private and public healthcare organisations, it informs and educates healthcare providers on the key elements of eHealth. NEHTA (National EHealth Transition Authority) developed the Model Healthcare (MHC) installation to explain the eHealth story to participants - from eHealth initiatives at practices' reception, consultation, specialist, pharmacy, diagnostics, specialist, hospital and back at home.

Doctor’s new ‘tardis’ is for telehealth, not Time Lords

6 March, 2013 Sam Lee
A ‘Doctor’ in a blue box has been materialising in parts of the US, but Daleks have nothing to fear because the phone-box-like kiosks are telehealth stations rather than anything to do with time travel.
The tech company HealthSpot ( has been pioneering the new standalone kiosks as a way of combining telehealth with tools of the doctor’s trade such as stethoscopes BP monitors, dermoscopes and pulse oximeters.
The futuristic blue plastic kiosks are designed for people who can’t access their usual doctor, and they contain a videoconferencing screen and a range of remotely operated medical equipment to allow a doctor to perform many basic investigations while interacting with the patient by video link.

Radiology data trawling will save lives

Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah is an infectious diseases physician at Peter Mac Callum Cancer Centre in Melbourne who is working on an inspiring eHealth project with data-mining experts from Australia’s national information technology research body, National ICT Australia (NICTA).
The team’s innovative new project has global implications and can be used by any hospital with a CT scanner with a radiology department that generates text reports.
The research is due to be published this year with papers submitted to several major international journals.
The research team includes clinicians and IT experts who have developed a technique to monitor a potentially deadly mould infection, invasive aspergillosis, using the text used in radiology reports.

Ahead of the Curve – Delivering 21st Century Healthcare

Under sweeping reforms to Australia’s healthcare system, the Federal government is rolling out an ambitious AUD $233.7 million Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) Programme. The PCERHR lays the foundations for healthcare reforms – including moves to streamlining e-health services nationally.
The PCEHR and related e-health reforms are under the spotlight. Debate is growing about ways to streamline healthcare. Additionally, Australia’s over-stretched hospitals, medical facilities, and community care services are under pressure to modernise infrastructure – while using the best-available technology to deliver anywhere, any-time services.
Reports warn that Australia faces a serious healthcare crisis as the population ages – placing new pressures on healthcare and aged service providers to deliver quality care.

Rollout of the PCEHR Bulletin - Feb 2013 Update

28 February 2013. The February 2013 bulletin Roll out of the PCEHR produced by the Department of Health and Ageing provides an update on consumer registrations, software updates, assisted registration information and more.
Find out about the new eHealth record links where organisations can download for free an eHealth badge to place on their website to allow visitors to click on the link and be directed to

Another successful Model Healthcare Community Tour!

4 March 2013. After a small break over the new year the Model Healthcare Community roadshow kicked off again in February in Penrith and Blacktown, NSW.  The interest in the tours was outstanding with over 300 local healthcare providers registering to attend.
The MHC Roadshow is a guided tour designed to inform and educate the health workforce on the key elements of eHealth and NEHTA's foundation programs. Since the tours began last March more than 2340 healthcare providers have attended from 34 towns across Australia.

BYO iPads not the best medicine for St Vincent's Hospital

Summary: St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, is dipping its toes in BYOD, but conflicts with Microsoft and Apple compatibility will make it tough.
By Josh Taylor | March 6, 2013 -- 03:29 GMT (14:29 AEST)
As St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne completes a major overhaul of its virtual desktop infrastructure, the hospital's IT division has said it is difficult to get many of its applications to work on tablets and smartphones.
St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne has three sites, with 5,000 staff members and 800 beds. In addition to emergency care, the hospital also has an aged care facility, a hospice, and a number of satellite clinics for community care.
The hospital's IT division is set to link up and become part of a national IT group with other St Vincent's hospitals down the track, but the Melbourne hospital still has local governance under the direction of recently appointed CIO Simon Richardson.

HealthLink Referrals Now Used by 93% of Wellington’s GPs 

Dear Colleague,
I thought you might be interested in this video which has been produced in conjunction with Wellington’s GPs, 93% of whom have now used their new electronic referrals system.  As you will see, Wellington’s GPs are extremely enthusiastic about their new system which is transforming the transfer of care between health providers and hospitals.
The main objectives were: to remove the potential for loss or misplacing of incoming referrals and to streamline the patient registration process.  This has certainly been achieved and sending electronic hospital referrals has now become a standard business process for nearly all of Wellington’s GPs.

IBM: Watson will eventually fit on a smartphone, diagnose illness

Next up for IBM's supercomputer, passing the physicians licensing exam
IBM's Jeopardy!-winning supercomputer, Watson, may have started out the size of a master bedroom, but it will eventually shrink to the size of a smart phone, its inventors say.
The supercomputer is currently performing "residencies" at several hospitals around the country, offering its data analytics capabilities for diagnosing and suggesting patient treatments.
IBM is also working to program Watson so that it can pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination. Yes, the "Dr. Watson" moniker used in the media will someday be applicable.
Even today, a Watson supercomputer with the same computational capabilities as the system that took on Jeopardy!'s all-time champions, is a fraction of its former size. And, the smaller Watson is almost two-and-a-half times faster than the original system, according to Dan Pelino, general manager of IBM's Global Healthcare & Life Sciences business.

Change Analyst

NEHTA - Brisbane Area, Australia

Job Description

Change Analyst
The National E-Health Transition Authority Limited (NEHTA) was established by the Australian, State and Territory governments to develop better ways of electronically collecting and securely exchanging health information.  NEHTA is the lead organisation supporting the national vision for e-health in Australia. 
NEHTA’s Adoption Benefits and Change team are driving change initiatives across the healthcare sector.  The key change projects support the delivery of benefits to the health sector in a range of areas including improved coordination of care, enhanced continuity of care, improved medication management and the delivery of sustainable components that integrate with the national infrastructure.   
Reporting to the Change Lead, the Change Specialist will form an integral part of the team, working with external stakeholders and teams assisting to develop and implement change plans and workshops.

MMRGlobal IP infringement lawsuits, allegations continue

Personal Health Record (PHR) patent holder and penny-stock company MMRGlobal [TA 10 Feb] continues to keep law firms in the US, Australia and now Singapore very busy with various complaints of patent infringement, demanding monetary damages, a permanent injunction and presumably, a lucrative licensing deal.
Last week, MMRG filed in US District Court, Central District of California against health giant WebMD for their online PHR, claiming that from meetings dating back to 2007, WebMD incorporated “features and functionality that are the subject of MMR’s patents”. Today’s MMRG press release now highlights the Singapore Ministry of Health (with associated health agencies)which MMRG alleges uses PHR vendors which violate various patents–which just happen to be owned by MMRG in Singapore. 
The Singapore Government’s alleged violations were ‘discovered’ as a result of the investigation of neighbor Australia’s Nehta’s alleged patent infringements.

MMRGlobal Investigates Possible Patent Infringement in Singapore

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKETWIRE) -- 02/19/13 -- MMRGlobal, Inc. (OTCQB: MMRF) today announced that as a result of recent publicity, it has been brought to the Company's attention that vendors providing services to the Ministry of Health in Singapore appear to be infringing on patents (including Singapore patent number 200801954) and other Intellectual Property (collectively, the "MMR-IP") issued to MyMedicalRecords, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of MMRGlobal. The Company has been advised that personally-controlled health records, or Personal Health Records (PHRs), are included in programs for the Ministry of Health, the Health Promotion Board, the Health Sciences Authority and numerous other organizations in Singapore, which the Company believes is clearly part of MMR's inventions that led to its MyMedicalRecords patents. The discovery came as a result of the Company's investigations in Australia, which were reported in recent announcements that the Australian Government, both state and federal, through the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), appears to be infringing on two MyMedicalRecords patents.

US firm accuses NEHTA of delays in patent infringement probe

THE National E-Health Transition Authority has been accused of dragging its feet as a US firm tries to conclude its investigation into alleged patent infringements by the agency.
Early last month,, a subsidiary of MMRGlobal, had claimed that "both state and federal governments in Australia, through NEHTA, appear to be infringing on patents and other intellectual property issued to".
MMRGlobal chief executive Robert Lorsch previously said the probe should be completed no later than the end of last month.

CSIRO developing sensors to 'taste' disease by phone

DIAGNOSING diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis in the developing world could be radically improved by a sensor attached to a mobile phone being developed by Australian researchers.
Leader of CSIRO's Medical Devices Stream, Scott Martin, said 20 researchers were building a phone-attached miniature sensor capable of detecting an array of bacterial diseases using a breath sample or urine sample. It would be used in countries without adequate pathology services.
Dr Martin said the sensor contained inkjet-printed material with an electrical resistance that changed depending on the sample.
Given the lack of even 3G data services in developing countries, the phone will not be used primarily for transmitting data but for displaying test results and advising health professionals of treatments and suitable pharmaceuticals based on the findings.

David Gonski answers SingTel's call

FUTURE Fund chairman David Gonski has joined the board of Optus parent Singapore Telecommunications, renewing his ties with business in the island state as the No 2 Australian phone company gears up for mobile spectrum auctions next month.
The well-connected Mr Gonski joins another Australian former investment banker, AMP chairman Peter Mason, on the board of SingTel, which gets two-thirds of its revenue from the Optus fixed line and mobile phone business in Australia.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is set kick off auctions for the latest generation of mobile spectrum, 4G, next month amid expectations the phone companies will have to pay up to $3 billion in licence fees.
N.B - David Gonski is also NEHTA’s Chairman.

Experts wary of e-cigarettes as test run looms

Date: March 4, 2013

Asher Moses

Technology Editor

The first Australian clinical trial of e-cigarettes as quit-smoking tools will kick off this year with support for the devices building, but the government and some public health experts remain wary.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered electronic tubes that simulate the effects of smoking by evaporating a liquid solution into nicotine vapour. Some of the cheaper ones mimic the look of traditional cigarettes – complete with glowing tip – but they produce only vapour, no smoke or ash.
While none have been approved for sale as a therapeutic good, the devices are legally available in Australia. However, the nicotine solution is not available because nicotine is classified as a scheduled poison, so users are forced to order them online from unregulated overseas stores.

Broadband blues: thousands stuck in the slow lane

Date March 7, 2013

Asher Moses

Technology Editor

Hundreds of thousands of Australians, even in capital cities, are unable to access quality home broadband due to ageing infrastructure and black spots, leading to calls for the government to change the NBN rollout to reach these areas first.
After publishing a story on internet black spots earlier this week, Fairfax Media has been contacted by dozens of people – in both capital cities and regional areas – who were denied broadband due to issues such as a lack of ADSL ports at their local exchange.
Experts have blamed Telstra for failing to upgrade creaking infrastructure because the NBN will limit the return it can get on its investment. Meanwhile many of those without broadband face over three years on dialup or expensive and patchy wireless plans as they are not part of the early NBN rollout.

1 comment:

Trevor3130 said...

Glenn Archer in seems to have overlooked one success story.