Monday, April 01, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 1st April, 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

I hope people enjoyed the Easter Break.
Another pretty quiet week again e-health wise, with a lot of news in the related networking and security arenas.
It is good to see things are settling down after the ructions of Thursday last week. This week we have the political war again going underground while on the surface we have Cyprus causing financial concern and the clownish leadership in North Korea threatening world annihilation! Just a usual week…
I wonder when we are going to see any figures from DoHA on ePIP payments made since Feb 1. Any insiders who know what has happened or where we can see the information feel free to comment!

Surgery made safer with program that predicts patients' vital signs

A PROGRAM that can predict a patient's vital signs 20 seconds into the future could make surgery safer than ever.
Victoria University's Centre for Applied Informatics has developed algorithms to read and compress patient body-function data in real time.
Its PhysAnalyser program could provide early warning of complications during surgery.
The technology analyses vast amounts of streaming data, collected from many sensors, in a short time.
The data taken every three milliseconds includes heart rate, arterial pressure, venous pressure and airway resistance.

New Centre to Monitor the Pulse of Australia’s Blood Supply

A new surveillance centre to monitor Australia’s billion-dollar national blood supply has been opened in Canberra
18 March 2013
A new surveillance centre to monitor Australia’s billion-dollar national blood supply was opened in Canberra today by Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Catherine King.
Staff in the new national Blood Systems Operations Centre will manage computer systems used by the nation’s hospitals 24 hours a day.
These include BloodNet, which processes orders for almost 2 million units of blood and blood products a year.
“The new Blood Systems Operation Centre will enable the National Blood Authority to monitor, in real time, the operations of the entire national blood supply chain”, Ms King said.

MMRGlobal adds EMR integration

By staff writers

March 26, 2013 -- Personal health record (PHR) provider MMRGlobal announced that subscribers to its MyMedicalRecords PHR service will be able to interface with their healthcare providers' electronic medical record (EMR) systems and laboratory reporting systems, effective April 15.

Australia meeting eHealth challenges

Chai Chuah has been driving New Zealand’s successful eHealth program for more than a decade, and said he has observed Australia’s eHealth system make significant progress in the last two years.
In Australia last week to speak at the Health-e-Nation Summit, Mr Chuah says that dialogue among health professionals two years ago questioned the viability of a PCEHR.
“Now the health record is accepted, it’s up and running, and the conversation is all around the uptake and around populating the health records.”
Mr Chuah believes Australia has been more stringent than New Zealand on standard-setting, through the establishment of NEHTA, but warns that the next challenge will be getting standards adherence. 

Payroll inquiry to resume next month

Date March 22, 2013

Petrina Berry

Queensland's health payroll inquiry has drawn breath after a fortnight of intensive hearings.
The inquiry has concentrated on whether IBM was given inside information which helped it win a multi-million dollar contract to manage the government's IT systems.
It has emerged that the IBM payroll system has major flaws, which sparked the inquiry.
The hearing adjourned on Friday afternoon and will resume its dissection of the tender process on April 8.

Online therapy delivers savings

Associate Professor Nick Titov, of Macquarie University, has been delivering online counselling for over five years now and in May, will oversee the official launch of the Federal Government’s MindSpot Clinic, a free online therapy service aiming to deliver treatment to around 40,000 Australians in the next three years.
Funded with $16.5 million between Jun 2012 and Jul 2015, the Clinic is a key part of the government’s e-Mental Health Strategy.
The clinic was soft-launched some months ago, and around 25 new patients a day are self-referring, Dr Titov says - meaning they simply find the website and sign up.

NSW information commissioner steps down

  • From: AAP
  • March 25, 2013 3:45PM
NSW'S first information commissioner will step down in May after three years in the job.
Deirdre O'Donnell said on Monday her main reason for leaving before her five-year term was up was to fulfil family responsibilities back in her home state of Victoria.

Healthcare in surgical upgrade

WITH Healthcare Australia running in a "bandaid-type" environment, an overdue upgrade was considered the best treatment.
The organisation's legacy infrastructure included a 10-year-old email system.
To add to this, the organisation operated in a siloed fashion, says Mark Botros, who joined Healthcare Australia as chief information officer in January last year.
"There was no information transfer, there was no sharing of information, no collaboration - none of that at all, everyone was just doing their own thing in their own little pods," he says.
Healthcare Australia is the largest supplier of contingent labour to hospitals across mainland Australia. It has 250 administration staff supporting about 7000 active nurses, doctors and aged-care professionals, with sites across the country, apart from Tasmania. The majority of the IT team is based in Adelaide.

What if they pulled the plug?

Date March 28, 2013

Brad Howarth

The internet has become so enmeshed in our lives that the loss of it - even temporarily - is more than most of us can contemplate, writes Brad Howarth.
Information black hole... we've become so reliant on the internet, that any glitch causes concerns.
It was 5.30am on November 22, 2012 when Greg Walsh had his first inkling that the internet had stopped working. As a farm manager near Warrnambool, he had risen early to check his email and send instructions to the farm managers he oversaw.
Except on this morning, his home connection to the internet wasn't working. That was not entirely unheard of but he discovered his mobile phone connection was also down. So too was his home phone.
There is the much bigger question of whether the global economy could survive losing the internet. 
It took a much older form of communication - radio - to learn that a fire had damaged the Telstra exchange. The mystery was solved but its ramifications were only just becoming clear.

Spam dispute becomes 'largest cyber attack' in history of the internet

Date March 27, 2013

John Markoff and Nicole Perlroth

A squabble between a group fighting spam and a Dutch company that hosts websites said to be sending spam has escalated into one of the largest computer attacks on the internet, causing widespread congestion and jamming crucial infrastructure around the world.
Millions of ordinary internet users have experienced delays in services like Netflix or could not reach a particular website for a short time.

'There is no alternative to the internet'

Date March 29, 2013 - 9:32AM

Lia Timson

IT Pro Editor

Australians are yet to feel the reverberations of the world's largest cyber attack, but the unprecedented event has highlighted the fragility of the internet.
There is no alternative to the internet, but when you look at what it is, it's a very fragile ecosystem. 
The denial-of-service attacks first targeted Spamhaus, a Dutch firm that provides web-host blacklists that help companies decide which email traffic to accept. Spamhaus blacklisted CyberBunker, a Dutch web-hosting company they accused of facilitating spam campaigns.

The state of data breaches

Security breaches can mean loss of custom and affect share prices, warns expert
The implications of data breaches can be severe for companies with potential financial losses and loss of customer trust.
One of the most well-known examples was the Sony PlayStation Network[1] hack from 2011 where an estimated 100 million online accounts were compromised. According to Sony, costs from the PlayStation Network data breach totalled US$171 million.
But Australian organisations have not been immune to data breaches with Telstra and Dell Australia investigated by the Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim in the past two years.
In 2011-12, the Commissioner received 46 data breach notifications, a decrease of 18 per cent from the number received in 2010-11.
While there is no mandatory obligation in the Privacy Act for companies to report data breaches to the OAIC, many do as good business practice.

Apple upgrades security with two-step verification

Date March 22, 2013

Emily Price

Apple has added a new level of security to iCloud and Apple ID users with two-step verification.
Much like the two-factor authentication process for services such as Gmail and Facebook, two-step-verification will require users to verify their identity when signing into their account from a new device.
Verification will be done using another device, such as a phone or tablet. For instance, if you are trying to sign into iCloud on a new computer, Apple will send a numerical code to your phone. You enter the code received on your phone into the computer, and then Apple knows it's you trying to access the account and you can proceed as planned.

Union backlash on delayed NBN work

  • From: The Australian
  • March 27, 2013 12:00AM
LABOR faces a union backlash over the delays in the rollout of its National Broadband Network, with the powerful Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union expecting the project to be revised no matter who wins the election and warning of "unacceptable" labour rates to meet cost targets.
The CEPU's Communications Workers Union division - which represents workers involved in the NBN - said there were "fundamental" commercial and operational problems at the heart of the project. The union has also revealed its concerns about delays to the rollout that resulted in NBN Co, which is building the network, last week slashing its targets for the number of homes and businesses that will be passed by fibre by June 30 by as much as 44 per cent. NBN Co has also taken back control of the network construction in the Northern Territory because a lead contractor failed to meet its targets.

10 signs you're about to get scammed

Date March 21, 2013

Matt Petronzio

You can't imagine ever getting scammed. Besides being a diligent internet user who knows the ins and outs of web terrain, you have an email account that siphons all harmful messages into a neat little folder, which you never even check. So you're completely safe, right?
It's not just that one "Nigerian prince" from years ago – there's a whole royal family of scammers out there. 
Think again.

Through the looking glass into the future

Date March 23, 2013

Asher Moses

Technology Editor

They are known as wearable computers and are yet to hit the streets, but already they are creating controversy.
Google will soon give away and trial 8000 pieces of high-tech headwear known as Google Glass - a computer with a head-mounted display that can run apps, record high-definition video and is operated through voice commands - and plans a broader launch later this year.
The equipment's ability to record surreptitiously has prompted South Australian Liberal senator Cory Bernardi to say it could ''mean the end of privacy as we know it''. Prime Minister Julia Gillard was more positive when she test-drove a Glass late last month, describing it as ''an amazing display of innovation … all this information right before your eyes responding to voice commands''.

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