Monday, May 27, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 27th May, 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

An interesting week, with the range of articles reflecting the increasing role apps seem to be playing in e-Health.
I have to say that we are all pleased to know that NEHTA and IBM have settled their dispute. Pity we will never learn the lessons and understand just what happened.
Can I also suggest people follow the hashtag #PCEHR on Twitter. There are some interesting things being said.
This conversation for example:
@Sue_Dunlevy #PCEHR is a long term project. ROI is still five years off.#amanatcon
@zeeclor @Sue_Dunlevy Still not convinced that public hospital IT systems will integrate w #PCEHR by then… #amanatcon
@rd_mitchell @zeeclor @Sue_Dunlevy the electronic health record is on life support : if we can't get that right no chance integration

eHealth measures missing the point

Opinion: When will the PCEHR lead to patient outcomes?

One of the great challenges for eHealth is to convince governments, healthcare organisations, practitioners and the general public that it is worth the investment.
This involves first of all working out whether anyone is actually using the technology, then determining what they are using it for and finally trying to judge whether this use has any positive outcome.
These evaluations are all aspects of what is called “meaningful use” and apply to any technology, not just technology in healthcare.

Australian Medical Association call to vet healthcare apps

HEALTH apps that offer medical advice, remedies and doses should be vetted so they do not endanger lives or give biased or misleading information, the Australian Medical Association said yesterday.
AMA president Steve Hambleton said the people who approved apps (at Apple and Google) should be part of the responsibility chain and it would be good to have medical expertise on the approval bodies.
"I think that wouldn't fit their business model, to be frank," he said.
However, there was an opening for an "aggregator" to endorse apps considered medically safe.

PCEHR $10m injection for advanced care plan

21st May 2013
THE federal government is set to invest another $10 million in the personally controlled e-health record (PCEHR) system to allow Australians to inform their families and doctors of their advanced care directives and preferences.
The initiative would allow the directives to be stored in the PCEHR and accessed as needed by care providers who may otherwise be unfamiliar with a patient’s history or preferences.
Speaking at the 4th International Society of Advance Care Planning and End of Life Care Conference in Melbourne this month, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said the initiative would make it simpler for end-of-life care preferences to be faithfully carried out.

A survey of Australia's connected e-health services

Australia’s foray into connected healthcare brings together a smorgasboard of technology platforms to deliver quality care. These include citizens’ access to portals for information-sharing in an on-line environment.
Among the trends, mobile apps, digital information management, and “digital hospitals” are helping deliver quality care. Connected care will drive the healthcare agenda this decade. This network encompasses public and private hospitals, as well as grass-roots patient care.
But this connectivity is not just about high-profile investments in ICT systems and platforms. It involves connecting people with their personal information, and being able to communicate more readily with caregivers and medical practitioners.

Solution to hospital data fiddle not ready

Date May 20, 2013

Peter Jean

Chief Assembly Reporter for The Canberra Times.

A key computer security measure designed to prevent a repeat of last year's Canberra Hospital data doctoring affair is unlikely to be rolled out across the ACT Health Directorate before next year.
Canberra Hospital said in March it would push ahead with computer system upgrades to avoid a repeat of the problem.
More than a year after Canberra Hospital executive Kate Jackson admitted making changes to emergency department performance results, police are still investigating what occurred.
An ACT Legislative Assembly committee last year recommended that the Health Directorate introduce ''rapid log-in'' technology designed to improve computer security without interfering with patient care.

Latest budget notes a downward trend in IT spending

The Gillard government’s latest budget has allocated less funding to IT projects than the previous years, noting a downward trend in government IT spending.
According to The Australian, the government has allocated $902 million over four years to IT projects for its agencies. The government’s chief information officer, Glen Archer confirmed the figure is six per down from the previous year.
Given Mr Archer's estiamtes, the government last year allocated around $960 million to IT projects – with the lions share going towards its eHealth initiative.

DCA’s Argus solution successful with NEHTA’s SMD-POD trial

DCA, Medical Objects and Global Health have successfully interchanged messages under NEHTA’s SMD-POD program, a trial of SMD interoperability.
NEHTA’s press release outlines the importance of the program for the adoption of technology in health and reports on the status of current SMD-POD members.

High iron app for GPs

21 May, 2013 Nicola Garrett
In a world first, doctors developed a simple web based app that quickly identifies patients with hereditary haemochromatosis (HH) and refers them directly to the Red Cross blood service for therapeutic blood donation.
Under the old paper based system, patients often have to wait up to three months for paperwork to be completed, delaying much needed treatment and potentially putting them at risk of organ damage.
Patients with high iron levels caused by another illness were also at risk of being incorrectly referred to the Blood Service, wasting valuable time and resources.

Diagnostic errors claim 4000 lives annually

21st May 2013
UP TO 4000 Australians die every year as a result of diagnostic error yet there is still no comprehensive system to work out the causes, an international diagnostic error expert has said.
Dr Mark Graber, founder of the US-based Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, told a Sydney healthcare forum last week that one in every 1000 primary care consultations resulted in a diagnostic error and, based on global rates, between 2000 and 4000 Australians would die annually as a result.
Another 21,000 Australian patients would experience “serious harm” as a result of diagnostic error, Dr Graber told the Sax Institute’s Hospital Alliance for Research Collaboration forum.

Mater CIO shows QLD Health 'how it's done'

Hospital offered to help fix bungled payroll project.

The CIO of Brisbane’s Mater Hospital has set out the case for the hospital’s staff to take over the failed Queensland Health payroll project.
A KPMG report into the bungled project, which required a major boost in staff numbers to ensure employees got paid, has suggested it will eventually cost $1.25 billion to fix.
But Mater Hospital has challenged some of the report's assumptions about the unique complexity of Queensland Health’s payroll, arguing it could be fixed for $172 million.

Teen develops algorithm to diagnose leukaemia

Date May 22, 2013 - 8:44AM

Vignesh Ramachandran

Brittany Wenger isn't your average high-school student: she taught a computer how to diagnose leukaemia.
The most amazing part about science is you can answer questions and really revolutionise the world and our knowledge base. 
The 18-year-old student from Sarasota, Florida, built a custom, cloud-based "artificial neural network" to find patterns in genetic expression profiles to diagnose patients with an aggressive form of cancer called mixed-lineage leukaemia (MLL). Simply put, this means Wenger taught the computer how to diagnose leukaemia by creating a diagnostic tool for doctors to use.

Indigenous Tele-Eye Care trial could reduce in-person ophthalmology consultations by 70 percent

Around 900 indigenous patients at three remote sites will receive specialist-grade eye consultations over the NBN, in a $1.96 million Federal trial using an award-winning web-based Australian software called Remote-I.
The system under trial could reduce in-person ophthalmology consultations by up to 70 percent.
The NBN-enabled Indigenous Tele-Eye Care project will operate in WA’s Greater South Coast and Goldfields-Esperance regions and in the Torres Strait Islands in QLD over the next twelve months.
The software, which can be used by nurses and Aboriginal health workers, was developed by scientists from the CSIRO’s Telemedicine and Ocular Health research team, headed by Professor Yogesan Kanagasingam from the WA-based Australian e-Health Research Centre.

Get your personal eHealth record now!

Come along to the Queensland Aboriginal & Islander Health Council (QAIHC) conference in Palm Cove on 28-29 May 2013. The eHealth truck will be parked at the Novotel Rockford Palm Cove, Coral Coast Drive Queensland 4879.
We will help you sign up to the eHealth record system.
The Australian Government has brought in the eHealth record system to make healthcare in Australia even better, safer and more effective.

Plastic surgeon lashes out at online 'astroturfing' attacks

ONE of Australia's leading plastic surgeons, Chris Moss, has claimed he was the victim of an "AstroTurfing" campaign aimed at creating "a frenzy of negative comments" to damage his practice.
It was once just a synthetic alternative to grass, but AstroTurf in the online age is a fake grassroots campaign designed to create a community movement against unsuspecting victims.
The Melbourne-based celebrity surgeon has brought a legal action in the Victorian Supreme Court against Craig Rodda, the managing director of a marketing agency, which he claims has driven business away from his practice.

Online cognitive behavioural therapy 

Mental health special
 Professor Gavin Andrews speaks with Sheryl Taylor about treating anxiety and depressive disorders with online therapy, explaining GPs’ involvement, how ongoing assessment works, compliance rates, and what conditions are appropriate for treatment.

IBM settles with Australian government over e-health contract

Summary: IBM and the National E-Health Transition Authority have settled a dispute over the termination of a key AU$24 million contract.
By Josh Taylor | May 23, 2013 -- 22:00 GMT (08:00 AEST)
Although it appeared bound for the courts, IBM and the National E-Health Transition Authority have settled a dispute over the termination of an AU$24 million contract for IBM to deliver an authentication service as part of the Australian government's billion-dollar e-health project.
In 2011, IBM was tasked to develop a system that would use public key infrastructure and secure tokens, such as smart cards, in order to provide an authenticated service. This is so that healthcare personnel and providers can exchange e-health information, including referrals, prescriptions, and personally controlled electronic health records (PCEHRs).

Survery Analysis: General Practices' Attitudes to IT Use

In February 2013 HealthLink undertook a survey of general practices’ attitudes to use of information technology. We were interested in learning were whether or not the emergence of the internet and related technologies had changed practices’ attitudes to patient privacy, how much practices used their computers during clinical consultations and how keen they were to use their computers to find information about patients from remote sources.
We surveyed 1042 New Zealand general practices and received 364 responses.
Please read this document to view the results, here.

iPads may interfere with pacemakers

20 May, 2013 Paddy Wood
A Californian teenager has discovered that iPads can affect implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) and potentially interfere with life-saving shocks.
What started as a science fair project for Gianna Chien, 14, captured the interest of thousands of doctors at the Heart Rhythm Society’s scientific sessions in Denver, Colorado.
The high-school student found the iPad 2 can cause electromagnetic inference which switches ICDs to magnet mode and stop them shocking patients when needed.

Hackers could trigger heart attacks

  • by: Andrew Colley on the Gold Coast
  • From: The Australian
  • May 23, 2013 9:52AM
COMPUTER hackers could compromise pacemakers and implantable defibrillators with lethal effect, a software security researcher has found.
Software security firm IOActive yesterday demonstrated how these medical devices could be hacked from a distance of up to 15 metres by using simple security holes that are used to deliver shocks to the heart or reprogrammed in other potentially deadly ways.
Speaking at the AusCERT security conference on the Gold Coast yesterday IOActive’s director of embedded device research Barnaby Jack said the research applied to wireless pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) approved by the US Food and Drug Administration since 2006.

NEHTA: Guidance relating to Clinical Document Presentation

Posted on May 22, 2013 by Grahame Grieve
I am pleased to be able to draw your attention to a newly released document from NEHTA entitled “Supplementary Notes for Implementers Relating to Clinical Document Presentation“. Quoting from the document:
This document recommends a set of presentation guidelines for CDA document authors. It complements the CDA Rendering Specification and the CDA implementation guides by describing:
  • how to ensure that the data is properly, consistently and safely represented in the presentation
  • the recommended order of the sections in a document

Anonymous STI alerts prove popular

20 May, 2013 Michael Woodhead
A text messaging service that allows people with STIs to inform their partners anonymously has proved popular with both patients and hoaxers.
The Let Them Know online service, launched nationally in 2008, allows people diagnosed with STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis to send either named or anonymous texts to notify sexual partners that they may be at risk of an STI.
A review of the service usage in 2010-11 found that there were more than 13,000 visitors to the website, of which 37% visits resulted in 4863 text message STI notifications being sent.

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