Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 10th June, 2013.

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 busy week with Senate Estimates in the middle of the week and all sorts of other little bits of news emerging. Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 10th June, 2013.

I am amazed just how many small local papers now seem to now be carrying articles on the PCEHR. McKinsey fingerprints are all over this.
We have also had a couple of State Budgets with some e-Health announcements and continuation of funding. There will be lots to read this week.
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Government's $6.5m Medicare ad campaign remains a mystery

  • Sue Dunlevy
  • News Limited Network
  • June 05, 2013 10:03PM
THE purpose and content of a $6.5 million advertising campaign about Medicare is a mystery, even though the money must be spent in the next 25 days.
The Health Department was unable to explain what the content of the advertising campaign, announced in the May budget, would be.
A Senate estimates committee was told even though the ads had three times been through an independent committee that must approve government advertising and been approved, the content of the campaign was "subject to government approval".
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Bending the benefits curve

Enrico Coiera
June 8, 2013
Wise heads no longer look for savings in the health system. We no longer expect our new technologies, re-organisations, and programs to find a penny. The idea that money can somehow be ‘released’ through change, to then be reapplied elsewhere, is gone. Healthcare has so much pent-up demand, so many unmet needs, that all our improvements can do is allow more of those needs to be met. Never comes the day that we find ourselves idle, our resources available for redeployment elsewhere.
That is why the new language in health is all about “bending the cost curve”- the idea that the very best innovation can do is to slow the growth in total system costs. No one who is informed expects you to save money anymore, just not to see as much relentless growth in the bills.
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eHealth highlights from Senate Estimates, June 5

PCEHR registrations are already at 250,000 Department of Health and Ageing Deputy Secretary Rosemary Huxtable told tonight’s meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs that the government should get close to the stated aim of 500,000 registrations by the end of this month.
Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, who is the Shadow Minister for Ageing and Shadow Minister for Mental Health, admitted she didn’t have an ehealth record herself, and asked why the increase had been so rapid.
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EMR rollout continues in NSW and Queensland

06.04.13
Long term programs are underway to migrate NSW and Queensland Public Hospitals to an integrated Electronic Medical Record (eMR) based on the Millennium platform from US firm Cerner.
As the cornerstone of Queensland' State eHealth strategy, delivery of an eMR will build on the large number of electronic solutions the department has already delivered in specialty clinical areas including; mental and oral health, patient discharge, endoscopy, intensive care, emergency department, radiology, pathology, anaesthetics and a patient information viewing system.
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Human error to blame for rogue prescriptions

HUMAN error was the most likely cause of how two incorrect prescriptions were added to a Gillard government-managed electronic health record.
A journalist with health trade publication Pulse+IT said the two items were added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme section of her e-health record.
"The prescriptions were for drugs that had never been prescribed for me, and were for medical conditions I do not have," Kate McDonald wrote on the publication's website.
McDonald said the mistakes were "most probably" an error at a local pharmacy and has since been compounded when repeat scripts were dispensed from another pharmacy a month later.
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Australia launches eHealth record app for children

The Department of Health and Ageing launched the country’s first smart phone app which allows parents to view information in and add information to the new health, growth and development part of their child’s Personally Controlled eHealth Record.
According to Australian Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, the “My Child’s eHealth Record app” lets parents add and monitor information like immunisations, height, weight, and development milestones.
The app connects parents to their child’s eHealth record, which is a new function added recently as part of the ongoing rollout of the government’s national eHealth record system.”
Before downloading and using the app, parents are advised to register their child or children for a personally controlled eHealth record.
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Australia Launches Child's eHealth Record App

Created on Monday, 03 June 2013
On Sunday 2 June The Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek launched the new child eHealth mobile app that allows parents to keep their children’s important health, growth and development information at their fingertips.
Ms Plibersek said the My Child’s eHealth Record app lets parents add and monitor information like immunisations, height, weight, and development milestones.
“This App will mean that parents can have vital information about their children’s health, like their immunisation status, at their fingertips all of the time,” said Ms Plibersek.
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Illawarra medical records set to go online

By CYDONEE MARDON

June 5, 2013, 4:09 a.m.
Illawarra patients and medical professionals are being urged to embrace modern technology and sign up to have their medical history and records available online.
Until now, health information has been widely scattered - some in the office of GPs, some in pharmacies, with specialists or in the files of dentists and physiotherapists.
But now, the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Medicare Local (ISML) is helping general practice and allied health practitioners in the region to become eHealth savvy.
ISML eHealth project officer Rohan McKnight said eHealth records allowed a patient and their healthcare providers access to a secure summary of health information - such as medications and immunisations.
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eHealth show to promote sign-ups

  • 7th Jun 2013 10:27 AM
THE Bundaberg community is being encouraged to sign up for a better way to manage their health records when an eHealth roadshow tours Bundaberg next week.
Registration is free and Wide Bay Medicare Local staff will be on hand to help out in the purpose-built eHealth semi-trailer.
The eHealth record - also knows as a Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record - is a secure online summary of your health information.
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Sign up for eHealth for easy access

  • 8th Jun 2013 7:07 AM
LOCAL residents are being urged to register for an eHealth online record to streamline information access for doctors and nurses.
The eHealth record allows doctors, nurses and other health care professionals access to a summary of important personal health information.
Residents can register when an eHealth truck visits the Pialba Place Shopping Centre car park on June 12 and 13.
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Occupy Healthcare – Social media do have the potential to revolutionize medicine

| May 30, 2013 9:45AM
In many areas of service provision the voice of the consumer is the strongest driver for change and innovation. That voice has been suprisingly subdued with regards to Australia’s public health system, however, as Professor Enrico Coiera from UNSW’s Australian Institute of Health Innovation reports, that that could all be about to change…….
Professor Coiera writes:
Can you smell revolution in the air? Social media like Twitter and Facebook helped catalyze the Arab Spring, and the Occupy movement’s global protests. Social media are often beyond the control of government, and allow citizen groups to form, share information and respond more quickly and with greater reach than ever before. With so much disaffection with modern healthcare, will healthcare too soon have its own Arab spring? Will old power structures be taken apart, and the compact between clinician, patient, industry and government reassembled into something new?
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Police, Health big winners in Queensland ICT budget spend

Queensland Police Service receives $14.5 million as part of technology refresh program
The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has been allocated funding for a technology refresh program in the 2013-14 budget.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey said in a statement that the decisions taken by the Campbell Newman government to reduce spending meant that there was more money to redirect into core services, including police.
“Police officers across Queensland work very hard to keep their communities safe and secure, and they deserve to have the best facilities and technology possible,” he said.
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'No frills' Qld Budget delivers for Health payroll and robots

Summary: The ongoing move to fix the Queensland Health payroll system resulted in it getting the largest IT spend in the 2013-14 Queensland Budget.
By Josh Taylor | June 4, 2013 -- 07:10 GMT (17:10 AEST)
In what Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls has described as a "no-frills, no-nonsense Budget", the Queensland government has provided close to AU$400 million over the next four years to operate the troubled Queensland Health payroll system.
The Liberal-National government outlined in its 2013-14 budget delivered today that AU$384.3 million will be spent over the next four years to operate, maintain, and enhance the payroll and rostering system.
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SA Budget a win for health, police, and emergency services

Summary: The South Australian government's 2013-14 Budget has a focus on overhauling a number of IT systems across the government, with a focus on health, police, and emergency services.
By Josh Taylor | June 7, 2013 -- 00:03 GMT (10:03 AEST)
The South Australian government has pledged millions of dollars across the government to overhaul IT systems, with a good portion of the funding targeted at health, police, and emergency services.
In the Budget delivered yesterday, SA Premier and Treasurer Jay Weatherill indicated that AU$26.2 million of the total AU$101.3 million will be invested this year in a new Enterprise Patient Administration System for e-health records in all metropolitan hospitals, GP Plus centres, and two country general hospitals.
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Delays to NBN affecting telehealth pilot study registrations

Delays to the rollout of the NBN may affect recruitment for some of the telehealth trials announced earlier this year.
Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council (ACIITC) chair Suri Ramanathan said that, with a smaller number of households connected to the NBN than anticipated, it has become more difficult for organisers to find eligible participants.
“People are excited about participating in the trials, but unfortunately on the practical side, the NBN delivery dates keep slipping out so the actual NBN footprint is very small,” he says.
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Watching over the elderly - the SOS Mobile Watch

Paul Apostolis, front, talks to his brother Peter via the smart watch they invented after their father had a stroke and needed closer monitoring. Picture: Sam Mooy Source: The Australian
THE SOS Mobile Watch for elderly users is another piece of wrist tech wizardry we've been trialling.
Developed by Sydney brothers Peter and Paul Apostolis, the watch contains a SIM card and GPS chip. In an emergency, an elderly wearer can press a big red button to get help.
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Keeping track of health via Fitbit app

HEALTH gadget maker Fitbit seems to be following its competition. Discontent with users stuffing their Fitbit Ones into pockets, bras or clipping them to trousers, Fitbit is selling a device called the Flex, which attaches to a wristband, just as Jawbone and Nike Wellness devices do.
I'm far from convinced that, without comprehensive calibration options, these kinds of devices offer real accuracy when they measure steps, sleep, calories burned, and offer feedback on eating habits.
But they give you a gee-up in your quest for a healthier lifestyle, have useful alarm features, and are entertaining too.
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MMRGlobal Retains Counsel in Australia and Issues Patent Update

MMRGlobal Inc.
MMRF | 6/3/2013 8:25:02 AM
LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/03/13 -- MyMedicalRecords, Inc. ("MMR"), a wholly owned subsidiary of MMRGlobal, Inc. (OTCQB: MMRF), today announced that it has retained the legal firm of Rockwell Olivier to represent the Company in Australia. Rockwell Olivier will join MMRGlobal CEO Robert H. Lorsch in July for licensing meetings in Australia. The firm will also represent MMR in respect to the impasse concerning the possible exploitation of the Company's MyMedicalRecords health IT Patents and Intellectual Property by NEHTA and others. Rockwell Olivier is a full service law firm with specialties in patent and trademark law. The firm has more than 130 employees including 24 principals and 50 other associates. Rockwell Olivier is headquartered in offices in Sydney and also maintains offices in Perth, Melbourne, visiting offices in PNG, Fiji, Vanuatu and a representative office in Singapore with affiliate relationships in more than 15 countries across the Asia Pacific Region. It had recently been brought to the Company's attention that government bodies in Australia, through the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), may have exploited the MMR patents (including Australian patent numbers 2006202057 and 2008202401) and other Intellectual Property (collectively, the "MMRIP") issued to MyMedicalRecords.com, Inc. NEHTA has reportedly spent an estimated one billion Australian dollars on an electronic Personal Health Records program which is the subject of the potential exploitation of the MMRIP.
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Obama Plans to Take Action Against Patent-Holding Firms

By JARED A. FAVOLE And BRENT KENDALL

WASHINGTON—The White House on Tuesday plans to announce a set of executive actions President Barack Obama will take that are aimed at reining in certain patent-holding firms, known as "patent trolls" to their detractors, amid concerns that the firms are abusing the patent system and disrupting competition.
The White House is set to announce a set of executive actions aimed at reining in so-called "patent trolls'' amid concerns that the patent firms are abusing the system. Brent Kendall joins MoneyBeat.
Mr. Obama's actions, which include measures he wants Congress to consider, are intended to target firms that have forced technology companies, financial institutions and others into costly litigation to protect their products. These patent-holding firms amass portfolios of patents more to pursue licensing fees than to build new products.
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Healthdirect under scrutiny over baby’s death

5 June, 2013 Paul Smith and AAP
The training of nurses running the Healthdirect Australia hotline is under investigation after a six-month baby was allegedly diagnosed with gastroenteritis before later dying from pneumococcal meningitis.
Allegra Scafidas became ill in April 2009, prompting her mother to call the triage service for help.
The child had a temperature of around 38.9 degrees, was whimpering, had been vomiting for several hours and was unsettled, a Perth inquest was told.
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Scientists compete to create bionic eye

Peter Roberts
Scientists typically think of the ­customer late in the process of commercialising their ideas, but those developing a bionic eye at Melbourne’s Monash University are bucking the trend.
Mark Armstrong, a professor of design at Monash’s Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, has released these first-ever images of how an ­electronic system that enables the blind to see could look to the outsider.
Professor Armstrong, a leading industrial designer with Blue Sky Design Group, worked on the designs for the Sydney 2000 Olympic torch and the Cochlear bionic ear, before linking up with the Monash Vision research ­industry group behind one competing version of a bionic eye.
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Drug funding to face audit

By ALISON BRANLEY, Health Reporter

June 2, 2013, 11 p.m.
THE Auditor-General is to examine the $15billion funding deal between the federal government and pharmacies.
The Australian National Audit Office has announced the Commonwealth Auditor-General is to examine the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement with the Pharmacy Guild.
It comes after the Newcastle Herald  reported in March there were concerns that some people skipped medications because they could not afford them.
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Three in four Australians say data breaches at banks and credit card companies concern them

June 3, 2013
2013 is emerging as a year of growing security concern for the majority of Australians, with increased concern recorded across all categories of the latest Unisys Security Index conducted by Newspoll.
The overall Unisys Security Index for Australia this year is 129 out of a possible score of 300, the highest recorded in Australia since May 2008. It reflects a jump of 19 points compared to March 2012 – the second largest increase across the 12 countries in the study, behind only the UK.
In addition, the Unisys research found that the majority of Australians are concerned that a range of commercial and government organisations are vulnerable to an accidental or malicious data breach, particularly financial institutions, telecommunication providers and government services.
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Mixed reaction to government's cloud aspirations

Date June 3, 2013 - 2:33PM

Stuart Corner

The Australian government's national cloud computing strategy, made public on May 29, has been criticised by some for failing to mandate a "cloud first" approach to IT procurement by government agencies, yet applauded by others.
Ovum research director of public sector technology Steve Hodgkinson told IT Pro the strategy could have been stronger: “The strategy could have argued for a stronger cloud-first style statement of intent which would have aligned it with the US and British government positions on cloud. They have specified firm targets and timeframes for migration towards cloud services.”
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NASA rover Curiosity about to start next phase in Mars exploration

In a few weeks, the robotic rover will begin a 5-mile trek to Mount Sharp
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is approaching its biggest turning point since landing on the Red Planet last August.
That's the word from NASA scientists, who today said that in a matter of weeks, the robotic rover will turn from the area it has been studying to begin a five-mile trek to the base of Mount Sharp, the longtime goal of Curiosity's mission.
"We've begun to hit full stride in Curiosity's exploration of Mars," said Mars Science Laboratory Project Manager Jim Erickson, during a press conference. "The pace is really picking up now."
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Microsoft unveils Windows 8 update

Date June 6, 2013 - 1:34PM
Microsoft has unveiled the updated version of its Windows 8 operating system at the world's second largest computer show.
Tami Reller, chief financial and marketing officer of the company's Windows Division, said Windows 8.1 would be available on both PCs and tablets later this year.
Speaking at the Computex show in Taipei on Wednesday, Reller said the 8.1 update took into account input from consumers on the Windows 8 system, which has received only lukewarm reviews.
"Windows 8.1 furthers the bold vision of Windows 8 by responding to customer feedback and adding new features and functionality that advance the touch experience and mobile computing's potential," she said.
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Enjoy!
David.

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