Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 15th July, 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

A very quiet week but enough happening to keep us interested.
The loss of the NBN CEO was hardly a surprise and whoever takes over will have a huge job - no matter who wins the election - remember in part it is a huge IT project which we don’t have a wonderful track record with.
Had a look at my NEHRS only to discover the PBS data is out of chronological order for some odd reason - and the whole thing is as slow as a wet week which I still don’t understand
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GP input to PCEHRs remains miniscule

9 July, 2013 Paul Smith
The number of shared health summaries created by GPs for the personally controlled electronic health records  system is little more than 1100 — about 0.3% of nearly 400,000 patients who have been recruited to the billion-dollar scheme.
Health summaries are meant to be the backbone of the PCEHR and will list patients' current diagnoses, medications, allergies and immunisation histories.
However, there have been ongoing concerns about the workload the scheme will generate for GPs.
Doubts have also been raised over whether the profession will agree to take on the task of managing the summaries, which are designed to help streamline care with other health providers, such as hospitals and specialists.
The number of shared health summaries was obtained by Australian Doctor in May.
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Low sign-up for Australian eHealth records

  • Jordanna Schriever Health Reporter
  • The Advertiser
  • July 07, 2013 9:45PM
LESS than 2 per cent of Australians have signed up for an eHealth record in the year since its launch, and the Australian Medical Association says most of those records would be unused and blank.
The AMA supports the idea of the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) system, but president Steve Hambleton said the current system was flawed because GPs and hospitals could not easily access and enter information in the system.
Nationally, the Health Department says 407,000 Australians - about 1.7 per cent of 23 million people - had registered for an eHealth record since its launch in July 2012.
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E-health records result in reduced medical errors for Australian doctors

July 8, 2013
The majority of Australian doctors (77 per cent) say sharing health records electronically had a positive impact on reducing medical errors in 2012, according to a survey by Accenture. The survey of 3,700 doctors in eight countries – Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States – also found that 83 per cent of Australian doctors are actively using electronic medical records (EMR) and roughly 70 per cent reported improved quality of diagnostic and treatment decisions as a result of their use of shared electronic health records.
Patient access to records
Accenture’s survey revealed most Australian doctors (83 per cent) want patients to actively participate in their own healthcare by updating their electronic health records (EHR). However, the majority believe that patients should only have limited access to this record – a view shared across the surveyed countries. There was broad agreement among Australian doctors that patients should be able to update standard information in their health records, including demographics (87 per cent) and family medical history (78 per cent). However, a significant proportion of doctors were opposed to patients providing updates in areas such as medications (29 per cent), medication side effects (28 per cent), allergic episodes (26 per cent) and lab test results (59 per cent). The level of opposition to such patient input was notably higher than most other countries.
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Toongabbie doctor signed up for eHealth Records system

July 11, 2013, 5:24 p.m.
A Toongabbie doctor will be one of the first in western Sydney to use the new eHealth Records system.
Western Sydney Medical Local is rolling out the new system to general practitioners across western Sydney.
Toby Nasr, principal of Metella Road Family Practice at Toongabbie has started uploading the shared health summaries to the National e-Health records system for patients who have registered for Personally Controlled electronic health records.
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Call for Nominations for the IHTSDO Standing Committees

Created on Wednesday, 10 July 2013
NEHTA is now inviting expressions of interest from Australian clinical informaticians to be nominated as independent experts on the International Health Terminology Standing Development Organisation (IHTSDO) Standing Committees.
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Question: FHIR Versioning

Posted on July 10, 2013 by Grahame Grieve
Question:
Can you tell me roughly when FHIR 1.0 is scheduled for? Is that the DSTU version? or is that the post-DSTU version?
Answer:
We’ve never formally discussed versioning for FHIR. At present, I’ve upped the minor version whenever we reach some kind of publishing milestone – typically, I up the version when we enter a connectathon freeze, and again afterwards when changes recommence. We’ve not had any policy discussion about it. I’m inclined to target 1.0 as the first full normative release. So the DSTU would be 0.5 maybe.
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New eMedical service launched in Australia

Monday, 08 July 2013 09:21
A collaboration between Australia and Canada has resulted in more than 100 countries now having access to eMedical, Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s (DIAC) new electronic health processing system that enables more efficient and cost-effective visa processing.
eMedical is an updated and improved version of the former ‘eHealth’ online system used to record the health examination results of visa applicants who complete their examinations for both DIAC and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
“Increased use of eMedical will result in substantial benefits to DIAC and our clients, including improved client service, enhanced integrity and significant financial savings,” a DIAC spokesman said.
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Health-related web searches could be tracked, researchers warn

Date July 9, 2013 - 9:58AM
New research has raised the alarm about threats to privacy posed by patients searching for health-related information on the Internet.
Marco Huesch, a researcher at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, searched for "depression," "herpes" and "cancer" on various health-related websites and observed that the data was being tracked.
"Confidentiality is threatened by the leakage of information to third parties" through trackers on the websites themselves or on consumers' computers, he wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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Privacy fears in visiting Google doctor

  • From: AFP
  • July 09, 2013 11:59AM
PATIENTS searching for health-related information on the Internet may find their privacy threatened, said a research letter published in a major US medical journal.
Marco Huesch, a researcher at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, searched for "depression," "herpes" and "cancer" on various health-related websites and observed that the data was being tracked.
"Confidentiality is threatened by the leakage of information to third parties" through trackers on the websites themselves or on consumers' computers, he wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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Canadian partnership feature of research funding boost

Date July 10, 2013 - 11:20AM

Dan Harrison

Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent

The Federal Government has announced an extra 13.5 million for research projects to improve primary care, including $2.5 million for a research partnership with Canada.
The Canadian initiative will focus on chronic disease prevention and management, rural health, and better care for people in low socio-economic communities.
Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said on Wednesday that the project would bring together more than 20 researchers, clinicians and decision makers from both countries.
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Plibersek’s $13.5m boost for primary care research

10th Jul 2013
PRIMARY care research is set to receive a $13.5 million shot in the arm after Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced additional funding for the sector via the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
The announcement today at the Primary Health Care Research Conference in Sydney includes $2.5 million towards a new research organisation that will see local researchers partnering with colleagues in Canada.
Ms Plibersek said it would be Australia's first international primary healthcare research organisation to focus on studying ways to improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations.
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Help is on its way with life-saving apps

Date July 1, 2013

Jenneth Orantia

You can transform your smartphone into a panic button in your pocket, writes Jenneth Orantia.
Knowing to dial triple-0 in an emergency is something everyone learns from an early age. But what do you do if you can't get through to the switchboard, or you aren't sure whether the situation warrants intervention?
There are a handful of apps you can turn to that transform your smartphone into a personal safety device.
After the tragic death of his wife and son in the Queensland floods of 2011, John Tyson came up with the idea for the Ultimate Civilian app (available for iPhones and iPads, $4.49) and approached Maxmoment Interactive to help him develop it.
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Mercy mission delivers users a one-stop data shop

HEALTHCARE provider Mercy Health's systems were not coping with the surge of data spooling off half a million clients every year.
Reports were not available and production was manual and time consuming, with low trust levels of the data.
"There was a lot of ad-hoc extraction of information as well as a number of different reporting tools across different systems," Mercy Health strategy, planning and business general manager Jenny Smith says.
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Health provider broadband connectivity: a review of technical requirements

3 July, 2013
PDF
03 July 2013 | Over the next 5 to 10 years high-speed broadband will enable a number of new services in the health sector including telemedicine consultations, electronic health records, eLearning for clinicians, and personalised medicine and participatory healthcare. Currently there are a variety of piecemeal data connectivity arrangements with multiple connections and service providers in the health sector. For the healthcare sector to take advantage of high-speed broadband, delivering an efficient and effective transformation of service delivery and supply chain reform, integrated planning and better coordination of data connectivity are essential.
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Rudd adds $10m muscle to 2020 Summit pet bionic-eye projects

  • by: SEAN PARNELL, HEALTH EDITOR
  • From: The Australian
  • July 10, 2013 12:00AM
KEVIN Rudd's favoured project from the 2020 Summit -- an Australian-made bionic eye -- has received a $10 million boost to allow researchers to keep working on their concepts for another year.
The Prime Minister was so determined to replicate the Australian innovation shown in the development of a cochlear implant that he insisted health experts make the bionic eye a priority.
Two Australian research groups have already received $50m in taxpayer funding and were yesterday granted an extension, with Bionic Vision Australia, led by the University of Melbourne, to receive $8m and Monash Vision Group, led by Monash University, to receive $1.9m.
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Health apps you should avoid

Date July 11, 2013

Gloria Dawson

Your health is a complicated puzzle best solved by professionals, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't use technology to make things simpler. Never has it been easier to track your health, monitor your fitness goals or research treatment options.
"It turns out that your interaction with your doctor has two parts. There's a technical component: your doctor is gathering information about you to make a diagnosis and recommend a care plan. And then there's the emotional overlay," says Dr Joe Kvedar, the founder and director of the Centre for Connected Health, which focuses on providing healthcare outside of the traditional hospital or doctor's office setting. 
"We're not taking your doctors visit away," Dr Kvedar explains. "So much of what we do with patients is the algorithmic information; it's not that emotionally laden piece." Following up with a doctor about when to take a medication is a good example of something that can be done over email. Who wants to spend an afternoon in your physician's waiting room for that?
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'No crisis' as Mike Quigley quits

  • by: Mitchell Bingemann and Damon Kitney
  • From: The Australian
  • July 13, 2013 12:00AM
MIKE Quigley, the outgoing chief executive of the NBN Co, has denied he is leaving the company building Australia's largest infrastructure project in a state of crisis as he deflected speculation that he was pushed from the high-profile role.
Mr Quigley announced yesterday that he would step down and retire from corporate life after four years leading the company building Labor's $37.4 billion broadband project.
His departure comes after a frenetic year in which the company was forced to revise its rollout targets as it was beset by problems with its construction contractors, an exodus of experienced staff and the exposure of workers and residents to asbestos risks during the build.
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The future of Google goggles is here

9th Jul 2013
IT’LL be several months before the average gadget-lover will get their hands on Google Glass, but among software developers there’s already a gold-rush mood about the potential of the new wearable technology device made by the search giant.
So far only a few hundred developers and tech experts have worn the futuristic glasses, but at last month’s Google I/O annual developers’ conference in San Francisco, everyone wearing the US$1500 ($1600) prototype had a permanent smile on their face.
A short time wearing the glasses explains the fascination: the wearer has access to all the information available on the internet without having to use a smartphone or computer to get it.
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Pre-Google-era search engine AltaVista goes to web graveyard

  • From: AFP
  • July 09, 2013 12:04PM
ONCE upon a time, there was a popular search engine called AltaVista. It lives no more.
On Monday, its owner Yahoo Inc sent AltaVista.com to the internet graveyard to rest alongside order-almost-anything venture Kozmo.com and the butler from Ask Jeeves.
Palo Alto, California-based AltaVista was introduced in 1995, three years before Google Inc was founded.
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Enjoy!
David.

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