Monday, July 22, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 22nd 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 interesting week with the Health Minister announcing $8M for path and radiology results in the PCEHR.
The only issue with all this is that it is not clear is just what the money is for and who is going to be involved.
The large pathology and radiology providers have an interest in ensuring their name and report formats are preserved and highly visible to both the doctor and the patient. I am not at all sure how this will work in the PCEHR.
Of course the Qld Payroll System makes another appearance as we have the final review report on what happened and who caused all the problems due at the end of the month. Will make fun reading and remind us all of how things go wrong and why.

Most doctors reject e-health record system as 'white elephant'

A VAST majority of doctors continues to shun the government's $467 million e-health record system, with about 58 per cent saying they would never participate in the scheme.
Some have warned that the opt-in, personally controlled e-health system, designed as an online summary of people's health information, risks becoming a white elephant.
Patients decide who can gain access to their e-health record and it allows them to view and control information added to their record by doctors or other healthcare professionals.

'Scrap it before it bleeds more money' - Edwin Kruys damns e-health

EDWIN Kruys didn't ask to be the poster child for GPs railing against the e-health record system, but he wants equity for his patients.
With $467 million already spent on the personally controlled e-health record system, Dr Kruys says the project should be scrapped before it burns more cash.
"It's a big mistake they've made. They just keep throwing money at these projects and it's so painful to see. Some of my patients can't even afford medication," says Dr Kruys, who has blogged and spoken about the PCEHR's pitfalls.

E-health flaws adding to GP stress

16 July, 2013
Doctors in the Hunter region are reporting major flaws in the Federal Government's E-health system that was set up to improve patient treatment.
The Hunter Valley is one of three regions in Australia to pilot the program that links a patient's medical records between doctors, hospitals and other providers.
Trials are also running in Brisbane and Melbourne.

New health informaticians certification program launched

A new health informatician certification program for Australians was launched in Adelaide today at the annual Health Informatics Conference held by the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) (HIC2013).
The certification was developed by HISA in conjunction with the Australasian College of Health Informatics (ACHI) and the Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA) and will provide formal recognition for health informatics professionals.
Sallyanne Wissmann, who is President of HIMAA, today said that the qualification moves to unify the profession.

Lurking perils of copious information

9th Jul 2013
AS WE receive ever more information about our patients, the burden for GPs to decide what to do with it grows.
A well-founded, and occasionally tested, fear is that we miss something that will have negative consequences for our patients. But in these days of ubiquitous information, just how much is there to miss?
Obviously a thorough history is basic and if the patient doesn’t offer some important information, a doctor may still be held responsible for failing to ask a critical question, or review previous notes that might have a bearing on the diagnosis or proper management — the notion of single incident versus continuing care.

E-health surpasses 500,000 mark

  • by: Fran Foo
  • From: Australian IT
  • July 19, 2013 10:27AM
THE number of consumer registrations for the personally controlled e-health records has passed the magic 500,000 mark, according to latest figures by the health minister.
In her speech at a health conference this week, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said there were around 520,000 patients on board.
"The government set a goal to have about half a million patients on the national e-health records system by the middle of this year. Not only did we meet this goal, we’ve exceeded it," Ms Plibersek said.

PCEHR poll shows what we already know

The results of an online poll by Australian Doctor Magazine tell us again what we already know: Doctors are not prepared to engage with the current version of the eHealth-record system (PCEHR). It’s unfortunate that one year after the official launch not much has changed. Clinicians have made many suggestions to the government to improve the system, but it seems the feedback has fallen on deaf ears.

Fresh injection of funds puts more medical data online

Date July 17, 2013

Dan Harrison

Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent

People will be able to store the results of blood tests and X-rays on their electronic health record after an $8 million upgrade to the system to be announced by Health Minister Tanya Plibersek on Wednesday.
"We expect both doctors and patients will find the new functionality useful, as it will reduce the need for them to chase down results or duplicate tests,'' Ms Plibersek said. "In an emergency, having this kind of information on a patient's eHealth record could save lives."

More money for eHealth scheme

July 17, 2013
Joanna Heath
Developing the capability to include pathology and diagnostic imaging results in personal electronic health records will be funded under an $8 million pledge by the Rudd government, but without a guarantee the pathology sector will co-operate.
The development of what are known as eHealth records, which came into being in July 2012, is a key initiative for Health Minister Tanya Plibersek. It has been criticised by the Coalition for low take-up rates in its early stages.
In a speech to be delivered to a conference in Adelaide on Wednesday, Ms Plibersek will staunchly defend the system, which now has 520,000 patients registered.

Govt spends $8m more on eHealth records

Claims 120,000 people signed up in past weeks.

The Federal Government will pour a further $8 million into its personally-controlled electronic health records system to allow pathology results to be added to a person’s eHealth record.
In a speech to the Health Informatics conference today, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek revealed the further investment and said the total number of users currently on the system was 520,000.
The figure means around 120,000 people had signed up to the PCEHR in the past few weeks.

eHealth a natural extension of universal healthcare

Speaking at HIC2013 this week Australia's Minister for Health and Medical Research, Tanya Plibersek, announced $8 million additional funding to ensure pathology and diagnostic imaging results are able to be uploaded to patient's eHealth records.
"The funding will support planning and design work related to upgrading medical software used by doctors so results can be downloaded or uploaded at the click of a button,” Ms Plibersek said.
The work paves the way for x-ray and MRI images themselves to be stored on a patient’s eHealth record in the future.

Epworth finds healthcare black spots with geospatial analytics

Summary: When it came time to find the best location for its new Melbourne-area hospital, private healthcare group Epworth Healthcare turned to geospatial analytics to find the most underserviced area and deliver exactly the services its population requires.
By David Braue for Full Duplex | July 16, 2013 -- 13:59 GMT (23:59 AEST)
An investment in geospatial data analysis has provided a significant improvement in decision-making as healthcare group Epworth HealthCare scoured the state of Victoria for the ideal location and services mix for a new private teaching hospital.
The choice of site for the $447m facility – which will be built next to Deakin University in the Melbourne satellite city of Geelong and will rival the group’s major facility in inner-Melbourne Richmond – came after the group’s planning heads teamed up with geospatial group MapData Services to conduct an extensive analysis of demographic and medical services across Victoria.
That analysis involved sourcing a range of data including Australian Bureau of Statistics figures around population growth and demographics, details of currently available health services, and the geographical distribution of particular types of conditions.

South West Alliance of Rural Health Expands Use of InterSystems TrakCare Healthcare Information System

 12 Public Hospitals Share Electronic Health Records for 200,000 Patients with Support for Administrative and Clinical Functions; Analytics and Community Health Planned
MELBOURNE, Aust. -- July 15, 2013 -- InterSystems, a global leader in software for connected healthcare, today announced that the South West Alliance of Rural Health (SWARH) in Victoria has reached another milestone towards implementing a regional electronic health record (EHR) system. Based on InterSystems TrakCare®, a unified healthcare information system, a new Patient Administration System will serve 12 public hospitals across the region.
SWARH has been running TrakCare’s Clinical Information System, which serves 200,000 patients, for several years. The new TrakCare Patient Administration System is configured to meet the needs of both large and small hospitals across the region. Providing all administrative and clinical functionality within a unified system eases access to healthcare information, improves care coordination, and reduces SWARH’s technical support overheads.

Medicare Locals still shrouded in mystery

17th Jul 2013
ALMOST three-quarters of Australians have no idea what Medicare Locals are or what they do, according to research obtained by Medical Observer.
The survey of 1400 people, commissioned by Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local (EMML) and conducted by market research firm Crosby Textor, found 72% of respondents knew nothing about MLs or their role.
Some 5% thought MLs carried out functions relating to “Medicare/claims” — and that was the most common suggestion offered by respondents.

IBM, Accenture at war over health payroll bungle

Date July 16, 2013

Amy Remeikis

The two IT firms at the centre of the health payroll inquiry have taken to public submissions to continue their battle against each other.
Accenture and IBM have each tendered last ditch submissions to Commissioner Richard Chesterman who is finalising his report into the bungled Queensland Health payroll system, which left thousands of workers overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all when it was rolled out in March 2010.
Accenture had been the preferred provider of the system, but IBM eventually won the contract.

IBM, Accenture play blame game over $1bn project blowout

Sueball guns locked and loaded

By Richard Chirgwin, 17th July 2013
IBM and Accenture are sniping at one another in public over just who should take the blame - and the fall - for the $AUD1bn blowout of a project to provide the Australian State of Queensland's Department of Health with a new payroll system.
The project kicked off in 2007 with a budget of just over $6m. It's now expected to cost up to $1.25bn to complete, a failure that has led the State's government to run a Commission of Inquiry into the affair.
That inquiry is due to report by the end of July, and looks set to spark a rolling lawyer-fest on a scale that Cecil B de Mille might find worthy of attention.

NEHTA is coming to town

 “Be a yardstick of quality” ~ Steve Jobs.
First of all, many thanks to the GPs, registrars, practice managers, journos and eHealth-specialists who made suggestions how to move the eHealth-records system forward.
The original comments can be found here. It’s an excellent read and summarises the sticky PCEHR-issues from a clinician point of view.

Why attend the Australian FHIR Connectathon?

Posted on July 19, 2013 by Grahame Grieve
So this week, while I was at HIC 2013, I spoke to a number of vendors about the FHIR connectathon to be held in Sydney in late October in association with the IHIC 2013 meeting. Most of the vendors have heard of FHIR, and expect that it will have a major impact on them at some stage, but are still unsure about attending the connectathon.
They all asked me pretty much the same set of questions:
  • When will FHIR be a reality for me?
  • How much will the connectathon cost?
  • What makes this worth attending?
Note that the same general logic applies to the question of attending the general FHIR connectathon in Boston on Sept 20-21, though the specific details differ.

Crisis talks to determine Tasmanian NBN rollout

Date July 15, 2013 - 1:16PM

Rosemary Bolger of The Examiner

Crisis talks are being held on Monday to determine the future of Tasmania's NBN roll-out.
A crisis meeting between contractors and the company responsible for the NBN rollout in Tasmania will be held on Monday afternoon to determine if work on the multi-million dollar installation continues. 
Visionstream has organised the meeting in Hobart at 2.30pm as it attempts to prevent contractors from walking off the job. 

Rollout! Rollout! Come see greatest no-show on earth

IT was supposed to be the 21st century's Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. A mammoth, nationwide infrastructure project that would stimulate jobs, the economy and modernise the delivery of high-speed broadband to Australian homes and businesses.
And with the promise of creating tens of thousands of jobs to dig the trenches needed to lay fibre to 93 per cent of the nation's homes, the construction industry thought it had literally hit pay dirt.
But four years since construction began on Labor $37.4 billion National Broadband Network, dollar signs and question marks cast shadows over the flagship broadband project and some of the firms building it consider pulling out altogether because of increasing cost pressures.

PC sales now in record slide as tablet market bites

Date July 12, 2013
Global shipments of personal computers slumped 10.9 per cent in the second quarter, the longest decline in the industry's history, as the market continues to be devastated by the popularity of tablets, research firm Gartner said on Wednesday.
In an industry now in its the fifth straight quarterly decline, Hewlett-Packard in the June quarter lost ground to Lenovo, now the world's leading personal computer maker with a market share of 16.7 per cent.
"We are seeing the PC market reduction directly tied to the shrinking installed base of PCs, as inexpensive tablets displace the low-end machines used primarily for consumption in mature and developed markets," Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa said in a news release.

When stars collided Earth was sprinkled with gold, Space glow proves

  • From: AP
  • July 18, 2013 11:12AM
A STRANGE glow in space has provided fresh evidence that all the gold on Earth was forged from ancient collisions of dead stars, researchers report.
Astronomers have long known that fusion reactions in the cores of stars create lighter elements such as carbon and oxygen, but such reactions can't produce heavier elements like gold.
Instead, it was long thought that gold was created in a type of stellar explosion known as a supernova.

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