This blog is totally independent and has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 19th August, 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.
There was really only on story last week with the implosion of the NEHTA Clinical Leads program and increasing clarity on the respective roles of NEHTA and DoHA in the e-Health domain.
Other blogs will consider the implications of all this and provide a round-up.
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that the resignation of Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, head of clinical leadership and stakeholder management, from the National Electronic Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) raises serious concerns about clinical input to decision-making in the implementation of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR).
The resignations of Dr Haikerwal, a former AMA President and NHHRC Commissioner, and other clinical leads, including Dr Nathan Pinksier, come amid reports that the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) is taking over engagement with the medical profession and IT industry over the design of the PCEHR.
Dr Hambleton said that the AMA has long advocated that the success of the PCEHR depended on how it met clinical needs.
“The PCEHR simply will not be effective if doctors – the people who patients trust most with their health care – do not have a say on what goes on the electronic medical record and how that information is accessed and used, and by whom.
Australia’s long and troubled efforts to create a functioning national system of electronic health and medical records system is once more close to collapse.
The Australian Medical Association has expressed serious concerns over clinician input into the project following the shock resignation of highly respected clinical representative Dr Mukesh Haikerwal from the National eHealth Transition Authority (NeHTA) this week.
Other crucial clinical advisors, including Dr Nathan Pinksier and other clinical leads are also understood to have quit signalling a severe breakdown in relations between doctors and Department of Health and Ageing.
FROM at least the time of Hippocrates, the medical profession has advanced its knowledge of disease, prognosis and treatment by pooling information about patients with similar histories.
Doctors built their reputations as they acquired new knowledge and skills, helping them to attract more patients.
That “small business” model, with practitioners competing for patients, was nevertheless leavened by a cooperative commitment to share expertise through teaching and publication. Until well into the 20th century, that model was sustained — patients who could afford it would pay the doctor directly, while those who couldn’t pay would depend on the charity of a doctor or hospital, with clinical records the property of the doctor and/or the hospital.
STAFF at a South Australian practice who have signed up a quarter of their patients for a PCEHR have urged other practices to get behind the system.
Practice manager Dr Sim Hee Neoh of Whyalla’s The Surgery, on the SA coast near Port Augusta, said that although the process was initially time consuming, the e-health records were proving to be a valuable resource for both staff and patients.
“We started with NEHTA about a year ago as one of 65 practices asked to participate in the PCEHR,” Dr Neoh told MO.
“It does take time, particularly with the records that have been there for a long time. They accumulate a lot of rubbish. For example, the medication list often needs to be cleansed.”
Shape up or ship out was the warning delivered to prime contractor IBM following the release of a Royal Commission report into Queensland Health's infamously botched SAP payroll system.
Premier Campbell Newman has announced the vendor won't be allowed to enter any new contracts with the state until it lifts its governance and contracting practices. Mr Newman has called on IBM to deal with staff adversely named in the report and asked for Crown Law and Public Service Commission advice on what action can be taken against former public servants who played key roles in the debacle. IBM has denied it is responsible for all of the disaster.
Minister for Information Technology Ian Walker will respond to the report's other recommendations when Parliament next sits. Meanwhile, chief information officers and those responsible for such high-risk, wide-ranging, multimillion-dollar technology decisions could be forgiven for wondering about the professional and personal impact of such debacles.
We take a look at four failed ICT projects where king-sized cock-ups led to courtroom consequences:
Researchers from the University of Sydney have found that a smartphone-based screening device paired with a web-based prediction facility can detect atrial fibrillation (AF) with a 97 per cent accuracy.
AF is often asymptomatic and undiagnosed and is responsible for around a third of all strokes.
The team ran a trial in ten community pharmacies using the device, the AliveCor Heart Monitor for iPhone (iECG) which uses an iPhone with special case to take a single-lead ECG reading. The trial is now continuing in a number of Sydney-based General Practices.
Researcher Nicole Lowres, whose work was funded by the Heart Foundation, says the team planned to use a handheld ECG for the project but the AliveCor device was a better option.
Tomorrow I’m giving a webinar for MSIA members called “Embedding clinical safety in medical software implementations”. MSIA members can consult their MSIA releases for webinar details.
In this webinar, I’ll be looking at clinical safety from a vendor/system developer point of view
I’m going to be focusing on the real world challenges faced by people who make decisions about how systems will work. Usually this is vendor architects and analysts, but can also include developers, in-house teams, and government architecture and purchase teams.
Mapping technology can assist in combatting Australia’s mental health challenges by pinpointing specific regions most in need of funding and resources, according to a geo-health expert. In light of new figures that 45 per cent of Australians aged 16-85 years will experience a common mental health-related condition, Geographic Information System (GIS) technology has emerged as a tool to determine exactly where medical services are required to address and treat the issue.
NBN Co still doesn't know how more than a million analog-connected devices such as medical pendants and security alarms will continue to be supported when the Telstra copper network is replaced with an NBN fibre connection to homes.
There is no guarantee the telephone service provided by the NBN will provide end-to-end support for the devices. And there are no processes yet to ensure that when a retailer sells services to a customer, it is fully cognisant of any such legacy services and needs to ensure ongoing operation.
The termination boxes – the network termination device (NTD) – to be installed in all NBN-connected homes are fitted with two analog phone ports, known as Uni-V, and four ethernet data ports, Uni-D. Any alarm services would need to be provided as ''over-the-top'' (OTT) using one of the two Uni–V ports.
A TWEAKED version of Microsoft's Windows operating system which restores the "Start" button missed by users and updates other features will be available on October 18, the company said Wednesday.
Windows 8.1 will be offered as a free download to those already using Windows 8, and comes in response to a lukewarm reception to the operating system introduced last year aimed at serving both mobile devices and PCs.
A full retail version of Windows 8.1 will also be available on the same date.It will lauunch on October 18 in the US (October 19 AEST).
NASA says it cannot fix its hobbled planet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope and is considering what sort of scientific research it might be able to do at half-capacity.
"Today, we are reporting we do not believe we can recover three-wheeled operations, or Kepler's original science mission," said Paul Hertz, NASA Astrophysics Division director.
"So the Kepler project is turning its attention to studying the possibility of two-wheeled operations," he said, referring to the wheels the craft uses to orientate itself.
The unmanned spacecraft launched in 2009 on a search for rocky planets orbiting in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars - in other words, planets like Earth that might contain life elsewhere in the Milky Way galaxy.