Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 25th November, 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

Well, there was a lot of work done last week to prepare submissions for the PCEHR enquiry - they closed on the 22nd November, 2013.
We have also seen further discussion on just what should happen next and I think we are seeing some interesting ideas emerge.
Other than that it was interesting to see more telehealth discussion, Senate estimates and lots of interesting apps for health.
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'We got screwed over': e-health GPs speak out

20 November, 2013 Paul Smith
"We got screwed over, didn’t we? We didn’t realise. We were there in the middle of it all trying to make it work, but we were like the woman with the abusive husband, thinking every tomorrow would be a sunny day.”
This is one voice of the many senior doctors who joined the National E-Health Transition Authority to create Australia’s personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) system.
It was envisaged that the system would help track patients’ labyrinthine journeys through the health system. One of its central aims was simply to save aeroplanes of patients from falling out of the sky as a result of the two million medication misadventures that happen each year.
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Doctors and hospitals barely using $1 billion e-health record

  • November 21, 2013 8:00PM
JUST one per cent of the patients who have signed up to the Government's $1 billion e-health scheme have a doctor's clinical summary on their record - which is the point of the initiative.
The scheme has been going for 17 months but some hospitals in Queensland and NSW have only been able to read the records in the past few weeks.
Despite the glacial uptake of the record Health Department chief Jane Halton says the progress being made "is reasonable".
The incoming Abbott Government has ordered a review of the expensive e-health system that is due to report next month.
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Underlying Issues for the pcEHR

Posted on November 17, 2013 by Grahame Grieve
There’s an enquiry into the pcEHR at the moment. As one of the small cogs in the large pcEHR wheel, I’ve been trying to figure out whether I have an opinion, and if I do, whether I should express it. However an intersection of communications with many people both in regard to the PCEHR, and FHIR, and other things, have all convinced me that I do have an opinion, and that it’s worth offering here.
There’s a lot of choices to be made when trying to create something like the pcEHR. In many cases, people had to pick one approach out of a set of equivocal choices, and quite often, the choice was driven by pragmatic and political considerations, and is wrong from different points of view, particularly with regard to long-term outcomes. That’s a tough call – you have to survive the short-term challenges in order to even have long term questions. On the other hand, if the short term decisions are bad enough, there’s no point existing into the long term. And the beauty of this, of course, is that you only find out how you went in the long term. The historians are the ones who decide.
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Patients okay with GPs' screen-time

20 November, 2013 David Brill
GPs have developed "sophisticated" strategies for maintaining rapport with patients while using the computer, a study finds.
The analysis of consultations in New Zealand found GPs spent 27% of their time interacting with the computer — and 12% focused exclusively on it.
But rather than necessarily damaging the doctor-patient relationship, computers were often a "benign force" that slotted in seamlessly, the University of Otago researchers concluded, after videoing 28 consultations with 10 Wellington GPs.
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Telehealth: The healthcare and aged care revolution that can pay for the whole NBN

Nick Ross ABC Technology and Games Updated 20 Sep 2013 
Australia will spend over $10 trillion on healthcare over the next thirty years - much of it on aged care. If the new NBN-related health applications make a tiny dent in that figure, they would pay for the whole NBN. And revolutionise healthcare for all.
In the toxic fact-free zone that represents the bulk of National Broadband Network discussion, most people would be shocked to know that the NBN is likely worth building for the healthcare benefits alone - especially for the old and infirm. And the NBN doesn't just offer a healthcare revolution, it's likely to save tax payers billions of dollars every year. Most important of all, however, is the notion that these new-generation 'Telehealthcare' applications are only viable using the current Fibre to the Home broadband policy and not the Coalition's alternative. Could it be that convalescing old ladies, who have never used a computer in their lives, are the pin-up girls for fibre-based broadband?
Meaningless phrases and numbers
Many people are sick of hearing nebulous terms like 'superfast broadband' and jargon like 'jigabits per second' and 'download speeds.'
Telehealthcare ignores all of that and treats the NBN like the infrastructure that it is - a network which provides a medical-grade, reliable connection to each home and a complete standardisation of equipment - i.e. 'one box and one interface for everyone' - instead of the hotchpotch, 'every-situation-is-different' situation that we have today.
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How new technology is changing access to health care in Australia

  • November 24, 2013 12:00AM
FROM a smartphone app that scans your vital signs to doctors treating their far distant patients through "face time" on their tablets or computers, technology is changing the way thousands of Australians access health care.
General Practitioner Ashley Collins is stationed more than 1000 kilometres from his patient but he can get a blood pressure reading without laying a hand on the company director.
Using a video link and a portable machine owned by the patient he can measure blood glucose, pulse rate, body temperature, cholesterol and even get an ECG measurement.
When he's completed his diagnosis he faxes a script to the chemist nearest his patient.
Dr Collins, from Temorah in central western NSW, uses a specialised computer to deliver this care but from next year he says patients will be able to do this from their mobile phone.
Already there are new devices including ultrasounds, ECG monitors, mirocroscopes and dermatascopes that can view skin cancers and blood pressure monitors that can be plugged into a smartphone.
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Health dept pleads for PCEHR patience

It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.

Senior health bureaucrats claim the uptake of personally controlled electronic health records is more promising than it appears.
Department secretary Jane Halton fronted senate estimates today claiming the rate of adoption nationwide is proportionally greater than it was when the Northern Territory embarked upon its much smaller quest to roll out shared health records in 2007.
These days, she said, NT has reached 90 percent coverage across its health system records.
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Contract negotiations underway for major Tasmanian eHealth system

With a new ICT strategy poised for signoff, Tasmania’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is already negotiating with vendors for several major new projects that will improve health outcomes, according to Deputy CIO, Tim Blake.
Blake was appointed deputy CIO of DHHS Tasmania this year after holding roles as  director of rural eHealth strategy and planning at NSW Health as well as senior IT positions at Oracle and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“The tagline for our new ‘Connected Care’ strategy is ‘supporting ICT as a frontline service,’ which speaks to the growing importance of eHealth and the growing reliance on IT in everyday care,” he says.
He says that the new strategy, developed over the past year, is a progressive plan covering ICT for Tasmania’s Health and Human Services across the whole state.
One early project under the Connected Care banner will feed into the national PCEHR, he says.
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GPs' work growing more complex

19 November, 2013 Dr Elizabeth Lord
GPs are spending less time doing clinical work than a decade ago but are facing a more complex patient load, a national snapshot of general practice reveals.
The average number of hours involved in direct patient care decreased from 41 hours in 2003/04 to 38 in 2012/13, according to the University of Sydney's BEACH study.
However, GPs were now managing 155 problems for every 100 patient encounters, up from 146 problems 10 years ago, the annual study showed.
"As the population ages, chronic disease are accounting for an increasing proportion of GPs workload," said lead author Associate Professor Helena Britt.
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Senior Clinical Risk & Governance Manager

NEHTA - Sydney

Job description

Provide high level collaboration and coordination of clinical governance activities
Use your prior clinical governance and risk management skills to improve clinical useability of NEHTA’s products
At NEHTA, it is essential that all our products are clinically reviewed at appropriate points in the product lifecycle, thereby ensuring clinical useability of the resulting products. The Senior Clinical Risk & Governance Manager oversees this process by driving the Clinical Functional Assurance Management System and system wide clinical governance approaches. Working in consultation with the Clinical Governance Committee, this role will provide leadership, collaboration and coordination of clinical governance activities that support risk management, quality improvement and patient safety for all NEHTA’s eHealth products and services.
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IBM, Accenture are risk factors for IT disasters, claims TechnologyOne

news Australian technology vendor TechnologyOne has claimed that using major third-party systems integrators such as IBM and Accenture on major technology projects can add to the risk of “implementation disasters” such as the billion-dollar catastrophe with Queensland Health’s payroll systems overhaul.
In a media release issued this month, Queensland-headquartered TechnologyOne noted that nine of Victoria’s TAFEs had successfully rolled out TechnologyOne’s Student Management System, as part of the Victorian Government’s project to support its TAFEs’ transition to new contestable training markets.
The go live of the final TAFE in October 2013 marked the successful end of a nine-month implementation project rollout phase, which TechnologyOne began at the beginning of 2013, the company said. TechnologyOne’s solution approach and close working relationship with Victoria’s TAFEs has streamlined each implementation, according to the company, enabling the participating TAFEs to derive early value.
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Neuroscientists test IT team at Queensland Brain Institute

Genomics research generates 72 terabytes per row per genome, says IT manager
The IT team at the Queensland Brain Institute has to race to keep up with the technology demands of the research organisation’s neuroscientists, according to QBI senior IT manager, Jake Carroll.
QBI is “trying to discover the fundamental mechanisms that regulate brain function,” Carroll said.
Researchers are looking at a variety of areas related to the brain, including dementia and mental illness, he said.
Talking to Computerworld Australia at the Dell Enterprise Forum in Melbourne, Carroll described a vicious cycle that leads to ever-increasing demands on ICT infrastructure.
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Race to 100 winning app – Cloud Clinic

12th Nov 2013
GP Dr Kerry Pilcher, app competition winner, says Cloud Clinic “helps patients work through the strategies of CBT in a clear and simple way”.
WITH at least one million Australians currently affected with depression, the Cloud Clinic app is an important tool to know about.
It was developed by an Australian clinical psychologist alongside a consultant psychiatrist.
It offers a mobile cognitive behavioural therapy program that aims to improve mood and overall happiness.
Key features
The program not only allows the user to monitor their feelings with a mood diary, it provides an Activity Planner encouraging involvement in mood-boosting activities.
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10 great apps

11th Nov 2013
GPs across Australia sent in their favourite apps to help MO reach 100 Hot Apps in our iPad directory. Here are the competition runners-up.
Handy prompts for diagnostic decision-making 
Differential Diagnosis from the BMJ Group is a comprehensive resource tool to help healthcare professionals make diagnoses. The information in the app is based on the clinical websites Best Practice and Clinical Evidence by the BMJ Group.
Key features
This app enables the review of a vast range of differential diagnoses for particular symptoms, signs, test results and diseases. And it can be personalised by engaging the My Specialty function in the settings.
App: Differential diagnosis
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MyChemist eyes 8-inch Dell tablets for shop floor

Hardware refresh will see upgrade from Windows XP and move to 64-bit hardware
The pharmacy group that includes MyChemist and Chemist Warehouse may soon give Dell tablets to store staff as part of a planned hardware refresh, said the group’s CIO Jules Cardinale.
MyChemist is working with Dell to refresh all of the stores’ hardware over the next 18 months, Cardinale told CIO Australia in an interview at the Dell Enterprise Forum.
Existing hardware includes PCs that are used at the point of sale and for drug prescriptions at the company’s 350 locations across Australia, he said. Now, MyChemist is considering providing mobile devices for use by its 9,000 staff, he said.
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Final set of Australian Privacy Principles released for consultation

Deadline for replies is 16 December
The final set of draft Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) have been released for public consultation by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
APP 12 covers access to personal information. It will require organisations that hold personal details about an individual to give them access to that information on request.
APP 13 covers the correction of personal information. Organisations will need to take reasonable steps to correct personal information to ensure that it is up-to-date and not misleading. They will also be required to contact other organisations that hold the same information about a person so that they can update these details.
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10 things you didn't know about Windows 1.0

Many say Windows turned 30 this year, but it was actually 28 years ago this week that the first commercial version of Microsoft's signature operating system shipped.
  • Tim Greene (Network World)
  • 21 November, 2013 18:10
Many say Windows turned 30 this year, but it was actually 28 years ago this week that the first commercial version of Microsoft's signature operating system shipped.
The justification for calling it the 30th anniversary is that Windows was announced in 1983 but was in such dismal shape at that point that it took two more years to whip it into a product people might buy.
Here are 10 behind-the-scenes circumstances from that critical period that Microsoft faced before Windows launched, eventually to become the most popular PC operating system, as related by the product manager who brought the project to fruition.
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Enjoy!
David.

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