Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 28th April, 2014.

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

Again a very quiet week as we await the Budget axe to fall. Interestingly there is increasing speculation on just what the shape the PCEHR may take after the announcements.
IF the most recent poll is to believed then most expect at least some, if not major, cuts.
It was interesting to see a spate of reports on Commonwealth Government computer systems needing a lot more funds while not working all that well. Vested interest rent seeking maybe?

PCEHR model may be revamped

22nd Apr 2014
THE personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) could move to an opt-out model under a recommendation believed to be contained in the review of the $1 billion system.
And the findings of the review could be made public before the May budget, a report in Fairfax media suggested. MO understands the review recommends that an opt-out model should replace the current system where patients must register to establish their PCEHR.
The review was ordered late last year by Health Minister Peter Dutton, and earlier this year his office confirmed he had received the report and that its recommendations were under consideration.
In its submission to the review, the AMA had argued that an opt-out model would provide greater incentive for doctors to use the PCEHR and lower the administrative burden on patients.

Victoria fronts up $24m for electronic medical record

Agrees to partly fund Royal Children’s Hospital tech.

The Victorian state government has agreed to fund half of the Royal Children’s Hospital’s $48 million electronic medical record.
Premier Denis Napthine this week announced work would start on installation of the new system in the middle of this year.
US health software vendor Epic has been selected to roll out the new system across the facility, which was opened in 2011 next door to the site of the former Melbourne children’s hospital.
The implementation is expected to take four years and will track patients in fully electronic form for the first time.

Post-vaccination texts track side effects

22 April, 2014 David Brill
A Perth GP who found himself at the centre of the Fluvax scare has responded by developing a completely new adverse event reporting system.
Dr Alan Leeb (pictured) decided to take matters into his own hands after belatedly discovering that 62 children developed fever after receiving Fluvax at his practice in early 2010.
At least eight were hospitalised, including three who had seizures, from a total of 335 given the vaccine.
"We were totally unaware [of the adverse reactions]. The only way we'd know is if we received a discharge summary from the hospital or if the patient came back to see us," Dr Leeb, practice principal at the Illawarra Medical Centre, told Australian Doctor.

Texting vax reactions may boost safety

22nd Apr 2014
A TEXT messaging system that delivers near real-time monitoring of adverse effects from vaccinations is already revealing a higher than expected rate of reactions to scheduled vaccinations among four-year-old children.
A group of researchers led by Perth-based general practitioner Dr Alan Leeb used prototype software called SmartVax to send an SMS to adult patients and parents of children who received vaccines asking if they had experienced an adverse event following immunisation (AEFI).
More than 72% of 3226 patients vaccinated over 19 months responded, with 11% (264) reporting mostly minor systemic or local reactions.
Half the patients responded within 10 minutes of receiving the SMS, and more than 80% of responses were received within two hours.

Is the new eRx electronic prescription service beneficial to consumers?

About ten years ago I did a locum in an innovative GP practice in The Netherlands. When prescribing medications, the computer system allowed me to either print the script and hand it to my patient, or send it electronically to the pharmacy. Consumers who elected the second option, were able to collect their medications at the pharmacy twenty minutes later.
I’m not sure how secure the system was, but it was easy to use, saved a lot of paper, and prevented lost scripts and medication errors.

ePrescribing in Australia

Here in Australia doctors are printing or handwriting scripts. This month however I noticed a little QR code in the top right corner after printing a script. It took me a while to figure out what it was for: Patients can scan this code with a mobile device, submit the information electronically to the pharmacy of their choice and pick the script up on a preferred day and time.

In pictures: 3D printing and healthcare

How 3D printing is transforming the world of medicine.
While other industries may still be trying to figure out practical uses for 3D printing, the healthcare industry is already using it to save and improve lives. From implants and prosthetics to home-grown drugs and human organs, the 3D printing revolution has begun in the medical world.

Australia - E-Health, E-Education, E-Government-Market Analysis, Growth, Trends and Forecast

New Market Research Report Added in MarketResearchReports.Biz Reports Database:Australia - E-Health, E-Education, E-Government
Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/16/2014 -- Digital productivity the next frontier in the economy
Efficiency levels in the healthcare sector are among the lowest in the economy – estimated by IBM to be minus 40%. Through e-health $30 billion can be saved over a 10-year period. Healthcare is clearly becoming an area where key killer applications emerge – applications that utilise truly high-speed broadband networks.
As the financing of the public health systems in Australia becomes increasingly costly an opportunity exists to lower costs through more effective use of web services for healthcare consumers. With widely available and cost-effective ICT developments in data analytics, M2M and high-speed broadband infrastructure, e-health is enabling customers to benefit from advances in medical technology and medical services.
The Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) is a key enabler in that policy and a report on these developments is included.
While broader economic conditions in Australia remain subdued, spending on e-health solutions is likely to continue.
In the report we also list the key projects in Australia. We provide an overview of trials, both publicly- and privately-funded, and initiatives in e-health, with an overview of pilot programs as well.

Grandma Gamers - Virtual Worlds offer aged care solutions

Professor Michael Blumenstein is an artificial intelligence expert at Griffith University’s School of Information and Communication Technology where last month he presented a paper at a Robotic Symposium on research into 3D virtual worlds in health care.
“It’s a really new area for the health space,” he says. “A lot of people have worked in the 3D virtual world area – such as the Second Life experience - but applying it in the way that we are thinking of applying it is quite new.”
Blumenstein was co-author on a recently-published literature review in the Journal of Internet Medical Research on the use of 3D virtual worlds (3DVW) in health care.

Audit uncovers Medicare data snafus

Problems with Medicare data integrity remain
An audit of Medicare's customer database has found a small number of cases of 'intertwined' customer records where two people's records have been combined, giving rise to "privacy and clinical safety risks", according to an auditor-general report tabled today.
According to the Department of Human Services, 34 instances of 'intertwining' have been discovered since the department started maintaining records on the issue in 2011. The DHS has a working group dedicated to eliminating the issue.
More than 23 million people were part of the Medicare system in 2012-13, including 618,533 new enrolments, the auditor-general's report notes. There were 29.3 million customer records when the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) accessed the database in September last year.
Details of users of Medicare services are stored in a database called the Consumer Directory. The audit found that the DHS has "not been fully effective in maintaining the integrity of data" in the database.

Crackdown on Medicare rorting by doctors falls $128 million short

Date April 23, 2014

Dan Harrison

Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent

The Department of Human Services botched a massive crackdown on Medicare rorting by doctors, leaving taxpayers with a $128 million shortfall.
A damning report by the Auditor-General has raised serious questions about the ability of the department to safeguard the integrity of the $19 billion Medicare program.
In 2008, the Rudd government allocated $77 million over four years to the Department of Human Services to increase the number of audits it completed on doctors' Medicare claiming each year from 500 to 2500. The audits, which examine whether doctors are actually delivering the services they are billing Medicare for, was supposed to recover $147 million to deliver a net saving of $70 million. 

Medicare crackdown botched: Auditor-General

24 April, 2014 Paul Smith 0 comments
A major crackdown on Medicare rorts backed by millions of dollars for investigations into doctors has been botched.
In 2009, under the Rudd Government, the Department of Human Services was handed $77 million to increase the number of audits on doctors and allied health professionals from 500 to 2500 a year.
A damning audit report released this week said the program was expected to recoup $147 million in savings. But in reality it has so far recovered less than $19 million - meaning it cost taxpayers more than it actually saved.

Audit report reveals struggle to catch doctors, clinics ripping off Medicare

A DAMNING audit report has revealed the Commonwealth is struggling to catch doctors and corporate clinics ripping off Medicare, raising new questions about plans for a $6 co-payment for GP appointments.
Next month’s federal budget will include a co-payment, capped at 12 visits a year and almost certainly subject to other restrictions, to save the government $750 million over four years.
But Health Minister Peter Dutton is refusing to say how the government would administer a co-payment, which would all but end universal access to bulk-billed appointments fully subsidised by Medicare.
While roughly three-quarters of all GP appointments are currently bulk-billed, some health groups fear an automatic co-payment would remove the incentive for doctors and corporate clinics to keep costs down, leading to profiteering and higher out-of-pocket expenses for patients.

Rollout shambles in NBN’s first state

THE National Broadband Network rollout in Tasmania — which Labor promised would be the first state fully connected to lightning-fast internet services — has been “so shambolic” and failed “so abysmally” to meet its targets that urgent political intervention is needed.
The Weekend Australian can reveal the state’s peak IT business group, a longstanding supporter of Labor’s original “Rolls-Royce” NBN, has warned there is “no realistic chance” the project will be completed by the end of 2015, as once promised by former communications minister Stephen Conroy and NBN Co.
The Tasmanian ICT sector peak body, known as TASICT, says the process for connecting new customers to the optic fibre network is failing.

Centrelink computer broken: Hockey

JOE Hockey has warned of a shock multi-billion-dollar hit to the budget to fix the 31-year-old Centrelink computer system, which is in “bad shape” and a drag on productivity that is holding back crucial policy change.
Human Services Minister Marise Payne said the system, based on 1980s technology, was also hampering the government’s efforts to cut red tape and shift Centrelink into the digital world.
The Treasurer said the biggest surprise he had received since coming into power was the ­deterioration in government infra­structure, particularly the Centrelink computer system in Canberra, which would cost “billions” to improve.
Mr Hockey, who is preparing a structural overhaul of welfare and payments in the budget next month, said changes were being stymied by the system.

Almost All Data Security Breaches In The Past Decade Fit Into These 9 Categories

Alex Heber Apr 23, 2014, 3:46 PM
In one of the most high profile data breaches of late, Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA technical assistant revealed details of top-secret surveillance conducted by the US’ National Security Agency. (Photo by The Guardian via Getty Images)
Almost all tech security breaches over the past 10 years fit nine basic attack patterns.
Security researchers at Verizon have crunched a decade’s worth of security breach data from law enforcement, public and private sector organisations all across the world and have found while attack patterns vary between industries there are some distinct trends.

The hidden costs of the Heartbleed security bug

Date April 22, 2014 - 2:52PM

Ben Grubb

Heartbleed has left swathes of websites and users exposed.
The Heartbleed security bug is set to cost millions to clean up, according to an internet company that has crunched the numbers on the extra internet traffic costs imposed by it.
In one case, it is estimated additional internet traffic to fix the problem amounted to $US400,000 ($428,000) for a single operator. Many others are expected to foot similar bills.
Content distribution network CloudFlare said it had revoked all of its clients' SSL certificates after the Heartbleed bug as part of a fix. It followed a challenge it set hackers to see if they could steal a website's private encryption keys using the bug. It found a web server's private keys – its "crown jewels" – could be successfully extracted.

After Heartbleed, tech giants team up to fund open-source projects

Date April 25, 2014

Jim Finkle

The world's biggest technology companies are donating millions of dollars to fund improvements in open source programs such as OpenSSL, the software whose Heartbleed bug has sent the internet into turmoil.
Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel and Microsoft are among a dozen companies that have agreed to be founding members of a group known as Core Infrastructure Initiative. Each will donate $US300,000 ($324,000) to the venture, which is recruiting more backers among technology companies as well as the financial services sector.
Other early supporters are Dell, Fujitsu, NetApp, Rackspace and VMware.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Healthcare is clearly becoming an area where key killer applications emerge ...

An unfortunate turn of phrase used in the MarketResearchReports.Biz Report Database:Australia - E-Health, E-Education, E-Government