Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 28th July, 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

Some interesting items this week - especially the apparent problems with the South Australian e-Health roll out - that until recently was seen as going pretty well. Given there has not been a change of Government in SA, who have driven the project for a good number of years, it seems there is really a problem. After the problems in Qld, Victoria and WA this is all getting a bit frustrating!
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Minister puts future of $422m SA eHealth system in doubt

EPAS still on hold.

South Australian Health Minister Jack Snelling has refused to commit to the continuation of the state’s $422 million electronic patient administration system (EPAS) rollout, which is currently on hold as the government works through funding and performance issues.
“We are having a look at it at the moment,” Snelling said, when challenged by opposition MP Duncan McFetridge to guarantee the rollout during an estimates hearing late last week.
“We have obviously put a pause on the rollout, which has partly been driven as a result of the federal cuts."
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Andrew Knight: e-Health revolution

Andrew Knight
Monday, 21 July, 2014
THE benefits of having an effective electronic health record seem obvious. Rapid sharing of information, reduction of duplication and greater ownership by patients of their health information offer hope of reduced harm and savings in time and money.
The review of the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) commissioned late last year by the federal government certainly thinks so.
The reviewers point to modelling which suggests that e-health changes could lead to savings of $7 billion a year by 2020. The modelling estimates implementing e-health would avoid 5000 deaths, two million outpatient visits, 390 000 hospital admissions and 10 million laboratory and imaging tests by 2020.
The overwhelming majority of those making submissions to the review were also supportive. According to the review, more than 1.2 million Australians have demonstrated support by registering for an e-health record, exceeding the 2013 target.
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Campaign for single eHealth record, says Young

By Natasha Egan on July 23, 2014 in In-depth, Industry, Technology
AUDIO: Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council representative Rod Young has called on the sector to campaign for a single eHealth and aged care record at the council’s annual technology conference currently underway in Hobart.
Mr Young, Associate Professor Kate Swanton from Feros Care and Dr George Margelis took part in a panel discussion on the government’s eHealth record at the Information Technology in Aged Care (ITAC) conference on Tuesday.
All three speakers agreed that, when it began doing assessments in July 2015, the My Aged Care record would add another unnecessary layer to an already complex system.
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Providers get update on sector’s ‘ICT vision’

By Natasha Egan on July 25, 2014 in Industry, Technology
 AUDIO: Work is underway to achieve aged care’s ICT vision, the ITAC conference heard in Hobart this week, but the sector will remain vigilant on key issues including the client eHealth record.
Aged Care Industry IT Council (ACIITC) chair Suri Ramanathan gave a report on progress since the council, which is a joint initiative of Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), launched the IT roadmap in March.
Mr Ramanathan said fact sheets developed two years ago as part of the Pathfinder project to help providers roll out the eHealth record system would soon be available on ACIITC’s website.
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My eHealth Record

My eHealth Record is a way of securely storing and sharing important healthcare information with your consent, so that it is easily and quickly available when needed for your ongoing care. Click on a category below to find out more...

eHealthNT Happenings 

The new eHealthNT Happenings will be a regular publication, which over time will provide updates on all eHealth initiatives in the Northern Territory. The first issue (to be published soon) will provide information on the project to transition registered consumers and healthcare providers from the My eHealth Record service to the National eHealth Record System (also known as the personally controlled electronic health record or PCEHR system).
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Tasmania – tapping scripts into the PCEHR

Tasmania is set to become the first state to connect and upload information to the National Prescribe and Dispense Repository. The move comes after extensive development work, including the digitisation of discharge prescription summaries, along with outpatient prescribing.
“We’re doing things a little bit backwards,” says Tom Simpson, executive director, statewide hospital pharmacy in Tasmania. “We implemented the last thing first, and we’ll do what would traditionally have been the first thing towards the end.”
The backwards implementation was a positive move for Tasmanian hospitals, because it meant getting the doctors and other clinical staff on board. This might not have happened if the highly complex move to in-patient prescribing had been the first task out of the blocks.
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System issues being fixed (for providers)

This page lists current issues which may impact Healthcare Providers using the PCEHR system.
It includes what is being done to resolve the issue and ways you can work around them in the National Provider Portal and in clinical information systems.
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Technology One Assists Epworth Hospital

Epworth HealthCare has opened two new hospitals in Camberwell and Hawthorn with the help of TechnologyOne’s OneHealth Software.
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Healthdirect Australia looks through the 'software lens'

Summary: Healthdirect Australia has transformed its entire back-end architecture on the basis that software applications will play a crucial role in how it delivers clinical information to the public.
By Aimee Chanthadavong | July 22, 2014 -- 07:32 GMT (17:32 AEST)
Healthdirect Australia started out as an initiative set up by the Council of Australian Governments for procurement in 2006. But five years down the track as the world began to move online for advice, it forced Healthdirect to change its strategy from being a telephony based contact centre to a multichannel information service provider.
Speaking at the Gartner Application Architecture, Development and Integration Summit in Sydney on Tuesday, Bruce Haefele, Healthdirect Australia chief architect, said it was important for the organisation to move into offering digital services across all of its brands, including Pregnancy Birth and Baby, after hours GP helpline, mindhealthconnect, and National Health Services Directory.
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Question: NEHTA CDA & GP referrals

Posted on July 22, 2014 by Grahame Grieve
Question
Is there any example of NEHTA compliant CDA document that I can look at from a perspective of a GP referral form ( http://nhv.org.au/uploads/cms/files/VIC%20-%20GP%20Referral%20(March%202013).rtf )? Is there a tool that can be used to navigate and generate the CDA from a HL7 v2 message?
Answer
There’s been a lot of discussion over the last decade or so about creating a CDA document for these kind of referral forms. I saw a pretty near complete set of functional requirements at one point. But for various reasons, the project to build this has got any funding, either as a NEHTA project, or a standards Australia project (it’s actually been on the IT-14-6-6 project list for a number of years, mostly with my name on it).
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Robots fail to impress in surgery

  • Joseph Walker
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • July 24, 2014 9:49AM
A new study finds treating bladder cancer with a surgical robot made by Intuitive Surgical is no better at reducing procedural complications than performing the procedure with traditional surgery, a result that surprised researchers, who had expected the robotic technology to be superior to human hands alone.
The small study may cast further doubt on the benefits of Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci robot, which allows surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures from computer consoles that control the robot’s arms and surgical tools.
A study last year questioned the cost benefit of the da Vinci for hysterectomies, or uterus removal, compared with minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures done by hand.
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Robot enhances human dexterity

24 July, 2014 Rachel Worsley
Researchers have developed a robot that enhances the grasping motion of people with limited dexterity.
The robot, which is worn on the wrist, features two extra fingers worn around the one’s wrist and would that help the user achieve routine tasks that generally require two hands, such as removing a bottle cap or lifting a heavy object.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers hope their work will lead to a model that can be scaled down an integrated with a watch or a bracelet.
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23 July 2014, 11.50pm AEST

Evidence based medicine is broken. Why we need data and technology to fix it

David Glance
A recent paper in the British Medical Journal suggests that evidence based medicine is in crisis. Evidence based medicine is based on the practice of employing treatments that have scientific research that backs up their effectiveness. It is usually set against medical practice that is based on anecdotal experience or simply doing things because that is the way they always have been done.

The ways evidence based medicine is broken

The authors of the paper point out however that there are a number of problems with evidence based medicine that together, significantly compromise its effectiveness. The first problem is that evidence based medicine plays right into the hands of companies and organisations with a vested interest in seeing a treatment recommended. Of particular concern are drugs that are recommended for treating pre-diseases. The classic example of this is the use of [statins]9http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statin) to lower cholesterol in the attempt of reducing cardiovascular disease.
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Easy GPeasy - checks at the touch of a button

Jamie Morton is science reporter at the NZ Herald.
5:00 AM Monday Jul 21, 2014
Digital innovations expected to change face of system in next 20 years.
A future where a health check-up could take just a few taps of your smartphone has moved a step closer.
AUT University has launched its Centre for eHealth, bringing together researchers with health sector partners to share developments in innovation.
The centre will build on work by the Ministry of Health's IT Health Board, which has overseen a project that will give patients of nearly all GP practices access to their records through portals.
Dozens of researchers at AUT, including experts in IT, engineering, business, design and infomatics, will work together on projects using technology to improve the health system.
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General practitioners order more imaging in Australia

July 22, 2014 -- General practitioners (GPs) in Australia are placing more orders for medical imaging exams, with total orders for imaging growing 45% from 2005 to 2012, according to a survey released this week by researchers from the University of Sydney. The numbers also indicate a shift away from general radiography and toward more advanced modalities such as ultrasound, CT, and MRI.
The figures were released on July 22 as part of the Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) program, a national study of clinical activity by general practitioners in Australia. The report compares imaging use over two time periods: from 2002 to 2005 and from 2009 to 2012. The BEACH data represent physician orders for imaging exams, as opposed to exams that were eventually performed and billed to the federal Medicare system.
In general, the report found that while Australian general practitioners mostly comply with appropriateness guidelines, there is some room for improvement in several areas. The lead author on the study was Helena Britt from the University of Sydney.
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National broadband network: Coalition spends $10m on cost-benefit analyses

THE Abbott Government has spent more than $10 million in taxpayers’ money to work out whether the national broadband network is good value.
As superfast broadband continues to be rolled out across the country, consultants have been the biggest winners, pocketing millions of dollars from numerous reviews and cost-benefit analyses.
A Question on Notice tabled in Federal Parliament revealed the external consulting cost for the NBN was $10.1 million. The cost of implementing the recommendations was not included.
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Six Clicks: The best Linux desktop environments

Summary: Unlike Windows or Mac OS X, Linux offers a wide variety of desktop environments. Here are my picks of the most important of these PC interfaces.
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Enjoy!
David.

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