Friday, November 06, 2015

Clarity Comes On The Claims On ZDNet That The PCEHR is Saving Lives In Queensland.

I have to say I was quite surprised when this appeared last week:

E-health saving lives in Queensland: CSIRO

Australia's e-health record system has brought down the rate of mortality in Queensland, according to the CEO of CSIRO.
By Corinne Reichert | October 27, 2015 -- 02:58 GMT (13:58 AEDT) | Topic: Innovation
The Australian government's e-health record system is a lifesaving initiative, according to the chief executive of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), who said the scheme has been so successful in Queensland that the mortality rate has decreased.
"We've already shown very conclusive evidence of improved mortality through Queensland hospitals as a result of that data mining and feedback to them that enabled them to improve their processes," said Larry Marshall, CEO of CSIRO, at Telstra's 2015 Australian Digital Summit in Sydney on Monday.
"Many, many people are alive today as a result of those improvements."
Marshall also pointed towards aged care as a potential usage for e-health, with Australia's ageing population needing modernised care facilities that take advantage of technology and data mining.
"Aged care, which is going to be a big issue in Asia as it is in this country -- e-medicine enables new types of censors to be placed around aged-care facilities that enable monitoring of the people in that facility without interfering in any way, shape, or form with what they do every day," he said.
Marshall admitted, however, that e-health hasn't been a successful initiative in any of Australia's other states or territories thus far thanks to a lack of cooperation.
"We haven't had that much success in e-health outside of Queensland -- Queensland's been a remarkable state for us, they're the first place in the country to give us access to their state health database," he said.
The government's e-health record system was given further funding of AU$485 million in the 2015-16 Budget in May, and rebranded from the personally controlled e-health record system (PCEHR) to My Health Record.
The most recent funding injection will improve the billion-dollar system by updating it with various recommendations from GPs who have used the system in its current state.
Here is the link:
As noted in blogs last week I was a little sceptical of this claim. After some e-mails etc. the article was updated.

E-health saving lives in Queensland: CSIRO

The use of e-health data mining projects by CSIRO has brought down the rate of mortality in Queensland, according to the organisation's CEO.
By Corinne Reichert | October 27, 2015 -- 02:58 GMT (13:58 AEDT) | Topic: Innovation
The e-health initiative being undertaken by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is already saving lives, according to the chief executive, who said a joint scheme with Queensland Health to create the Australian e-Health Research Centre has been so successful that the mortality rate has decreased.
"We've already shown very conclusive evidence of improved mortality through Queensland hospitals as a result of that data mining and feedback to them that enabled them to improve their processes," said Larry Marshall, CEO of CSIRO, at Telstra's 2015 Australian Digital Summit in Sydney on Monday.
"Many, many people are alive today as a result of those improvements."
The joint project uses a Patient Admission Prediction Tool (PAPT) to collect and analyse hospital data to forecast numbers of patients in emergency, and therefore predict how many staff members and resources will be required for the future.
Marshall also pointed towards aged care as a potential usage for e-health, with Australia's ageing population needing modernised care facilities that take advantage of technology and data mining.
…..
Updated on October 28, 10.35am AEST: This article originally stated that CSIRO had made use of the government's My Health Record data, but this is not the case.
This is the same link:
So first it is good to see the CSIRO is doing good work to make a difference in Qld and second it is good that the journalist swiftly corrected the record when the error was noticed.
What is not as good is that the journalist was somehow led to initially believe the PCEHR was involved.
Much, much worse is that for reasons unknown there are no studies on the PCEHR that show whether it is actually making a difference or not.
After three years of operation this really is not acceptable - given the cost incurred creating and operating the System.
David.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Would it surprise anyone if mention of the PCEHR in relation to this study had been "encouraged" by a) NEHTA, b) the Department of Health, c) the Minister's office or d) all of the above? Let's face it - there has been little or no honesty or transparency in relation to the PCEHR to date - why should this be any different?

Anonymous said...

My experience in these type of circumstances (scenarios) is that when none of these parties understand the issues (which is clearly the case here) what tends to happen is that someone comes up with some verbiage that sounds intelligent and convincing (even though to anyone who does understand it is all just empty rhetoric - or to put it politely is plain rubbish and gobbledygook).

Subsequently, what follows is that one of the other parties picks up on the message, embellishes and repeats it, and then another and another, with the end result being that each party sells the same message to every other party and as it is consistently the same message all the way round between all the parties it must be right; so let's get on and make it happen they all say.

Anonymous said...

yes, but its a cargo cult...

"The metaphorical use of "cargo cult" was popularized by physicist Richard Feynman at a 1974 Caltech commencement speech, which later became a chapter in his book Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, where he coined the phrase "cargo cult science" to describe activity that had some of the trappings of real science (such as publication in scientific journals) but lacked a basis in honest experimentation."

From wikipedia.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

Re "Cargo Cult"

If you do a search of this site for the term, you'll get this posting from 2009.

http://aushealthit.blogspot.com.au/2009/01/booze-allen-suggests-sophisticated.html

It says, among other things:

"Health IT alone will not dramatically improve care and reduce costs. Even when information is electronic, it is not automatically shared outside of organizational or network firewalls, or across organizational boundaries. In the course of our inquiry, two accelerators emerged that combine policy and market changes to change healthcare delivery and improve the flow of information. First, focus on enhancing the flow of health information and communications among patients and providers, rather than focusing only on adoption of electronic health records (EHR).

Second, take bold new steps toward realizing a consumer-centered healthcare system."

And David comments:

"This is all going to require very serious work and planning! It is not at all easy or quick to get these things right.

There is a bit of a ‘cargo cult’ around in Australia that seems to think all you need to do is connect clinicians and it will all sort itself out. This is utter rubbish – Booze Allen know it – but some DoHA staff and some academics do not. They need to read the detail to see what is needed and just how hard it will actually be."

Six years and they still haven't listened and they're not listening now.