Monday, November 09, 2015

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 9th November, 2015.

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

The big news this week has been the release of submissions to the e-Health Legislative enquiry. Lots of views put.
Other than that small steps seem to be happening here and there - enjoy browsing the list.

Privacy Foundation outlines ‘major concerns’ with opt-out e-Health scheme

By Daniel Palmer - 05/11/2015
news The Australian Privacy Foundation (APF) has aired “major concerns” with the Personally Controlled eHealth Record (PCEHR) system and the government’s proposals to make it an ‘opt-out’ scheme.
The PCEHR project was initially funded in the 2010 Federal Budget to the tune of $466.7 million after years of health industry and technology experts calling for development and national leadership in e-health and health identifier technology to better tie together patients’ records and achieve clinical outcomes. The project has been overseen by the Department of Health in coalition with the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA).
However, the project has been reported to have suffered extensive problems and has suffered from poor uptake by medical facilities and the public. Due to the issues, on 4 November 2013new Coalition Health Minister Peter Dutton kicked off a promised review of the PCEHR project. The project is now set to continue, but will be significantly revamped under the Coalition.
In the 2015-16 Budget, the Coalition Government announced $485 million for the redevelopment of the now My Health Record system to ‘strengthen and transform national digital health governance’ through an Australian Commission for eHealth.
6:14pm November 5, 2015

Health records could be hacked: expert

The private medical details of all Australians could potentially be stolen in an Ashley Madison-style hacking scandal if the federal government pushes ahead with plans to put everyone's records online, an expert has warned.
The Australian Privacy Foundation's Bernard Robertson-Dunn, who has developed IT systems for several government departments, says the proposed My Health Record system is full of privacy risks.
He says the recent Ashley Madison adultery website hacking scandal - in which a group of hackers released credit card details, email accounts and home addresses of the website's users - showed hacking was "always a possibility".
Health Minister Sussan Ley announced a reboot of the current e-health system in May, switching it from an opt-in to an opt-out model in order to get more people using it.

How to improve clinical software

3 November 2015
Practice Software: Address books need to reflect the reality of current practice.
THIS column proposes useful functions that you can help implement into your practice's clinical software.
Generally the address books of clinical software packages used in general practice treat all health professionals as solo practitioners.
Today health professionals, including medical specialists and allied health professionals, commonly practise in groups at a shared location/s, usually sharing the same secure messaging delivery address and practice telephone and fax numbers. Some professional practices consist of 20 or more colleagues. 
Despite this, every time a new health professional joins a group practice, GPs and their practice managers and staff must re-enter that practice’s location and contact details as part of the entry for the individual health professional. This not only wastes time and energy but increases the risk of inconsistencies and mistakes. The Best Practice clinical software (and possibly other packages) goes some way to addressing this need by providing an ‘add at address’ function that uses the address of an existing person in the address book as the basis for an entry for a new person who is being added to the address book. 

LNP calling for electronic patient records

7th Nov 2015 6:00 AM
THE LNP is calling for the state government to consider moving to electronic patients' records to help ensure the correct dispensing of medications.
But the state government has already taken steps in that direction with a trial site in Far North Queensland already recently announced.
The government also earlier this year announced an eHealth Investment Strategy which included a 20-year vision for ICT health investment.
The call for action came after LNP health spokesman Mark McArdle visited St Stephen's Hospital in Hervey Bay to view the electronic medical records system already in place at the private hospital.

Patient medication records should be mandatory in eHealth profiles

Medicines Australia has called on the Federal Government to make a patient’s medication records a mandatory inclusion in eHealth profiles to improve the safe use of medicines.

The option has been put in a submission to the Senate inquiry into the Government’s eHealth legislation which seeks to make changes to the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR).
Each year up to 230,000 hospitalisations are attributed to medication misadventure, many of which may be avoidable.
Medicines Australia says it believes there is an opportunity to reduce these cases through better data collation, coordination and record access via the eHealth system.
The submission from the peak industry body says, “Optimising My Health Record to improve the recording, sharing and management of prescribed (and non-prescribed) medication will enable better monitoring of patients’ medication management through the primary care, hospital, aged care and pharmacy settings.

Improving implementation: the challenges facing development of My Health Record

Friday, October 30, 2015
The latest Health Policy Issues Brief from the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) and the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research has pointed the way forward on developing a national e-health initiative.
Despite significant Government investment in the development of an electronic health record, the e-health initiative has proven difficult to get off the ground. Toward better implementation: Australia’s My Health Record by Krister Partel explores the development of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record and identifies challenges and opportunities for the rebranded My Health Record.
“The external review of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record went a long way towards identifying areas to improve upon,” said Mr Partel.

Deeble Institute Issues Brief No 13: Toward better implementation: Australia's My Health Record

Krister H Partel
Deeble Institute Issues Brief No. 13 'Toward better implementation: Australia's My Health Record' explores the development of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record and identifies challenges and opportunities for the rebranded My Health Record.
Download this issue: 

Deeble Institute Issues Brief No 13 (Krister Partel)


Trial sites of My Health Record announced

By Natasha Egan on November 2, 2015 
Far North Queensland and the Nepean Blue Mountains region of New South Wales will host the opt-out eHealth trials, Minister for Health Sussan Ley has announced.
The trials will commence in early 2016 and include around one million Australians.
The much-awaited announcement was made by Minister Ley in an address to the National Press Club in Canberra last Wednesday.
Ms Ley said one of the great criticisms of the current model was that it could not be used unless a patient signed up.
The trial will test an all-inclusive system of the My Health Record that gives consumers who do not want their medical history made available the option to opt-out.

Department of Health CIO leaves IT for finance

By Allie Coyne
Nov 4 2015 10:54AM
Just five months into his stint as chief information officer at the federal Department of Health, Matt Yannopoulos has moved sideways to take over the agency's finance division.
Yannopoulos joined Health in May this year after close to two years as the CIO at the Department of Immigration.
At Health he assumed responsibility for the systems that support the department’s operations, and took the lead on the transition to a new outsourced IT provider following a major market testing that saw infrastructure and support taken off IBM and handed to Datacom.
He will now take on the role of first assistant secretary overseeing Health's portfolio investment division.

In pictures: Intel monitors Australia's e-health

Health Guide launch signals move into lucrative e-health market
04 Nov 2015

MediSecure announces Jan Wolffram as new Chief Executive Officer

MediSecure today announced that its Board of Directors has named Jan Wolffram as incoming Chief Executive Officer, effective 26 October. Mr Wolffram replaces outgoing CEO, Mr Phillip Shepherd, who announced his retirement recently.
Mr Wolffram brings extensive experience to this role, having worked in various leadership positions. More recently, Mr Wolffram held a Senior Executive role with Sectra Medical Systems – a company that provides industry-leading medical imaging IT solutions worldwide.
He spent the past 12 years with Sectra Medical Systems in successfully building the business across UK, Ireland as well as Australia and New Zealand. Previous to this, Mr Wolffram served as a Business Consultant for 15 years around the globe, in enabling clients to build better and more profitable business processes.
5 November 2015

Connect - Australia's first e-counselling app addresses rapid shifts in social norms

Connect, a new App launched by health-tech company, Healthshare, provides a new way for people to reach out and get the help they need.
Connect supports people’s mental wellbeing by connecting them with a qualified Australian therapist over a secure messaging platform.
Healthshare CEO, Rami Weiss, said “Connect is a new way of connecting people with therapists at any time and from any place. It’s like WhatsApp for health.”
“Connect doesn’t replace traditional counselling; instead it leverages new technologies to make mental health support more accessible,” said Mr Weiss.

eReferrals: Understanding the Canadian experience

The province of Alberta, in Canada, has been a pioneer in the introduction of eReferral technology, rolling out a test program in July 2013.
According to Dr Allen Ausford, a family clinician, clinical professor with the department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta, and a consultant on the Alberta eReferrals program, the roll out was a relatively smooth process.
“We already had a large infrastructure with NetCare and it was well accepted,” he told, in an interview.
Alberta also had a number of large enterprise systems, including Sunrise, EPIC and Meditech, but they were all bespoke systems. Alberta wanted a system that was overarching, available to all clinicians, and could be customised depending on their needs.

NEHTA eHealth Software Developer Community Announcement – Upcoming Webinars and Feedback

Created on Tuesday, 03 November 2015
There are now more than 49 software products connected to the national eHealth infrastructure.
We want feedback on how to help you on your eHealth journey.
NEHTA continues to support software developers through their planning, development and quality assurance and we are contacting our eHealth software developer community (specifically developers who have previously contacted NEHTA for PCEHR development assistance), for feedback on the value of webinars, resources and events.

Universal Clinical Data Representation (Reference Model)

The openEHR Reference Model (RM) enables systems to use one representation for all clinical care settings, and all types of clinical data, including device data. The openEHR RM took a long time to get right, and of course is still evolving.
[Edit 05/11/2015] One of the reasons it’s unique is that we refined it by enabling clinicians to build archetypes based on it from very early on and then listening to their direct feedback on what was missing or wrong. You won’t find this method in any textbook!
  • This enables true technology-independent, patient-centric EHRs, since the EHR content is not dependent on the capture method, screen forms, message formats, implementation technology or any other specifics.
  • Enables community-based care, so that provider institutions and clinics work together, not in care siloes (Christensen’s “distributed health service delivery”) – a Blood Glucose measurement is the same across all settings and user interfaces.
  • Enables longitudinal computation across all patient data, leading to risk analytics and personalised healthcare.
An openEHR patient record can be exchanged from a Moscow hospital to an Australian GP office, with all its structured data and meaning being preserved.

3D technology, stem cells used to aid skull bone regrowth

Sonia Kohlbacher

A team of West Australian research­ers will help patients needing cranial reconstructions to regrow parts of their own skulls as part of a new procedure using stem cells and advanced 3D printing technology.
A state-government funded trial of the procedure will be performed at Royal Perth Hospital next year on patients whose skulls were severely damaged as a result of serious head injuries, including one-punch attacks.
Royal Perth Hospital biomedical materials engineer Alan Kop said previously surgeons would remove a piece of bone that would be stored in a freezer and later reimplanted. However, Royal Perth Hospital biomedical engineer David Morrison said 30 per cent of such cases resulted in infection or bone resorption.
Titanium plates are also used as an alternative to the patient’s original bone but Dr Kop said they degraded over time.

#FHIR DevDays Amsterdam 2015

Posted on November 4, 2015 by Grahame Grieve
In two weeks time – Nov 18 2015 – I will be joining Ewout Kramer from Furore in Amsterdam – along with other core team members James Agnew, Josh Mandel, Lloyd Mckenzie – for the Furore #FHIR DevDays 2015. I’m really looking forward to this – it’s the peak European FHIR event, and we’ve got a great program lined up:
  • Patient Track: Create, update and search patients with FHIR.
  • Terminology Services Track: See if you can work with FHIR’s terminology operations: expand valuesets, validate your codes and get human readable labels for your codes.
  • Profile & Validation Track: Create a profile and an instance, and ask a server to validate the instance according to your profile.

Health tech accelerator to Slingshot with HCF Catalyst

Slingshot, which develops and manages corporate accelerator programs, has partnered with HCF to launch HCF Catalyst, Australia’s first corporate-supported accelerator for health tech startups.
The HCF Catalyst program is now open to applicants who are looking to turn their innovative health tech idea into a profitable business.
As part of the six-month program, each of the selected startups will receive initial business training and development support to the value of $50,000.
This will be provided in exchange for 10 per cent equity and the opportunity for second-round investment of up to $100,000 from the Slingshot Venture Fund.


Trevor3130 said...

'The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) plans to spend its last months in operation concentrating on getting the pathology and diagnostic imaging sectors connected to the PCEHR ...' picked off the Pulse newsbrief.
Is that really true? I don't have access to the NEHTA Reports.
If it is true, does anyone at NEHTA have that KPI slung onto their career prospects?
Perhaps it all hinges on the meanings of "sectors" and "connected".

Anonymous said...


We are into the realms of ego and politics now. Reason, logic and meaning are concepts of no value when playing those games. Unfortunately, health is not a game. People could have their health damaged or they might die. Identity theft is a real possibility, so are privacy breaches.

Anonymous said...

Do not be deluded. The NeHTA staff are busy trying to secure their new positions in the ACeH by attempting to make themselves appear as being indispensable.

In the private sector, when an organisation fails it is quickly wound down and staff are dismissed - in order to stop the hemorrhaging and wasting of money - in other words it is liquidated and assets are sold off to anyone who wants to buy them - it is called a fire sale.

Not so in the public sector. Here the death throws are long and drawn out as senior bureaucrats wrestle with how to shift as much as possible that has failed across the rubicon to create a new entity that can continue doing what the old entity did under another guise. In other words, no fire sale and no real liquidation just a makeover - then business as usual.

Anonymous said...

According to Pulse+IT's calculations, this brings NEHTA's total funding over 10 years to $979,577,083.

Q: What is so EXTRAORDINARY about $979 Million?

A: Deduct the $70.7 Million cash from the $77.8 Million in assets at the end of 2014-15 financial year and we end up with $7 Million.

CONCLUSION is that we the Australian taxpayers have spent $979 million to arrive at an asset worth NO MORE THAN $7 Million (less desks, chairs, cars, computers,and whatever else).

No that dear shareholders and taxpayers is one hell of a crappy investment.

Anonymous said...

So, after spending $1 Billion dollars can anyone tell me what is the VALUE of the IP?