Monday, December 07, 2015

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 7th December, 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

What an amazing week! We have the Secretary of DoH admitting National e-Health is changing, the legislation for data breaches released and an Audit showing DoH has no idea how to manage information.
And all this in December!

How the govt is using Medicare data to improve the health system

Health boss details “fascinating and disturbing insights”.

By Paris Cowan
Dec 4 2015 11:41AM
Federal health secretary Martin Bowles has unveiled some of the practical ways the government is using data to identify the areas of the health system that don’t work and target resources to fixing them.
Addressing an e-health forum in New York yesterday, Bowles revealed his department has begun to analyse Medicare claims data to identify “unwarranted variation” in the types of treatments recommended to different patients with similar ailments.
“We have data on what doctors are actually doing – because their services are claimed on Medicare,” Bowles said.
“For the first time, this data has been used in conjunction with data from our pharmaceutical benefits schedule and public hospitals and this has thrown up some fascinating and disturbing insights.”

Martin Bowles: using health information to improve care

by Martin Bowles

Australia’s chief health bureaucrat is excited by the opportunities for technology in healthcare. My Health Record “can improve treatment decisions, reduce adverse events, avoidable hospital admissions and reduce duplication of medical tests”.
It is an exciting time to be a steward of the Australian health system. Our government has committed to reforms across the system: to improve co-ordination of care; efficiency of care; and sustainability of the system to improve health outcomes for all Australians.
I firmly believe data and information technology can provide breakthrough opportunities to enable and support this change. Adopting new treatment technology has never been a problem for health providers and professionals in Australia.
But changing their thinking about data and analytics and how this can help the patient and the system has proven to be more challenging.

Clinical IT solution at Midland hospital

The West Australian
December 2, 2015, 12:27 pm
Telstra Health says it has implemented an enterprise electronic medical record (EMR) at the new St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospital.
The company said the EMR would ensure the hospital’s digital health solutions matched the state-of-the-art facilities and staff.
The EMR platform is the clinical digital backbone of the new $360 million facility which includes a 307-bed public hospital and a 60-bed private hospital on the same campus in the Perth suburb of Midland, replacing the Swan District Hospital.
Telstra Health’s emerging systems managing director Russel Duncan said the solution was a fully integrated electronic medical record, meeting all the needs of both the public and private hospital environment.

Telstra Health implements e-records at hospitals; retail exec resigns

Two new Perth hospitals have implemented Telstra Health's e-records, with the system to improve efficiency and data sharing in healthcare.
By Corinne Reichert | December 3, 2015 -- 22:50 GMT (09:50 AEDT) | Topic: Telcos
Telstra Health has successfully implemented an enterprise electronic medical record (EMR) system at the two newest Australian hospitals, which will complement the government's My Health Record System and the hospitals' own administration system.
The e-health record system, announced on Wednesday, has been implemented at the new AU$360 million St John of God Midland Public Hospital as well as the private hospital on the same campus in Midland, Perth.
"We know the importance of integration and interoperability in the success of eHealth solutions," said Russel Duncan, managing director of Telstra Health's Emerging Systems.
"Patients' clinical data at the St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals will integrate seamlessly with the hospital's Patient Administration System, the national My Health Record system, and eventually the Western Australia Health Department, helping build a more connected health system and improve productivity and clinical care.

Telstra Health deploys medical records system for WA hospitals

Telstra Health has implemented an enterprise electronic medical records (EMR) system in a $360 million facility in Western Australia housing two of Australia’s newest hospitals.
The EMR platform has formed the clinical digital backbone of the new facility, in the Perth suburb of Midland, which includes the St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals.
The 307-bed public hospital and the 60-bed private hospital are on the same campus.
Telstra says successful implementation of the EMR ensure that the hospitals digital health solutions match the state of the art facilities and staff.

MPs split on 'opt out' eHealth records

Not all members of parliament’s human rights committee sold on already-legislated eHealth changes
Members of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (PJCHR) have been unable to agree on whether some measures contained in legislation revamping Australia’s national eHealth record were justified.
A report issued in October by committee queried a number of aspects of the Health Legislation Amendment (eHealth) Bill 2015.
In its latest report, tabled yesterday in parliament, the committee considered responses from the health minister, Sussan Ley.
The bill was endorsed by a report from the Senate's Community Affairs Legislation Committee, although during that committee's inquiry some privacy advocates indicated their opposition to the legislation.

Records Management in Health

Tabled Date: Tuesday 1st December 2015
Report Number: 10
Portfolio: Health
Department: Department of Health
Contact: Fiona Knight, Executive Director – Phone (02) 6203 7511
The audit objective was to assess the effectiveness of the Department of Health’s records management arrangements, including Health’s progress in transitioning to digital records management.

Your health e-wallet

Last updated: 2nd December 2015
The big tech companies are gearing up to be the virtual safe-deposit box for personal health records, activity tracking and general wellbeing data such as cholesterol and other blood test results. Apple, Google and Microsoft all have portals that link to fitness trackers and let you record, view and analyse your personal health data. 
The government is also encouraging people to register for its eHealth service that stores health records including medical visits, list of medications, immunisation records and imaging in an online database. You and your local doctor have access to the records for reviewing test results, checking treatment history and important details such as allergies or vaccinations.
Planning a digital health kick? See our fitness tracker reviews comparing Fitbit, Jawbone and more.

WA health services provider to probe alteration of patient records

The 360 Health and Community Service has launched two investigations into the unauthorised alteration of records for Perth South Coastal Medicare Local patients.
Documents obtained by the ABC show that in 2013, dozens of birth dates for adult mental health patients were changed so as to classify them as children.
The documents are "de-identified data", which means only the date of birth, the gender and the post code are revealed on the sheet.
They were used for quarterly reporting to the Commonwealth.
In many cases birthdates were changed or noted to reduce the age in order to reclassify the patient.

Latest mental health reforms need to connect with patients

30 November, 2015 Dr Helen Schultz 
Last week, Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley announced a new framework to tackle what has been described a crisis in Australia’s mental health system.
Key opinion leaders in this field, from the AMA to top academics and researchers, have given mixed responses to the announcement. For what it’s worth, this is mine.
When my patients recover they tell me they were grateful I didn’t give up on them. As they became well, they could see at the time they were most unwell they truly believed things would never get better.

Australian health records fed into big data maw ... because insight

Privacy? They've heard of it

30 Nov 2015 at 22:10, Richard Chirgwin
While it continues to battle public indifference to personally-controlled electronic health records (PCEHRs), the Australian government is quietly looking for bright sparks to put forward ideas on how to use the records for analysis.
The Australian Privacy Foundation has pointed to this tender from the government. In it, Canberra requests a “Framework for secondary uses of My Health Record”.
The outcome of the tender would be a set of standards: “The final Framework will enable the System Operator (currently the Secretary, Department of Health) to make informed decisions about the benefits, risks and costs of options presented for secondary uses of My Health Record system data. Respondents should note that the Department intends to assess expressions of interest and short list submissions to identify organisations who have the experience and expertise required.”

Health Dept. wants advice on de-identifying My Health Record data

Prepares for unprecedented insight into Australia's wellbeing.

By Paris Cowan
Nov 30 2015 9:27AM
The Department of Health has already started planning what it could do with an influx of information on Australians’ medical histories, just a day after legislation for the switch to opt-out electronic health record was given formal assent.
The government last week successfully passed legislation that will allow it to create electronic health records for all Australians based on Medicare records, unless they choose to opt out of the process.
The My Health Record policy was driven by a slow uptake in the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) scheme under the previous government, which mandated that customers register to receive an electronic account.

E-health provider blames SA govt for tough times

Global Health says it hasn't been paid since April.

By Paris Cowan
Dec 1 2015 10:29AM
Hospital solutions provider Global Health is blaming a difficult year on the South Australian government, as the pair continue to battle it out over the state's use of an old patient administration platform.
Global Health is locked in a Federal Court fight with the state over its refusal to upgrade the CHIRON software used in 12 of South Australia’s 75 public hospitals.
The rural health facilities continue to use the 1980s version of the software, despite Global Health refusing to issue any more licences for the superseded product, which is no longer used by any other customers.
The state government's argument is that compulsory crown licensing provisions in the Copyright Act give it special powers to overrule normal licensing provisions.

Government unveils data breach notification bill

Gives industry until March next year to have input.

By Allie Coyne
Dec 3 2015 5:18PM
The government has published an exposure draft of its long-awaited bill for mandatory data breach notifications, specifying what it considers to be a serious breach and how organisations will need to respond.
The exposure draft, which is open for consultation until March 4 next year, comes as the government failed to deliver on its promise to have a scheme up and running by the end of this year.
The bill runs along almost identical lines to the Privacy Alerts bill introduced by Labor in 2013, and again last year. It is understood to have bipartisan support.
It outlines what the government considers to be a serious breach and details the steps an organisation must take to address such an incident.

Government reveals proposed data breach notification scheme

Attorney-General’s Department launches public consultation
The government has released the long-awaited exposure draft of legislation to create a mandatory data breach notification scheme.
The introduction of a data breach notification regime formed part of the government’s response to the report of the parliamentary inquiry into the data retention.
The report of that inquiry had recommended the creation of such a scheme.
The government has lived up to its commitment of a public consolation on the scheme. The Attorney-General’s Department is accepting submissions on the exposure draft until 4 March next year.

Delayed Australian data breach notification bill lands

Date December 4, 2015 - 3:26PM

Ben Grubb

Technology editor

Australians will be informed of certain breaches of their personal information under new laws being proposed by the Turnbull government, but only if the company or organisation breached turns over $3 million in revenue a year.
The Attorney-General's Department released on Thursday an exposure draft of the Privacy Amendment (Notification of Serious Data Breaches) Bill 2015, which will require entities to disclose serious breaches of peoples' information.
The government was meant to introduce the bill into parliament before the end of the year but left it until the last sitting day of the year to release an exposure draft before its likely introduction into parliament next year.
If passed, the bill will require companies to disclose a breach within 30 days if it concerns personal information and "there is a real risk of serious harm to any of the individuals" to whom the information relates.

Why IT people can’t build information systems

Posted on by wolandscat

(on their own)

Every so often I remember how we were taught to build information systems and software. One of the steps is called ‘requirements capture’. The IT people are supposed to go and interrogate domain experts, in a step called ‘use case modelling’, obtaining those diamonds of information that will allow them to build the system those experts want.
There’s only one problem with that. In all real domains, the IT people and domain experts have no clue what each 0ther is saying. And yet the IT people still go and build a system. Any system. And that’s why most information systems are a) semantically broken and b) can’t keep up to date with new requirements.
We have known this doesn’t work for 20 years in health (some savvy people knew it for a lot longer). In health, just like any other real domain, you can’t afford to put any of the following in the software:
  • domain content / information models
  • workflows
  • terminology
  • ontology
  • higher-level artefacts such as guidelines (health), business rules etc.
The solution is to find ways of enabling domain experts themselves to build models and descriptions of their domain. Our contribution in openEHR was to provide a way of doing the first, the so-called ‘archetypes’.
Melbourne, 4 December 2015

Precedence Transforms Australian Patient Care with National Coordinated Care Platform

Precedence Health Care expands its contribution to healthcare reform in Australia with the launch of the cdmNet Coordinated Care Platform and Application Services.
The cdmNet Coordinated Care Platform is a full service cloud-based infrastructure for managing a patient’s care across the entire care continuum. It connects everyone on the patient’s care team and brings together a range of digital application services to ensure optimal patient outcomes.
The platform is designed as an “open” architecture to support “plug in” application services and products using desktop, laptop and mobile devices.

3D Medical expands image data business

Monday, November 30, 2015 by Proactive Investors
3D Medical has signed reselling agreement for medical image data
3D Medical (ASX:3DM) has entered into a reseller agreement with Client Outlook Inc. for the distribution of the eUnity medical image viewing and collaboration platform.
The deal represents an expansion of 3DM’s capability to value-add medical image data on (following a recent merger with Mach7 Technologies), and is expected to precipitate the announcement of first revenues in the next quarter.
Earlier this month 3D Medical and distribution partner Telstra Health validated this business model by announcing the successful implementation of an enterprise-wide Mach7 Technologies Vendor Neutral Archive in Australia.

NEHTA eHealth Software Developer Community Webinar – Introduction to the national eHealth record system

Created on Friday, 04 December 2015
NEHTA is pleased to announce the first of a series of webinars designed to help software developers connect their health information systems to the national eHealth record system. The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday 16 December 2015 2:00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (1:00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time) and is expected to run for 90 minutes.
Webinar - Introduction to the national eHealth record system for software developers
This first webinar Introduction to the national eHealth record system for software developers is designed for software developers who have not yet connected their products to the national eHealth infrastructure. It will provide an introduction to the national eHealth infrastructure, including all the information that software developers need before they begin planning their implementation.
75% of Australian Survey Respondents Say Cost Savings and Efficiencies Are Driving Laboratory Changes; Only 29% of Public Laboratory Systems Able to Support the Changes
SYDNEY, Australia – 01 December, 2015 – InterSystems, a global leader in software for health information technology and developer of the InterSystems TrakCare® unified healthcare information system, today announced the results of the InterSystems Australian Laboratory Management Systems Market Survey 2015, which found that current information systems are not equipped to support the changes clinical laboratories are undergoing.
“The nature of the laboratory business is changing dramatically,” said Martin Wilkinson, head of InterSystems’ solutions for the laboratory market. “Industry consolidation, advances in automation, genomic testing, and the increased use of point-of-care testing are driving major shifts in where, when, and how testing takes place.”
Conducted at the 53rd Annual Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists conference in Sydney, the survey of 60 clinical laboratory professionals found there is pressure to meet demand using fewer resources – to increase efficiency while driving down costs – and the use of automation is rising. When asked what was driving change in their laboratories, 75% of respondents cited cost savings and efficiencies, 63% said automation, and 33%, patient-centred care.

NBN facing massive copper remediation bill

Updated: leaked documents reveal tenfold increase in cost.

By Allie Coyne
Dec 3 2015 7:23AM
The national broadband network builder is expecting to be hit with a massive bill of $641 million to repair sections of the copper network it bought from Telstra, leaked documents show.
The figure is as much as ten times what the NBN had expected repairing the copper network - which it acquired from Telstra for $11.2 billion - to cost.
The federal government's strategic review of the NBN put the cost of remediating the copper at $2685 per node, but the leaked documents, sighted by iTnews, reveal NBN expects this will in reality sit at $26,115 per node.
The total cost to repair degraded copper connections will come in at $641 million for the 24,544 nodes NBN is scheduled to build before 2019.

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