Monday, February 29, 2016

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 29th February, 2016.

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

Dodgy State matters seem to have dominated matters this week - with patient privacy a major theme. All is not well in at least 2 States.
Other than that it now seems the NBN will be at least reasonable for the next few years until at least streaming 4K movies takes over in a few years’ time!
Enjoy browsing!
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  • Feb 26 2016 at 5:13 PM

Pharmacists, doctors feud over 'botched' e-health record rollout

by Ben Potter
Pharmacists and doctors are feuding over the the federal government's struggling electronic My Health Record system.
The pharmacists' lobby chided doctors for failing to support My Health Record to help cut waste in the $155 billion healthcare sector. But the doctors' lobby said the system will not succeed in cutting waste because the rollout has been botched. 
"We have all got to be in it – it's either all in or none in," said George Tambassis, national president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. Health spending is being targeted by health minister Sussan Ley
Government data shows nearly half of medicines dispensed are wasted. Mr Tambassis said My Health Record could cut waste by identifying patients who were going to the doctor too often, doctor-shopping or pharmacy-shopping, doctors over-prescribing or pharmacies double-dispensing. 
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Lack of expertise restricts e-health

Jennifer Foreshew

BIG e-health systems are prone to mistakes in the design stage because of a lack of expertise in the field, an expert says.
University of NSW's Centre for Health Informatics director Enrico Coiera said there was a "skills gap" in e-health despite it being so pervasive.
"We don't really have enough expertise available to help us make the right decisions," he said. "I think that is probably more of a problem in Australia than other countries."
Professor Coiera, who also directs the $2.5 million NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in E-health, was speaking ahead of a Special Dean's Lecture he will give tomorrow at the University of Melbourne.
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WA govt admits to "systemic" IT issues at Health department

Opposition calls for minister to resign.

By Allie Coyne
Feb 22 2016 12:44PM
The Western Australian government has admitted "systemic" IT issues plague the state's health department after an auditor-general's report detailed massive cost blowouts and mismanagement of the agency's centralised computing contract with Fujitsu.
Late last week the WA auditor-general revealed the four-year, $45 million contract had blown out by $81.4 million owing to a lack of proper oversight and controls.
The department is facing a potential corruption investigation over the issue after the case was referred to the state's Corruption and Crime Commission for investigation.
The Fujitsu deal was signed to provide primary and secondary data centres as well as ongoing management and support, but the auditor found the contract had been varied 79 times since it was signed in 2010.
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WA Health avoids IT corruption inquiry, for now

But premier warns it could still eventuate.

By Allie Coyne
Feb 23 2016 11:47AM
The WA Corruption and Crime Commission has opted not to investigate the state health department's botched multi-million dollar IT contract with Fujitsu, but the state's premier has warned the department could still end up in front of the anti-corruption watchdog.
A damning report released last week by the WA auditor-general found the four-year, $45 million centralised computing contract had blown out by $81.4 million thanks to weaknesses in oversight and controls.
The audit office found the contract had been varied 79 times since its 2010 signing, with the department acquiring extra data centre equipment that it was unlikely to use.
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Thirteen clinicians caught spying on medical records of Phil Walsh’s son Cy Walsh

February 23, 2016 5:35pm
Brad Crouch Medical Reporter The Advertiser
THIRTEEN clinicians have been disciplined for gaining unauthorised access into the medical records of Cy Walsh, charged with murder of his father and former Crows coach Phil Walsh last year.
The medical records, including toxicology results from Walsh’s hair are crucial to the trial.
Health Minister Jack Snelling and SA Health chief executive David Swan have both condemned the snooping — which could have consequences for the trial — and said the clinicians have been counselled for accessing the electronic records.
Walsh was taken to Flinders Medical Centre for tests following the death.
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Health staff caught spying on Cy Walsh's medical records

Date February 23, 2016 - 11:22PM

Nick Toscano

Cy Walsh pleads not guilty

As reported in early February, son of slain Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh re-enters his not guilty plea, saying he was mentally incompetent the night his father was killed.
More than a dozen unauthorised medical staff have been caught accessing the confidential records of Cy Walsh after he was arrested over the murder of his father, former Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh.
His electronic records, including test results that could relate to the criminal trial, have been accessed by at least 13 health workers across South Australia in what authorities have called a serious privacy breach.
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Doctors disciplined for snooping in patient records

AAP | 25 February, 2016 |
More than 20 medical staff have been caught snooping in patient files, including records related to the son of slain Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh.
Thirteen clinicians, including doctors and nurses, were formally disciplined after they inappropriately accessed the medical records of Cy Walsh following the death of his father last year.
Mr Walsh, 27, was taken to Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide for tests following his father's death and was later charged with the 55-year-old's murder.
SA Health Minister Jack Snelling revealed on Wednesday that a further eight clinicians had been disciplined for inappropriately accessing the records of other patients over the past 12 months.
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Patient privacy breach ‘is tip of the iceberg’: cancer patient

  • The Australian
  • February 26, 2016 12:00AM

Michael Owen

Cancer patient Andrew Knox has called for an independent judicial review into the South Australian government’s patient record management system, saying a fresh furore over serious privacy breaches is just the “tip of the iceberg”.
Mr Knox, 67, said yesterday his medical records relating to an incorrect chemotherapy dose may have been destroyed. “There’s not a single record that reflects the actual dose that I purportedly received ... some­thing’s not right,” he said yesterday. “The authority to give me prescriptions in the doses no longer exists ... there’s this cavalier attitude to records.”
More than 20 South Australian medical staff have been caught snooping on patient files, including records related to the son of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh, who is charged with his father’s murder.
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This app provides a handy guide to haematological conditions

24 February 2016
THE ASH pocket guide is released by the American Society of Hematology to provide information on a specific set of haematological conditions. 
The main menu offers a choice of topics. 
There are three guides on sickle cell disease including acute and chronic management of complications, as well as hydroxyurea and transfusion therapy. 
There are also three guides on thrombo­cytopenia covering heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, immune thrombo­cytopenia and thrombocytopenia in pregnancy. 
The single guides are to red cell transfusion, anticoagulant dosing and von Willebrand disease (VWD). 
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How to improve the recording of patient refusals

24 February 2016
How to improve the recording of patients' refusal of or ineligibility for preventive services.
What's the issue?
The provision of preventive care is a major role and task for GPs, but some patients refuse one or more preventive services, and some patients some or all elements of preventive or other care are not indicated because of the patient’s clinical situation.
GPs need to document their patients’ refusal of or ineligibility for care for the purposes of good clinical care, maintaining good relationships with patients, accreditation* and protection against claims if adverse outcomes such as illness or an unwanted pregnancy occur because the patient did not receive relevant care. However, the clinical software packages marketed for use in Australian mostly provide no organised way of doing this, and to try to meet this need, GPs are creating their own workarounds which do not and cannot adequately serve the required purposes.
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SA health minister rejects calls for e-health record privacy inquiry

Doctors caught accessing info on murder suspect.

By Paris Cowan
Feb 24 2016 5:04PM
South Australian health minister Jack Snelling has knocked back calls for an independent inquiry into the privacy of the state's e-health records, despite revelations 13 clinicians were caught abusing their privileges to access information on a murder suspect.
Cy Walsh was charged with the murder of his father, high-profile AFL coach Phil Walsh, last year.
Snelling told parliament this afternoon that a routine audit of user logs had exposed clinicians' unauthorised access to Walsh's information within the the state’s electronic medical records system.
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E-health: A cautionary tale from a leader in the field

23 February 2016
As healthcare data becomes increasingly digitised, authorities are struggling to balance usability with privacy.
COMPARING international medical systems is like discussing whether apples, oranges or pears are best. But in the pioneering field of e-health, several key issues are universal:
  • Interoperability, that is, the ability of computer systems from different health sectors to communicate with each other
  • Privacy/patient identification
  • The ability to turn GPs’ freehand notes into meaningful data via codes.
E-health enthusiasts often cite Denmark as a gold standard for getting most of these right.
The Australian public/private system differs significantly from the entirely public systems of Scandinavia, and each has its historical, political and cultural quirks. 
But Denmark has several natural advantages. 
It has a small population in a small area (about 5.7 million people in 43,000km2, which is 0.6% the size of Australia).
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Lambie spent $30k to keep records private

February 25, 2016
By Belinda MerhabAAP
Lambie spent $30k to keep records private
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie claims she was forced to spend $30,000 to keep her private medical records from being splashed across News Corp newspapers.
The former soldier told parliament a journalist from The Australian went on a fishing expedition to get access to her medical records following her long battle against Veterans' Affairs a decade ago for compensation.
She spent $30,000 fighting it and managed to redact details from the records after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal granted the journalist access.
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The Clinical Terminology February v20160229 Release is now available for download

Created on Friday, 26 February 2016
The Clinical Terminology February v20160229 Release is now available for download from the NEHTA website.
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Pitfalls of smartphone images in diagnosis

Nicole MacKee
Monday, 22 February, 2016
THE use of mobile phone cameras to capture radiological images from computer screens can lead to misleading information being conveyed and is of little use in the diagnostic process, a leading radiologist has warned.
Dr Greg Slater, president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, said a single-frame image transmitted by a mobile phone was not nearly as much help in the diagnostic process as it might seem.
“There is a lot of potential harm in this. [A single image] is a very limited part of the study, it’s transmitted in a non-private way, and it’s transmitted in a way that markedly reduces image quality. It can be misleading and can be missing a lot of diagnostic information,” Dr Slater told MJA InSight.
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Cancer Support App Wins Health Industry Backing

A team of ambitious Sydney doctors have won crucial industry backing in their quest to raise the standard of doctor-patient communication in cancer hospitals.
Dr Nikhil Pooviah, Dr Raghav Murali-Ganesh and Dr Akshat Saxena have put their clinical careers on hold to develop an app that puts everything a cancer patient needs to know about their disease and treatment on their device. Patients can then easily share updates on their condition with family, friends and other treating doctors.
Called CancerAid, the project was selected from more than 300 applicants to receive business development funding and support through HCF’s Catalyst program. It is also keenly supported by Sydney’s world-class cancer treatment centre, the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
HCF Chief Executive Officer Shaun Larkin said: “As someone who has gone through the journey of cancer with a close family member, I can personally see exciting promise in CancerAid to deliver better outcomes for patients. We look forward to working with the team to make that promise a reality."
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How far can medical 3D printing go?

Charlotte Mitchell
Monday, 22 February, 2016
EXPERTS are debating how widely 3D printing should be used in Australia, but they all agree that when the technology is used, it offers big benefits for doctors, patients and the health care system.
Dr George Dimitroulis, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, told MJA InSight that “the sky is the limit for 3D printing because anything you can design on a computer, you can use”.
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Infrastructure Australia and PriceWaterhouseCoopers weigh into the NBN debate: Paul Budde

February 22, 2016
Is the NBN a white elephant? Paul Budde
Both Infrastructure Australia and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have now weighed into the NBN debate. They have looked at the value of the NBN in relation to the future sale of the company.
The eventual privatisation of the NBN is one of the few areas on which both sides of politics agree. That being the case then it would be prudent to build an NBN that maintains its value and will fetch a good price. Let’s say that it should at least cover the costs of the project at the time a sale is being considered. Because of the national interest it could be argued that simply covering the cost would be sufficient.
However building a potential white elephant in the form of the multi-technology mix is certainly not going to deliver on this. There is global consensus that eventually the majority of the national fixed telecoms networks will need to be based on FttH. In Australia the NBN company is not building such a future-proof network – quite the reverse – it is using out-of-date technologies with no plan as to how to move on from this version to a robust network fit for Australia’s interconnected economy. Those who eventually might buy the NBN will have to make a massive investment in getting rid of the MtM and replacing it with FttH, not something many potential buyers will be interested in.
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nbn HFC achieves average trial speeds of 84Mbps

The National Broadband Network has achieved end-users average download speeds of 84/33Mbps with a pilot of its HFC network, drawing recognition from analyst firm Ovum that the upload speeds are among the fastest delivered over commercial HFC networks globally.
The nbn HFC trial was conducted at Redcliffe in Queensland with Retail Service Provider – Telstra, iiNet and Exetel  - delivering end-users speeds of up to 100Mbps download and 40Mbps upload.
nbn says it now has its sights set on launching commercial HFC services in June.
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Enjoy!
David.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cost revealed: $376 million state-of-the-art offices for Finance Department
http://www.smh.com.au/national/public-service/cost-revealed-376-million-state-of-the-art--offices-for-finance-department-20160225-gn45lt.html

Taxpayers will fork out nearly $376 million for a new state-of-the-art public service office building in Canberra while continuing to pay rent for acres of empty office space around the capital.

The true cost of the Finance Department's lease on its new offices at 1 Canberra Avenue has been revealed and, according to the government's contracting website AusTender, it's more than $156 million greater than previously disclosed.

The department is the one tasked with getting the federal government's empty office space problem under control, with 34,000 desks sitting idle in public service buildings around Australia and 17,000 in the national capital.

Having signed the lease on the 20,000 square metres building that comes with 500 car parking spaces, Finance is now looking to design an in-house gym for the block.

When the department persuaded Parliament's cross-party public works committee last year to give its approval to a key aspect of the move, it submitted a cost figure based on "net present value" of $194 million for renting 1 Canberra Avenue from 2014 to 2038.

The public works committee was only empowered to examine the $32 million fit-out of the building, which is being paid for by Willemsen as a sweetener to the deal, and not the lease itself.

But senators and MPs were skeptical of Finance's insistence that the property deal was good value for money for the taxpayer and the department had to work hard to make its case that 1 Canberra Avenue was a good financial option.

Eventually, influential department secretary Jane Halton was forced to intervene to persuade the public works committee to sign off on the fit-out.

Anonymous said...

I must have the best offices and I must have them under contract now lest the forthcoming spending cuts interfere with what Mathias and I believe is our entitlement, she said. Get the money committed now before the guillotine drops. We will be the envy of all.