Sunday, April 17, 2016
This Really Shows Just How Badly The Government Is Doing In E-Health And The myHR. Just Too Stupid!
This article appeared a day or so ago.
April 16, 20167:00am
THE federal Health Department is setting up My Health records for people who have been dead for over two decades in the latest bungle to beset the troubled $1 billion project.
It comes as a major international technology company CSC last month warned medical practices not to use the My Health Record because of a glitch that meant data for one patient “may be saved against an incorrect patient record”.
And as the Australian Medical Association calls for a major overhaul of the records to integrate them into existing medical software because just 300 GPs are using the records each week.
Four years after it was launched only 75,000 records are populated with a patient health summary that makes them useful to doctors.
As the project to drag health care into the digital age flounders it has emerged the government is setting up My Health records for people who are no longer alive.
Alison McLaren says her family was shocked and upset to receive a letter from the Department of Health in February informing them a My Health record would be established for her nanna Muriel Stratton who had passed away 20 years ago.
“It was a real shock to mum because it was so close to the 20th anniversary of Nanna’s passing and was strange to get this letter out of the blue,” said Ms McLaren.
“I support e-health but what concerns me is if they are using information that old and getting that wrong, what else are they getting wrong?” she said.
Roger Grearly says his wife Lillian passed away 23 years ago but he received a letter recently informing him a My Health record would be set up for her.
“It bought back a few memories and was a bit emotional,” he says.
He says another Facebook friend also received a letter informing her a My Health record would be set up for her 19-year-old son who had passed away.
“Whether it’s blundering or carelessness it’s pretty pathetic,” he said.
The Department of Human Services says it sent letters to people who were deceased because it did not have a date of death recorded against their customer records.
“The department is aware that of the one million letters sent about the My Health Record trial, a small number have been sent to deceased individuals,” a spokeswoman said.
“The department sincerely apologises for any distress this has caused.”
The department says it is notified of a death from family members and other authorised persons such as health professionals, funeral directors and, in more recent years by data-matching with Birth, Deaths and Marriages registrations.
“If the department is not notified, a date of death will not be recorded on a customer’s record,” it said.
Minister for Health Sussan Ley offered a direct apology to any family affected by the ‘unfortunate’ administrative error.
“What I find disheartening is Labor are quick to use this as an excuse to attack the Government’s IT and payment systems when something goes wrong, but are also actively blocking our attempts to upgrade them so they are more accurate and convenient for patients.”
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health dismissed CSC’s warnings about the possibility of one patient’s health details being mistakenly filed on another person’s My Health Record.
“Advice being provided by CSC is about organisations using a very specific combination of software products and versions “practIX with HIE suite 2.1 or less”, not the My Health Record,” the spokeswoman said.
The My Health Record lists a person’s medications and allergies, doctors can upload a health summary about the person’s health problems, eventually the system will include X-ray results, pathology results, hospital discharge summaries and other data that for the first time can be shared between medical practitioners.
One million Australians will automatically have their personal health information uploaded onto the internet in such records from July as the government trials switching the My Health Record to an opt out system.
There is a lot more to read on this nonsense here:
The issue here is that it is virtually certain the names for the letters and to create patient registrations were almost certainly derived from the Medicare Customer Database that also supports the Health Identification Service which provides Individual Health Identifiers.
That names can remain on this database for 20 years and not be noticed is really a worry - and is certainly indicative of there being all sorts of other errors in this really crucial database.
Given patient identification is crucial to assembling a patient record from diverse sources the Government just pretending that all is well is a joke. Worse still is the fact that the Minister thinks that their attempts to fix things are being blocked - rather it is actually true they are happy to see an error rate in the Medicare Database (because it would cost big time to fix it).
The letters to the dead are a canary in the coal mine regarding data quality in the Medicare Databases.
The letters to the dead are also a symptom of the Government’s haste in pushing a patient record on a million unsuspecting patients (who may be alive or dead or demented or not etc.). The trials and their risks have not been properly thought through - it is as simple as that - and now we see the first evidence of that fact emerging.
A careful rethink is really required before an even bigger mess is created.
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Sunday, April 17, 2016