Monday, September 12, 2016

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 12th September, 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

A quiet week as we watch a range of recruits for ADHA being sought and see some good news from the telemonitoring and the telemedicine arena.
We also see that SA is pressing on with its implementation plan of ePAS.
Government cuts to Health Information gathering also get a mention.
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7 September, 2016

Home monitoring saves lives and money

Posted by Felicity Nelson
The first national trial of home monitoring for chronically ill patients has demonstrated the savings that could emerge from a large-scale rollout
During the 12-month trial, undertaken by the CSIRO, telemonitoring almost halved MBS spending and reduced PBS costs by one-quarter.
Hospital admissions were reduced by 53.2%, while the average length of stay in hospital dropped by 75.7%.
Based on the study, CSIRO estimates a potential $3 billion annual saving to the healthcare budget by providing telehealth services to the 500,000 Australian aged over 65 who would be good candidates for such a program.
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Bluetooth used to track chronic disease patients

Antony Scholefield | 6 September, 2016 | 
Most GPs know about MedicalDirector. Not many have heard of Net-Health.
But hundreds of instances of MedicalDirector software will soon be carrying a Net-Health widget as part of a pilot program to monitor patients’ clinical data remotely.
Net-Health, a Queensland-based start-up company, has developed a system that allows GPs to monitor individual patients’ blood pressure, blood glucose levels, weight, heart rate or pulse rate over time.
Patients use bluetooth-enabled devices and — whether it’s a glucometer or a set of scales — the measurements are instantly uploaded to the GP’s software system when they self-test at home.
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9 September, 2016

GPs want telehealth now: Why the wait?

Posted by Jeremy Knibbs
Financial pressures and a seismic shift in GP attitudes could drive fundamental changes in patient consults
GPs overwhelmingly support the use of technology-based consults, as long as safety protocols are in place, but they aren’t being facilitated by their practice or the government to do it, according to a survey conducted by The Medical Republic and Wax Interactive into changing attitudes of GPs to telehealth.
Of the nearly 100 GPs who responded to the online survey, more than half wanted the ability to charge for a teleconsult, but didn’t have it, either because the technology wasn’t available in their surgery, or their surgery had protocols preventing doctors from undertaking formal teleconsults.
This is despite more than 65% of the respondents saying they had conducted at least one teleconsult in the previous week, if you count email and phone consults.
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Flinders next to receive controversial e-health system

Adelaide Friday September 09, 2016
SA Health is eyeing Flinders Medical Centre as the next destination for its controversial EPAS electronic health records system, InDaily can reveal.
Bension Siebert @Bension1
Health Minister Jack Snelling reportedly told Budget estimates in July that the Lyell McEwin Hospital and Flinders would be in line to receive the system.
InDaily can now reveal the “discovery” process to scope the benefits and disadvantages of launching the Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS) at Flinders is planned to begin on Monday.
The $422 million e-health records system has had a chequered history, dogged by repeated claims it slows down emergency care, threatens patient safety, hampers coronial inquiries and blows out waiting lists. It has also been claimed the health department has declined to use relatively cheap alternatives, fixes and add-ons since it was first introduced at the Noarlunga Hospital in 2014.
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MedsASSIST: Pharmacists push for mandatory codeine database to stop 'pharmacy shopping'

PM
Each week Britney undertakes cross-border "codeine road trip" from far south-west Victoria to South Australia.

Key points

  • Real time monitoring system MedsASSIST was launched in April
  • It alerts other pharmacies if a patient is "pharmacy shopping"
  • Over 2 million transactions have been recorded
"I make sure my hair is done and that I've got my makeup on," Britney (not her real name) said.
"I just feel like if I look better, they'll ask less questions. I won't look like a junkie."
She has scoped out almost every local chemist on both sides of the border, and has identified pharmacies that do not ask for identification that can be recorded on a database.
"I've driven all the way to Adelaide before," she said.
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Costs to fix Canada's IBM payroll debacle soar past savings

By Paris Cowan on Sep 8, 2016 11:55AM

Echoes of Queensland.

The Canadian government is furiously working to repair an off-the-shelf payroll system delivered by IBM after 80,000 public servants missed out on all or part of their salary following its February go-live.
In a saga that will be familiar to Australian IT watchers, Canada switched on the C$180 million (A$182 million) ‘Phoenix’ payroll system earlier this year, only for it to falter when paying fringe, overtime or new payments to nearly a third of the country’s 300,000-strong public service.
Overnight, Canada’s deputy minister for public services and procurement, Marie Lemay, conceded that the cost of patching up the system and sorting out under and overpaid wages will eclipse the C$70 million savings target for the Phoenix system’s first year of operation.
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5 September 2016

Big health data: chances lost and looming

Authored by Diane Watson
IT is clear that Australians value their health system and that government interventions to ensure its vitality need to be implemented with care.
There is one proven intervention that simultaneously stimulates reform and monitors the impact of efforts to improve. That is, providing the public and health professionals with timely access to meaningful information that compares the performance of health care organisations and local areas.
Accordingly, in 2011 all governments agreed to establish the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA) which monitored, and reported on the performance of over 1000 public and private hospitals and over 300 local areas.
However, in 2015 the Commonwealth Government closed the NHPA and transferred its reporting staff to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care. Later that year, the Commonwealth announced that the AIHW would assume responsibilities for the NHPA’s reporting remit as of 1 July 2016.
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Govt knew NDIS IT system wasn't ready at go-live

By Paris Cowan on Sep 5, 2016 5:13PM

PwC report points to rushed implementation.

An independent review into NDIS IT woes that blocked care providers from receiving payments has revealed the agency in charge of the scheme knew the system wasn’t ready at go-live and considered delaying the reform program's launch.
Under the new national disability insurance scheme, healthcare providers and other disability caregivers can lodge claims directly with the federal government for services delivered to eligible participants, through the MyPlace portal.
But the portal, built in a hurry from SAP modules already in use by the Department of Human Services, caused headaches in the first months of the scheme's operation when data errors blocked the payments from being approved.
Human Services Minister Christian Porter announced in August that PwC had been called in to get to the bottom of the problem. 
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This app is a must-have opioid calculator

5 September 2016
THE Opioid Calculator is produced by the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (FPM ANZCA) to allow easy calculation of total oral Morphine Equivalent Daily Dose (oMEDD) for available opiates.
The starting point is choosing the opioids applicable to practice by selecting, for example, AU or NZ, or by tailoring the options to your specific needs.
The calculator is clear and concise.
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Hackers, investors short medical firm over bugs

A group of researchers from the cybersecurity start-up MedSec has opened up an ethics debate after it combined with an investment firm to short the stock of a maker of medical devices in order to make it aware of vulnerabilities in its products.
Staff from Miami-based MedSec found that the defibrillators and pacemakers manufactured by St Jude Medical, which is headquartered in St Paul, Minnesota, had security holes that could put lives at risk. St Jude also has branches in Japan, Brazil, Costa Rica and Belgium.
But they did not inform the company or post the information to any security mailing list where such vulnerabilities are normally ventilated. They did not try to sell their knowledge of the flaws on the grey market either.
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Aussies Don't Need to Wait Any Longer-FDA Approved Medicines Will Save Australian Lives

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, September 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Every year, groundbreaking new therapeutics for cancer, motor neuron disease and other life-threatening diseases receive FDA approval. From there it can take an average of 2 years for such medicines to become available in Australian hospitals and pharmacies. For patients who are running out of time and options, that's 2 years too long. Aussies suffer or die needlessly.
TheSocialMedwork aims to change that. Implementing a very well regulated system that is hardly being utilised worldwide, the online platform helps patients and doctors to source their much needed innovative medicine and arranges for it to be delivered to a hospital or pharmacy in their home country, where treatment can take place. Patients no longer need to fly to the US every couple of weeks to receive treatment; they can stay at home with their loved ones.  
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Who’s who of Aussie ICT

September 5, 2016
DOSEME is easy-to-use software that allows clinicians to dose a patient based upon their ability to absorb, process and clear a drug. The company is CE marked for Europeans use and listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. Using more than basic patient information such as height, weight and gender DoseMe accurately calculates dosage based on the metabolism of individual patients – without requiring more laboratory tests than are currently performed. Doesme learns how much each patient responds to a drug – and continues to do so over time. www.doseme.com.au
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Board Secretary

  • Ongoing / permanent role
  • Sydney, Brisbane or Canberra location
Better use of data and technology can help people live healthier, happier and more productive lives. Digital health can make a real difference to people's health by giving them greater control and better access to information.
Tasked with improving health outcomes for Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia, the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) commenced operations on 1 July 2016.
The Agency is responsible for national digital health services and systems, with a focus on engagement, innovation and clinical quality and safety. Our focus is on putting data and technology safely to work for patients, consumers and the healthcare professionals who look after them.
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Assistant to Board Secretary

  • Ongoing / permanent role
  • Sydney, Brisbane or Canberra location
Better use of data and technology can help people live healthier, happier and more productive lives. Digital health can make a real difference to people's health by giving them greater control and better access to information.
Tasked with improving health outcomes for Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia, the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) commenced operations on 1 July 2016.
The Agency is responsible for national digital health services and systems, with a focus on engagement, innovation and clinical quality and safety. Our focus is on putting data and technology safely to work for patients, consumers and the healthcare professionals who look after them.
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Clinical Safety Lead

  • Ongoing opportunity
  • Sydney, Brisbane or Canberra location
Better use of data and technology can help people live healthier, happier and more productive lives. Digital health can make a real difference to people's health by giving them greater control and better access to information.
Tasked with improving health outcomes for Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia, the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) commenced operations on 1 July 2016.
The Agency is responsible for national digital health services and systems, with a focus on engagement, innovation and clinical quality and safety. Our focus is on putting data and technology safely to work for patients, consumers and the healthcare professionals who look after them.
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Cloud-based recruiter LiveHire signs Telstra Health deal

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM September 6, 2016

David Swan

LiveHire has landed its first big client after listing, signing up Telstra Health to serve it with “reserve armies of talent”.
The cloud-based productivity and talent management tool, which listed on the ASX in June and counts Morgan & Banks and Talent 2 co-founder Geoff Morgan as its chairman, will be the single destination for Telstra Health to manage its talent across its various entities.
Chief executive Mike Haywood said the digital health space was becoming incredibly competitive for talent and Telstra Health would be aggressively hiring, something his company was well-placed to enable.
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Time for wearables to leap the generation gap: from lifestyle accessory to lifesaving device

Technology spotlight must widen to include at-risk older Australians, those with dementia

SYDNEY, 6 September 2016: “Wearables” are the big personal technology phenomenon of recent years, gaining particular popularity among younger, often healthy users who want to meet activity and fitness goals.
However, wearable technology that supports the health and safety of older people, who often have many more health risks than their younger counterparts and may well be in significant need of wearable monitoring and support, has gained far less attention.
According to eHealth caring technology experts, mCareWatch, that must – and will – change. And September, Dementia Awareness Month, is the ideal time for technology for older Australians to take the spotlight.
“New technology with wearable applications is increasingly being used to help older people live independently, stay healthy and, perhaps most important of all, stay connected to their loved ones, carers and healthcare providers,” said founder Peter Apostolopoulos.
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Enjoy!
David.

1 comment:

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

Strange things are happening.

The public consultation on "Secondary Use" (i.e. the use of patient health data for uses other than that for which it was collected) has been delayed.

It was supposed to start with a consultation paper being circulated and then a number of public workshops and a webinar. The first workshop was due Monday 12 (yesterday) and the webinar this Thursday.

All events up to 19 September (Brisbane) have been postponed. The first one that I know of that is still scheduled is Melbourne 26 September.

The reason being given for all this postponement is that the consultation paper hasn't been finalised.

I was wondering what the reason for all this delay might be.

The reason could be to do with consent.

The website of the organisation undertaking the development of a framework for Secondary Use
http://www.myhealthrecorddata.healthconsult.com.au/about/
says this:

"Under the My Health Records Act 2012 (the Act), health information in a My Health Record may be collected, used and disclosed “for any purpose” with the consent of the healthcare recipient."

But when you look at the latest legislation for My Health Record, you discover that the consent of patients is now no longer required in order to collect their health data.

Why is this so? you may ask.

Well, here's a theory.

The Royle report proposed that My Health Record be made opt-out. In order to do that, patients would need to be given a My Health Record without being part of the registration process. In the original legislation, when a patient registered they consented to their health data being collected.

So, the government, ever keen to increase registration numbers, removed the requirement for consent and went ahead with the opt-out trials.

My theory is that they have shot themselves in their dainty little feet.

Without consent, legally, Secondary Use is out of the question.

Furthermore, the UK Association of Medical Research Charities released a position statement on the use of health information for medical research.
http://www.amrc.org.uk/sites/default/files/doc_lib/AMRC_health_information_statement_Sept_16.pdf

which said interesting things like:

• AMRC supports the choice to opt-out of sharing health information beyond the purposes of a person’s direct healthcare. We believe that the public and patients must have the option to choose who has access to their personal health information.

• We want to ensure that the public and patients are able to make an informed choice about sharing their personal health information. The public need a better understanding of how the use of personal health information in research can transform care now and for future generations. At the same time, the public also need to understand the risks. There needs to be honesty about the fact that risks to privacy can never be eliminated entirely, although they can be reduced and managed.

• The public need to feel that they can trust and have confidence in the health and social care system to collect, store and share their information with care and competence, and respect their wishes. If the public do not trust the system, they will be unwilling to share health information for medical research and this will seriously hinder progress on new treatments and cures of diseases such as cancer, dementia, rare conditions and many more. AMRC believes trust will be built by applying the 4Cs principles: choice, care, competence and clarity.


When the consultation paper hits the street, it will be very interesting to compare Australia's approach with this document, not to mention a few others that have been produced around the world.