Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 19th 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

Quite a busy week with lots of problems with ePIP, Cancer Registries and a range of other issues.
Lots of headlines to browse and to click through.

Englishman now in charge of $1 billion digital health records system doctors refuse to use

September 11, 20165:37pm
Sue Dunlevy News Corp Australia Network
THE man who led the dumped UK digital health record system has been put in charge of Australia’s bungled $1 billion e-health record and is being paid as much as the Prime Minister to fix it.
Former journalist Tim Kelsey will be paid a total remuneration package worth $522,240 a year, almost the same as Malcolm Turnbull and just shy of the $548,360 paid to the Chief of the Navy and more than the Chief Scientist, the head of the Fair Work Commission and the Inspector General of Taxation, a remuneration tribunal determination reveals.
The former NHS executive is an interesting appointment as CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency because he was in charge of the UK digital health records scheme dumped by the UK’s National Health System in July.
The Department of Health stated that Mr Kelsey is uniquely suited to the role because of his experience with data and digital platforms in health and personal privacy.

To email your patients or not to email

Authored by  Cate Swannell
ONLINE portals using secure pathways may be the best available solution to the dilemma of doctor-patient email communications, which sees practices lagging behind the “willingness of their patients” to connect via email.
A systematic review published in Family Practice showed that far more physicians want to use email communication with their patients than actually do use it. In Europe, for example, it was shown that only 7.4% of the European population communicated with a physician using email or the web.
“In the UK, 52% of general practitioners responded as willing to use such a communication with their patients, and 37% had already received one or more emails from their patients,” the author of the review, Assistant Professor Jumana Antoun from the American University of Beirut, wrote.

Unleashing the power of people - How digital services can transform healthcare

Created on Monday, 12 September 2016
The Agency will shortly be launching an Agency blog. Here is our first post from the Agency CEO Mr Tim Kelsey.
Everybody in Darwin is hoping for rain: it is heating up and a humid summer is coming. We drive along the foreshore towards Palmerston, past the mangroves that mantle the ocean. I have been invited by Dr Sam Heard to come and listen to patients and staff in his practice, the Palmerston GP Super Clinic. It is a great innovation – a joint venture between Charles Darwin and Flinders universities to give local people access to comprehensive primary care services in one setting, from medical and pharmacy through to podiatry. It has more than 100,000 patient encounters every year. It is a training centre – there are 18 registrars and 10 students and you can tell people really want to work here. This is how you learn to be a great clinician – working in teams, bringing every professional skill to bear to improve outcomes for your patients. Sam, who would never say this himself, is a globally respected expert in primary care and has championed the importance of data and technology in medicine for many years.
Sam introduces me to David who is 35 and drives through the door in his wheelchair, with a broad smile on his face. David tells me his story. He was an internet entrepreneur and ran a website that reviewed software, until his life was shattered by illness eight years ago. He went into hospital for a routine operation and was the victim of a hospital-acquired infection, and everything went wrong for him after that. At this point, David says that hospitals are dangerous places – and best to be out of them. He has had both feet amputated (as a consequence of diabetes) and has been in hospital for very long periods with a variety of conditions, including pancreatitis. This is a brave man, somebody who knows the desolation of ill health.

Labor moves to block $220m contract with telco giant for medical register

September 13, 2016 3:08pm
TELSTRA and the Federal Government are in a major brawl with Labor which wants to veto the telco as the operator of a register of highly-sensitive medical information.
At issue is the privacy of records ranging from Pap smear results to gender transitions.
The Opposition wants to bar all for-profit companies from running the register of cancer histories, part of Labor’s determination to keep health management within the public sector.
A decision to give Telstra control of a mountain of cancer screening data was revealed by the Health Department just four days before the election, and before legislation creating the register had been approved.

Govt’s Telstra cancer register contract criticised

Telstra earlier this year won a $220-million contract to establish and operate the National Cancer Screening Register
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 13 September, 2016 16:29
Labor’s shadow health minister, Catherine King, has launched an attack on the government over its decision to award to Telstra a contract to operate the new National Cancer Screening Register.
The National Cancer Screening Register Bill 2016 and the National Cancer Screening Register (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2016 are currently before the House of Representatives. The bills will create the National Cancer Screening Register, which will replace nine existing registers including the states’ cervical cancer register.
In May the Department of Health announced it had awarded the contract to establish and operate the register to Telstra. The $220 million contract has an initial term of five years with an option for a 10-year extension.

Telstra will not run cancer-screening database if Labor has its way

Labor has said it will try to ensure that only government or non-profit organisations are able to handle sensitive health data for the National Cancer Screening Register.
By Chris Duckett | September 14, 2016 -- 04:24 GMT (14:24 AEST) | Topic: Enterprise Software
A push is on to prevent Telstra from implementing a AU$220 million contract it won prior to the July federal election, with Labor looking to introduce changes that would prevent the telco from handling the data.
In May, Telstra Health was awarded a deal to construct and run the new Australian National Cancer Screening Register for the next five years, with the database to maintain patient records for cancer testing across the country.
Shadow Minister For Health And Medicare Catherine King said on Tuesday that the government signed the contract despite not having legislation in place to establish the Register, and it would allow Labor to make amendments.
14 September, 2016

Despite glitches, most meeting eHealth upload targets

Posted by Julie Lambert
General practices that fail to meet upload targets for the eHealth incentive program may escape financial penalties if they can show their efforts were foiled by software glitches.
Practices that fell short of the target and did not opt-out of the new incentive scheme introduced in the May-July quarter are being asked to give back payments they may have received.
The Health Department has confirmed officials are reviewing Practice Incentive Program and My Health Record data to check whether practices are meeting the ePIP requirements to upload a portion of their patients’ health summaries to the MHR system.
But the department has also signalled a possibly more flexible approach that may avoid penalising those that come up short.

GPs failing to regularly upload e-health records

By Paris Cowan on Sep 14, 2016 5:00PM

AMA slams new ‘penalties’ for doctors.

As many as 1500 GP clinics have failed to meet the minimum benchmark for My Health Record participation in the past quarter and risk losing thousands of dollars in incentive payments as a result, the Australian Medical Association has claimed.
It said as many as 40 percent of GPs are still not equipped to regularly upload shared health summaries into the system, and one-third of the clinics previously receiving funds to help them with the e-health transition now risk a shortfall of more than $24,000 a year.
The AMA slammed the government’s move to toughen the eligibility criteria for incentive payments for MyHR participation, claiming it will “erode the goodwill of GPs” rather than prompt them to upload more patient data into the national health records system.

Doctors forgo $23,000 and opt-out of uploading patient data to MyHealth record

September 14, 20167:13pm
Sue Dunlevy News Corp Australia Network
DOCTORS are so opposed to the troubled $1 billion taxpayer funded e-health record they are refusing a $23,000 incentive payment to upload patient information into the system.
From May doctors had to upload 0.5 per cent of their patients’ records to the new system to qualify for a $23,000 practice incentive payment as the government struggles to get doctors to use it.
The AMA has revealed 30 per cent of GPs will miss out on the payments because they have refused to do this.
Without these records outlining a patient’s health condition these records are virtually useless and it means even though taxpayers have spent $1 billion on the record doctors are not using it.

Government to investigate e-health PIP failure

Antony Scholefield | 15 September, 2016 |  
The Federal Health Department will investigate the e-health Practice Incentives Program after more than one thousand practices failed to hit targets for uploading shared health summaries.
Due to a controversial revamp of the e-health PIP in May, practices are now required to upload shared health summaries to the MyHealth Record system for at least 0.5% of their patients.
However, it emerged on Wednesday, that out of more than 5000 practices registered for the e-health PIP, 1500 had not met the new requirements for their quarterly payments.
A further 222 practices had simply withdrawn from the program, according to the AMA.
  • Opinion
  • Sep 16 2016 at 1:29 PM
  • Updated Sep 16 2016 at 2:09 PM

Exploding phones and heart-stopping hacks its a dangerous tech world out there

Hackers have been targeting pacemakers and medical records, which is a big reason to feel scared for many.
A worried air hostess leans over and says, "be careful! Your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 might explode in your hands!"
I'm holding a Nexus 6, but she shakes her head ruefully anyway: Technology, it's deadly. Yes, Samsung has recalled 1 million of their new premium mobile phones because of serious fire and burn hazards. A fault with the rechargeable lithium battery prompted the handset to explode in the hands of a 6-year-old in Brooklyn, New York and he was rushed to hospital.
Since then, reports of the phones catching fire have quadrupled.
Understandably, the boy has reportedly refused to go near any smartphones, though it's probably helpful to point out that rechargeable lithium batteries themselves are the workhorses of portable power; they're in powertools, e-cigarettes, vibrators and Samsung's new wireless earbuds.

Detailed Clinical Model Library - Clinical Informatics

Created on Monday, 12 September 2016
The Clinical Informatics unit is pleased to announce the latest release of the Australian Digital Health Agency's Detailed Clinical Model Library (v4.4).
Download the full release file bundle from the following location on the Agency website:
The accompanying release note outlines changes in the Detailed Clinical Models and the triggers for the changes.

Will you play a part in driving the digital transformation of Australian healthcare?

Created on Friday, 16 September 2016
Message from Jim Birch, Chair of the Australian Digital Health Agency: Will you play a part in driving the digital transformation of Australian healthcare? The Board of the Australian Digital Health Agency is calling for people to support it in driving the digital transformation of Australian healthcare.
To ensure we get the best minds in the country to support us in this critical work, we are appealing to people across the community to express their interest in joining an Advisory Committee to support the Board and help shape the Agency’s focus and work.
We are establishing Advisory Committees in the areas of:
  • Clinical and Technical
  • Consumer
  • Privacy and Security
  • Audit and Risk
  • Digital Health Safety and Quality Governance

EXCLUSIVE – Moving towards a ‘Person-Centred’ approach to healthcare

OpenGov Asia speaks to Andrew Saunders, Health CIO, Department of Health & Human Services, Victoria to learn more about his role and aim to transform the healthcare services sector

How long have you been in your current role? Were you brought in with a specific objective, drawing on your experience in the private sector to achieve a certain goal?
I joined in August 2015.
The department wants the Health CIO to work collaboratively in the Victorian public health sector devolved governance model, be able to bring the sector together and agree a digital health strategy, especially around the sharing of clinical information, and support the health services in working together on joint initiatives.
In Victoria, we have 86 health services and 32 independent community health services. My team supports the health services in providing health ICT design and shared service, as well as performing a sector wide ‘health systems management’ role to ensure that the end to end system is working together, meeting minimum standards and positioning itself to leverage future technological advances.
Another key part of the role is to enable the appropriate sharing of information between the health and social care functions of the department to support a person centred approach to health and well-being.

What are the hottest tech jobs in Australia?

IT leaders in high demand during 2016.
Holly Morgan (ARN) 16 September, 2016 05:30
The IT industry's hiring activity is expected to surge as Australian businesses continue to align business strategy with IT investment.
According to findings from recruitment firm Hays, the alignment driving this increase in IT hiring is aimed at supporting new business models and systems to boost efficiency, and enhance customer engagement in the digital era.
As the ongoing reliance on digital technologies, such as the Internet of Things, continues, candidates with the ability to translate data into actionable business outcomes will be valued, alongside cyber security expertise in protection, compliance and audit of such data.

No, the Medicare payment system won't be privatised

13 September 2016
The Department of Health has disbanded the unit looking at outsourcing Medicare payments, effectively confirming the system won't be privatised.
The department also directed PricewaterhouseCoopers - the private firm advising the unit - that the payment system must remain delivered by government.
It reflects an election commitment made emphatically and repeatedly by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that all Medicare services currently delivered by government would stay that way.
In an email to staff seen by AAP, Secretary Martin Bowles advised he's establishing a Medicare and Aged Care Payments Division from Monday.

Plenty Valley and Northern Health eReferral Prokect leads pilot program to co-ordinate services

Katrina Hinschen, Whittlesea Leader
September 13, 2016 12:01pm
PATIENTS’ medical referrals will be a click of a doctor’s mouse away under a new electronic system being trialled in Melbourne’s north.
Plenty Valley and Northern Health eReferral Project, led by Plenty Valley Community Health Service, is one of three Victorian health services consortiums selected to lead the pilot program.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the Victorian eReferral Program will make patient referral processes more efficient, safer and reliable.
“Instead of relying on old fashioned paper referrals that can be easily lost or misplaced — this cutting-edge electronic technology makes it quick and easy for GPs to make a referral,” Ms Hennessy said.

Mandatory Breach Reporting For Health Records – What You Need To Know

Last Updated: 13 September 2016
Most Read Contributor in UK, August 2016                                           
Mandatory data breach reporting is the buzz word in privacy and cyber risk circles. Many Australian governments (including the incumbent) have sought to introduce legislation requiring all Australian businesses to report data breaches that compromise personal information collected or held by those businesses. But no government has yet succeeded. Except that is, for certain health service providers, who should take note – if you're handling certain types of health records, you may already be required to report such breaches.

What is 'mandatory reporting' – and is it relevant for my business?

The Privacy Act applies to Australian individuals and businesses with a turnover of over AUD 3 million, and to those providing a health service and who hold health information irrespective of turnover. Currently, the Privacy Act does not require that your customers or the Office of the Australia Information Commissioner (OAIC) be notified of a data breach that compromises their personal information. That is likely to change in time – and draft legislation could (if implemented) extend such mandatory reporting obligations to all businesses subject to the Privacy Act. In the meantime, notifications are encouraged by the OAIC as part of a data breach response plan, where the disclosing party thinks there may be a real risk of serious harm to the individual as a result of the breach.

I run a health services business – how does this affect me?

In addition to the requirements of the Privacy Act, healthcare providers accessing, processing and storing 'My Health Records' are subject to a mandatory data breach reporting regime. This regime has been in place since the inception of the My Health Record scheme in 2012 and requires notification, in certain circumstances to the My Health Record System Operator (i.e. the Secretary of the Department of Health) and the OAIC, of data breaches affecting an individual's My Health Record.
12 September, 2016

Man overboard: Why has MedicalDirector swapped CEOs?

Australia’s largest patient management system provider,  MedicalDirector, has quietly changed its CEO of nearly three years, Phil Offer, replacing him with Matthew Bardsley, previously the Chief Information Officer at Primary Healthcare
Although it only came to light last week that Offer had been replaced – he has been seen around the traps spruiking the new cloud-based version of MedicalDirector at various events as CEO – it is apparent that the change took place as a result of MedicalDirector’s acquisition by private equity (PE) some five months ago.
No-one at MedicalDirector or Affinity, the PE owner of the group,  was prepared to comment on the change.  PE tends to be like that – private. But the shift to Bardsley, if it is meant as a longer-term change, could be an indication that the new owners want more speed at the pointy end of the business – technology. Bardsley has been a long-time presence at MedicalDirector as a tech lead. His shift to CEO might be so the company can get more progress on its new versions of the software, especially the cloud-based Helix edition.

HCF backs Curo Tecnologies’ sensors for elderly

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM September 13, 2016

Supratim Adhikari

Health insurer HCF is investing $1 million into Curo Technologies, a Melbourne-based health tech start-up that is looking to better leverage wireless sensor technology to help the elderly.
Founded by Victorian brothers Matt and Tim McDougall, Curo is one of the first graduates out of HCF’s Catalyst program, an annual initiative run in partnership with accelerator program Slingshot that is designed to help local healthcare-focused companies ­develop and accelerate their businesses.
Catalyst is Australia’s first corporate-supported accelerator aimed at start-ups in the health tech space. While Curo is one of nine businesses to graduate from the 2016 HCF Catalyst program, it is the only one HCF has decided to put money into, with chief strategy officer Sheena Jack saying Curo’s solution tackles one of the key challenges facing the healthcare industry in Australia.
  • September 15 2016 - 10:48AM

Federal intelligence agencies recruiting hackers to attack government systems

Henry Belot
Federal intelligence agencies are hiring hackers to test the security of government infrastructure and to attack foreign targets.
The recruitment drive, which offers recruits "a licence to hack", comes after a number of attacks on government agencies including the Department of Human Services during the census collection period. 
Other targets include Austrade, the Defence Science Technology Group and the Bureau of Meteorology, which was breached last year by Chinese-based hackers. 
Another 97 federal departments have reportedly been told to encrypt more data amid hundreds of attempted intrusions every month.

Defects and delays keep Royal Adelaide Hospital on critical list

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM September 16, 2016

Rebecca Puddy

Today the doors of the nation’s most expensive building, the ­imposing 10-storey Royal Adelaide Hospital, standing tall on the banks of the River Torrens, should swing open to receive patients.
The $2.3 billion facility, which has earnt the accolade of the world’s third most expensive building (after New York’s One World Trade Centre and Bucharest’s Palace of the Parliament), is set to be Australia’s first paperless hospital delivering state-of-the-art healthcare, with private rooms and lush gardens.
But in reality, the site remains a 24-hour building site, a mecca for workers in hard hats and high-vis vests. Delays and mistakes in the building of the nation’s most ­advanced hospital have continually pushed back deadlines, prompting a bitter legal battle ­between the state government and its builders.
  • September 11 2016 - 11:00PM

We should get technology to the people who need it most - the homeless

·         Melanie Raymond
Digital technology has great potential to be a force for empowerment, and, in so many ways, it has already allowed us to be a nation of self-publishers, commentators, entrepreneurs and disrupters.
But access to technology is far from universal. Research from welfare groups shows a nation heavily reliant on mobile technology but it also reveals a strong digital divide. Nearly half those on welfare payments, especially those living alone and older people, do not have home internet access. While rates of mobile phone ownership are high, low-income groups routinely run out of credit sooner than expected and experience "bill shock".
Far from empowering all people, technology can deepen and reinforce the disadvantage already experienced by the nation's homeless, estimated to be at least 105,000.

Hills Health plans merger with Lincor Solutions

ICT services company Hills is to spin off its Health Solutions business as it prepares to merge with technology company Lincor Solutions and create a new stock market listing.
Hills, maker of the iconic Hills clothes hoist, announced on Tuesday that it had entered into a conditional merger agreement to combine its HHS business with Lincor.
Hills chairman Jennifer Hill Ling said that while the company’s expanding healthcare solutions operations had the potential to become a key profit driver within Hills in coming years, “the opportunities for the healthcare business and its growth potential are much greater as part of Lincor Limited on a global basis”.

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