Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas - And Now Go Back to What You Were Doing to Celebrate Surviving 2008!

A partner in a major consulting firm recently described me as “sad” because of my enthusiasm for the e-Health cause...he was right – sadly!

So – have a great one – I plan to..and in case you need a tiny fix..here it is.

Hospital safety reports withheld

Sean Parnell, FOI editor | December 23, 2008

Article from: The Australian

REPORTS detailing the extent and economic impact of dangerous and sometimes fatal errors in hospitals are being withheld from the public.

The Rudd Government's hospital safety regulator, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, earlier this year commissioned a series of reports from associate professor Terri Jackson.

But The Australian's bid to gain access to the reports using Freedom of Information laws has been blocked by the commission because it would damage relations between governments and potentially hinder reform efforts.

The commission's deputy chief executive Bill Lawrence yesterday said Professor Jackson obtained information from a state government "under the requirement that it would remain confidential unless and until the state approved its release".

While Professor Jackson -- who works at the Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health at the University of Queensland -- has used West Australian data in the past, it is understood for this project she is relying on Queensland and Victorian data.

The Australian understands Professor Jackson has found that, on average, about 12per cent of hospital procedures in those states encounter problems, the most costly being post-procedural and general maternity complications.

Mr Lawrence said while he considered the public interest in making the reports known to the broader community, he also needed to consider the need to preserve the efficient and proper function of government, its relationships and "the interest in promoting further research into the causes of patient safety risks and the economic effects of patient safety interventions".

"In my view, in relation to these documents, the factors against disclosure outweigh the factors in favour of disclosure, as the risk of damage to relations in regard to the safety and quality of healthcare is very high," Mr Lawrence said.

Full story here:


The arrogance of government and associated ratbags is just spectacular. The reason they can get away with not investing in Health IT is that they suppress and hide the information that shows just how bad the system is and how Health IT could actually help.

Just no excuse for this at all! Dissembling creeps the lot of them!

Back to Christmas Dinner. You too!



Anonymous said...

Associate Professor Terri Jackson and the commission's Deputy Chief Executive Bill Lawrence have both managed to have their tied behind their backs! Bill is an experienced Health Service Executive of many years standing, but he is not always right and on this occasion he is wrong; but he may not be able to do anything about it.

The Australian on the other hand can do something. It has tried and it must keep on trying. If necessary it should take its request and have it tested in the courts. And if it fails it should challenge the decision until it wins, or all options have been tested. The Australian is well versed in how difficult it is on occasions to get access to important information under the FOI Act. In this instance The Australian must persist until it gets access.

Without better use of healthIT health sector reform will fail.
Without the support and backing of the broader community for health sector reform nothing will change.

Making this information available to the community at large may well be what is so necessary to garner full community support for health sector reform.

Thank goodness for Freedom of the Press.

Anonymous said...

"In my view, in relation to these documents, the factors against disclosure outweigh the factors in favour of disclosure, as the risk of damage to relations in regard to the safety and quality of healthcare is very high," Mr Lawrence said.

Bureaucratic poppycock Mr Lawrence. Straight out of the ark. No better that making a mistake when treating a patient and not owning up to it to the patient and their family. Today we have changed our thinking. The patient wants to know what went wrong and why it went wrong and above all they want an apology

The same analogy applies to your ‘secret’ documents. We, the public, want to know what’s going wrong and we want to see it fixed. We don’t want you and your colleagues, including the politicians, to conceal the facts from us and hide them in a closet so you can all avoid being accountable and continue on as if nothing is wrong. Wake up to the fact that you are accountable, be honest and open about it and stop hiding from the truth. It could be your mother, or father, or son, or daughter, or wife that is damaged by the system one day because no-one was prepared to fix the system and that includes you. An ethicist would say you were wrong.

Teki said...

Sent to Letters at the national daily.
In the world of ordinary commerce we expect to get some guarantees for the goods and services we purchase. In best retail practice that extends to cover against costs when the product fails to perform to standards. But these rules do not apply in health care. It seems when a "stuff-up" occurs in the private sector, the same offenders attempt to correct their mistakes and misadventures while being paid at standard (Medicare Schedule) rates. Perhaps that is why the report into hospital errors is being withheld ('Hospital safety reports withheld', 23/12).
Lay people are not stupid. We expect providers of services will fix their mistakes at their own expense, not ours. It would be a good idea if Nicola Roxon orders that report to be released now.
OK, it wasn't published, but the few minutes it takes to compose at least registers an opinion ... somewhere, maybe. In a sad way, it's more fulfilling than writing to someone in the vast machine of government.
The Razor Gang will be hard at it early in the new year. I hope they are using the latest laser technology so their cuts will be bloodless and painless.