Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Useful and Interesting Health IT News from the Last Week – 12/07/2009.

Again, in the last week, I have come across a few news items which are worth passing on.

First we have:

CSC Appoints E-Health Director

Tech chief Smith to tweak Viocorp ad tools

AMBITION: Paul Broekhuyse | July 07, 2009


CSC has appointed Lisa Pettigrew to the new position of Australian health services director. She has more than 15 years of experience in business and IT change programs.

"Lisa will undoubtedly be an asset to CSC as the company charges ahead with its focus on playing a strategic role in the Australian government's e-health agenda," CSC public sector health and financial services vice-president Matthew Day says. "Our aim is to become the leading health systems integrator and foundation IT services partner across the Australian e-health landscape."

Pettigrew has a deep understanding of the Australian health system, inter-government relations, policy and funding processes coupled with knowledge of overseas health systems, including North America, Britain, western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

She has experience in helping health delivery organisations improve operations, including throughput, patient experience and staff engagement.

CSC has more than 4700 staff working in health-related IT and more than 30 years of experience in the field.

In the US, the company supported three of the five National Health Information Network prototype projects to demonstrate the effective use of electronic health records (EHR).

In Britain, CSC manages one of the largest programs in the world at the National Health Service, supporting more than 60 per cent of the system.

The company has successfully implemented more than 250 patient administration systems and 30 theatre systems, and deployed about 40 picture archiving and communications systems and 38 radiology information systems.

CSC has also worked to establish e-health and EHR programs in Denmark and The Netherlands. The company has three primary lines of business: business solutions and services, the managed services sector and the North American public sector.

It offers systems design and integration, information technology and business process outsourcing, applications software development, web and application hosting, mission support and management consulting. CSC has about 92,000 employees and reported revenue of $16.74 billion for the 12 months ended April 3.


More here:


The bolded paragraph made me wonder does CSC know something about what Ms Roxon is planning that is being kept from the rest of us.

I am being consistently being told (over the last few weeks) there are a number of presently quite well developed plans in areas like Health Information Privacy and the IHI and how e-health is to be moved forward. It will be interesting to see just what emerges out of these processes and how wider consultation has been undertaken.

Second we have:

Laptops record patient stats


9/07/2009 8:59:00 AM

Macksville Health Campus has gone digital – staff are now using laptops to record patient information.

The electronic medical recording system, or EMR, was launched at the hospital yesterday (8th).

Nurse Unit Manager Darren Hawkes said laptop computers had replaced paper charts, enabling patient information to be accessed quickly and easily throughout the whole of the North Coast Area Health Service.

Where once you would have seen a nurse or doctor writing information on a clipboard at a patient’s bedside, there would now be a laptop on a trolley.

Doctors and nurses at the hospital had spent the past month familiarising themselves with the new system and its programs.

Mr Hawkes said the new electronic system was the next step to one day making the hospital completely paper-free.

More here:


This is really good news that smaller hospitals are starting (and only starting it would seem – see last paragraph) to see some e-Health support. NSW Health is to be encouraged to keep it up as feedback I am getting suggests system performance is not yet ideal on the North Coast.

Third we have:

Crikey July 10, 2009

8 . Federal Court grants ACC access to indigenous kids' medical files

Darwin insider Henri Ivrey writes:

A full bench of the Federal Court today ruled that the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) must take the interests of Indigenous children into account when investigating child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

Under the Northern Territory Intervention the ACC was given special powers -- and a considerable budget -- to chase down former Indigenous Affairs minister Malcolm Brough’s claims of "paedophile rings" on Aboriginal communities.

This has extended to draconian powers to seize documents and question people in pursuit of their investigations.

Two Aboriginal health services in the Territory -- known only as NTD8 and NTD9 -- refused to hand over documents, and took federal court action against the ACC, claiming that such breaches of privacy in medical records would dissuade Aboriginal minors from attending clinics in regions where remote clinics are the only choice available. A number of other clinics, including NT Government clinics, handed over material to the ACC.

More at www.crikey.com.au (subscription required)

I find using children’s medical records as evidence, unless they are making a compliant, pretty troubling. People need to be confident their records will remain between themselves and their carers and no-one else. Makes no difference if the records are paper based or electronic.

Fourth we have:

iSOFT closes $7 million contracts in Australia and New Zealand

Sydney – Monday, 6 July 2009 – iSOFT Group Limited (ASX: ISF) – Australia's largest listed health information technology company today announced that it closed deals totaling more than $7 million in Australia and New Zealand in June.

The agreements include contracts with district health boards in New Zealand, a second early adopter for iSOFT’s community care solution in Australia, and a strategic foothold in the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) new GP Super Clinics National Program. iSOFT also sold pharmacy and medicines management solutions developed by Hatrix, the Canberra-based software company that was acquired in April.

“These contracts demonstrate that iSOFT is going from strength to strength in Australia and New Zealand, which is one of our core markets,” said Gary Cohen, iSOFT Executive Chairman & CEO. “We are building on our global footprint by offering existing clients our latest solutions, as well as seeking out new partnerships.”

In New Zealand, the district health boards (DHB) of Northland, Canterbury, Mid-Central, and Wairarapa signed a five-year support and maintenance agreement for iSOFT’s patient administration system, totaling about NZ$5.2 million ($4.1 million). iSOFT will also provide a range of enhancements to a number of other district health boards in New Zealand in agreements worth more than NZ$500,000 ($395,000).

Full article here:


It seems that iSOFT is on a bit of a roll at present with new work all over the place. (Usual disclaimer of having a few shares)

More good news is found here:


iSOFT Group Limited (ASX:ISF) Achieves Milestone With WebPAS Go-Lives In Australia And New Zealand

Sydney, July 8, 2009 (ABN Newswire) - iSOFT Group Limited (ASX:ISF) - Australia's largest listed health information technology company today announced it successfully completed more than 30 installations of its Web-based patient administration system (webPAS) in Australia and New Zealand this year.

Fifth we have:

GPs say no to computers: study

Karen Dearne | July 08, 2009

GENERAL practitioners may have a computer on their desk, but less than one-quarter are making full use of its capabilities, according to a new report.

While 97 per cent of GPs had access to a computer for either clinical or administrative use in 2007-08, up from 87 per cent in 2000-01, just over 11 per cent of GPs did not use it at all, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report on GP activity said.

The findings are based on an analysis of 10 years' data collected continuously through the Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) program.

Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the report showed GPs were spending an increasing amount of time with older patients, and managing more chronic diseases.


A 2006 study found only 21.7 per cent made use of all of their software's clinical functions including holding all data electronically.

Lots more here:


This is quite an interesting study. The full report is a very useful review of what is presently going on in GP in Australia

It is downloadable from here:


Sixth we have:

Super-thin hearing aid gets good reception from Cochlear investors

Eli Greenblat

July 6, 2009

BIONIC-EAR implant company Cochlear is expected to roll out its new "super thin" next-generation device this month after a positive response from stakeholders at a key British implant conference.

The device is just 3.9mm thick, compared with the older 6.9mm product.

UBS health-care analyst Andrew Goodsall said he believed briefings of European Union clinics across Germany and Britain on the new implant were on the agenda.

"We understand that Cochlear is now rolling out the product this month, via multi-centre trials which allow key centres to 'champion' the product," Mr Goodsall said.

The analyst said he expected United States Food and Drug Administration approval for the implant in coming weeks, which auger well for a September quarter 2009 US launch. UBS is tipping EU approval for a December 2009 quarter launch.

More here:


This is good news for one of Australia’s premier high-technology health related companies.

Seventh we have:

Funds wrangle hits NBN rollout

Mitchell Bingemann | July 07, 2009

THE spearhead of the federal government's $43 billion national broadband project appears to have been blunted as the likelihood of construction starting in Tasmania this month slips away while government costing negotiations drag on.

When the government announced on April 7 it would scrap the original national broadband network tender and replace it with a state-owned enterprise that would construct a fibre-to-the-home network, Tasmanian residents were tipped to be the first to get a taste of the new super-fast network.

At the time, federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said negotiations had begun between the federal and Tasmanian governments and a construction timeline would soon be finalised.

Although negotiations were expected to be finalised in the months after the April announcement, the government said construction of the network would begin this month through the state government-owned power utility, Aurora Energy.

More here:


It seems that already the NBN program is already hitting slowdowns which are to be expected and are virtually inevitably going to get worse.

Eighth we have:


NSW seeks laws to stop wave of ID frauds

July 11, 2009 - 9:24AM

Tough new laws aimed at clamping down on identity fraud are being drafted by the NSW government.

Almost half a million Australians lost a combined $997 million to identity fraud in the last year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS attributed the crime wave to the rapid expansion of internet technology, and electronic data sharing and storage.

NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos said proposed new laws would make it an offence to trade any information that identifies a person, such as their name or address, driving licence, PIN or password, for the purpose of committing a secondary offence.

Much more here:


This is definitely good news for the citizens of NSW. We need to be sure systems like the IHI do not cause any issue in this domain.

Lastly the slightly more technical article for the week:

Google plans Chrome-based Web operating system

by Stephen Shankland

That Google operating system rumor is coming true--and it's based on Google's browser, Chrome.

The company announced Google Chrome OS on its blog Tuesday night, saying lower-end PCs called Netbooks from unnamed manufacturers will include it in the second half of 2010. Linux will run under the covers of the open-source project, but the applications will run on the Web itself.

In other words, Google's cloud-computing ambitions just got a lot bigger.

"Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the Web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small Netbooks to full-size desktop systems," Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management, and Linus Upson, engineering director, said in the blog post.

The move has widespread implications.

One is that it shows just how serious Google is about making the Web into a foundation not just for static pages but for active applications, notably its own such as Google Docs and Gmail. Another: it opens new competition with Microsoft and, potentially, a new reason for antitrust regulators to pay close attention to Google's moves.

The move also gives new fuel to the Netbook movement for low-cost, network-enabled computers. Those machines today run Windows or Linux. Google Chrome OS provides a new option that hearkens back to the Network Computer era of the 1990s espoused by Sun Microsystems' Scott McNealy and Oracle's Larry Ellison.

Much more here:


This is a very interesting development which raises a lot of questions. Some of these are answered here:


FAQ: The Google Chrome OS riddle

Google chrome project raises a ton of questions

John Fontana (Network World) 09 July, 2009 08:06

More next week.


No comments: