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."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Wonder Is This Planned To Be in Our Future? It Sure Looks Like It!

The following arrived a few days ago.

Health Space launched in Canada

09 Jun 2010

Candian telecoms firm Telus has announced the availability of Telus Health Space, it’s personal health records service based on Microsoft’s HealthVault platform.

The Telus PHR service is the first instance of HealthVault to be licensed internationally outside the US. Telus will market the PHR service to healthcare providers and insurers to offer to their members and patients. The company says 12 Canadian health organizations have signed up to collaborate on embedding applications, medical devices and educational materials.

Powered by Microsoft HealthVault, Telus Health Space will enable individual Canadians will be able to keep all their personal healthcare information – such as lab results and prescription information – in an online database for access over any Internet connection.

Telus says the new consumer health platform can serve as the foundation for building new models of care in Canada helping Canadians take an active role in living healthier lifestyles. Health Space is said to be support a variety of online tools for health and wellbeing and chronic disease management.

The platform is being offered for licensing by healthcare organizations, including provincial governments, health authorities, hospitals, insurers, individual practitioners and employers.

Telus Health Space is the first consumer health platform in Canada to gain Canada Health Infoway pre-implementation certification for providing a secure, interoperable application environment and personal health information platform.




Jon Hoeksma

Full article here:


The full release can be read here:


It has to be only a matter of time before DoHA sees this as a way to be seen to be actually doing something while NEHTA mucks around with the dream of its Individual EHR which despite multiple attempts has never been seen by COAG or the Government as a great idea worth funding.

It seems to me the risk of fracturing consumer e-Health from the e-Health providing support to consumers gets larger all the time with this fragmented and secretive approach.

This morning Karen Deane published a piece of very interesting reporting in the Australian.

What Labor has to show for e-health spendathon

  • Karen Dearne
  • From: Australian IT
  • June 15, 2010 12:05AM

OPINION: THE Rudd government will spend a whopping $639,315 each and every day on "personally controlled" electronic health records.

That's not a typo.

Five weeks after the federal budget, it remains unclear exactly what Australian taxpayers will receive come June 2012 for their $466.7 million investment in personal e-health records.

Despite hounding the government to be transparent about its plans, we only know that broadly the funds will be spent on "early planning" and "designing" of the new system.

How did the Health Department come up with that sum? Someone had to approve such a hefty investment, only no one is talking.

If those figures shock you, consider that the body set up in July 2005 to deliver a nationwide health IT infrastructure, the National E-Health Transition Authority, has been spending just under $164,000 a day ever since.

And it will keep on spending at that rate until its total current funding of $378m runs out in June 2012.

For more go here:


I have to say it is a very fair question to ask just how much ‘value for money’ we have had for this!

But the section that really caught my eye was this – direct quote from the Commonwealth Department of Health’s high priced media advisors:

“Last week, I again asked Ms Roxon to advise exactly how the $466.7m announced in the budget will be spent.

This is the reply, attributable to a spokeswoman for the Health Department:

(1) The Australian Government’s investment of $467 million over two years will fund the core national infrastructure, standards and tools to provide all Australians with access to an electronic health record from 2012-13, if they chose to register for one.

Then I asked, what are the priority projects, who is in charge of allocating the funding and what are the expected outcomes?

(2) The Department of Health and Ageing has been allocated the budget funding to implement a personally controlled electronic health record system.

The priority projects for initiating the national system will commence from July 2010.

Initially the focus will be on working with key stakeholders including consumer representatives, health care organisations, providers and states and territories, to identify the requirements for and begin the design of the system. These early planning and development projects will build on the work already undertaken through organisations including the National E-Health Transition Authority and will include consultation.

The funding will establish a secure system of personally controlled electronic health records that will have:

- Summaries of patients’ health information – including medications, immunisations and medical test results;
- Secure access for patients and approved health care providers to records via the internet regardless of where the record is physically located;
- Rigorous governance and oversight to maintain privacy, accountability and clinical provenance; and
- The national standards, planning and core national infrastructure required to use the national records system.”

Really this is just an outrage in my view. This is the closest thing to double speak one is ever like to hear!

Does anyone reading these answers think they have a clue about what they are saying!

Frankly the only way I can read the 4 points they reveal on how they are going to spend the money is that Microsoft, Google or IBM are very close to being offered an opportunity to solve the ‘political’ e-Health problem for minister Roxon and Mr Rudd.

That doing this won’t really enable and facilitate real health reform seems to have totally escaped them. In tomorrow’s blog I will explain why I think this is the case.



Jim Cocks said...

Gilbert Chesterton (in 1913) described this sort of stuff as "clotted nonsense" - I smell (again)a government in desperate re-election mode

Anonymous said...

They just don't have a clue I am afraid. Tonight I attended a Nehta presentation about Snomed-CT and how it could be used.

The specifically used the "Penicillin Allery" example - detailing in slides on how it would pickup penicillin derivates such as Amoxil and "Cloxacillin"

The fact that AMT - developed by Nehta cannot do this was not mentioned. If you are going to stuff something up then its best not to highlight your failings. It seems they don't know what they don't know and I am sure they could easily spend this money for no useful return.

This attempt at Generic management of things you don't understand would be funny if it wasn't so important to get it right! I am not a big fan of leaving everything to the market, but the market is better than Mr Magoo, who appears to have infiltrated all levels of government.

Andrew McIntyre said...

Now I have had enough...

This appeared in the Australian today:

"THE Rudd government will spend a whopping $639,315 each and every day on "personally controlled" electronic health records. "

That daily spend is almost the same as Medical-Objects received to deliver state wide inter-provider messaging to the whole of Queensland, including traffic, installation, hosting and support for 2 years. This included provision of a standards based provider directory.

The amount we have learned from having nearly 15000 providers connected and supporting that on a day to day basis is enormous. Nehta are not interested in that.

This waste is beyond a joke and has to stop. I think Mr Magoo is being insulted as sometimes he got the job done.

Anonymous said...

I think Karen will find that NEHTA came into existence in June 2004. They had the three-year review in 2007 leading to the Deloitte's report.
So NEHTA have arrogantly not acted on all of the most significant Deloitte recommendations in three years, and in six years has delivered nothing of clinical value.
Most significantly NEHTA has crippled and splintered the effort going into Australian Health IT projects.
What a waste of space (and something near $150,000 a day) NEHTA has become.

Karen Dearne said...

Hi there
I took the financials from NEHTA's annual reports, the first reported being 25-06 and the most recent being 2008-09. So those sums relate to four years up to end of FY09.
Another year's worth has already been spent - we will have to wait until October to find out how much.
It has been a very busy year for NEHTA spending-wise - lots of sponsorships of organisations, blogs, clinical leads, lots of overseas travel too. Previously they have not disclosed that expenditure at all, there are none of the line breakdowns you would expect in a public corporation's books, for instance.
The accountability and oversight, in my view, is quite limited.