Quote Of The Year

Quotes Of The Year - 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 04, 2010

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 04 July, 2010

Here are a few I have come across this week.

Note: Each link is followed by a title and a paragraph or two. 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 payment.

General Comment:

Well it has been a busy week. Medicare Australia has given everyone a new number that will be of some use a few years down the track. It seems we are now going to start to get to work on the software that can use the HI Service. We can now await further developments.
Additionally we have interesting developments at Macquarie University and seemingly endless problems at Queensland Health.
The major issue I still see is that we still do not have any clarity about what Government are planning to do with the $400+ million for e-Health over the next two years. It really is about time we heard something about this.

Two-year wait for health e-records

  • Fran Foo, Mitchell Bingemann
  • From: The Australian
  • June 29, 2010 12:00AM
PATIENTS will have to wait at least two years before they can access medical records online, federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon says.
Initially, only Medicare would operate a secure website or portal that would allow patients to retrieve their personally controlled electronic health records, she said.
But she left the door open for other service providers, such as health insurance providers, to manage patients' e-health records in future.
A 16-digit healthcare identifier, issued by Medicare, forms the backbone of an e-health records system.

Australians get health ID number tomorrow

By Josh Taylor, ZDNet.com.au on June 30th, 2010
All Australians will have a Healthcare Identifier number from tomorrow, despite the legislation surrounding the identifiers only passing late last week.
The Department of Health and Ageing today confirmed to ZDNet Australia that everyone would be assigned an identifier by tomorrow, matching the government's original 1 July roll-out date.
"It is planned that identifiers for individuals will be allocated within the Healthcare Identifier system (run by Medicare Australia) on 1 July 2010," the department said. "Consumers do not need to do anything for this process to occur."
As part of the national professional registration process, health providers that are registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law will also be given a number in the Medicare-run system from tomorrow.

How I got my healthcare identifier

By Josh Taylor, ZDNet.com.au on July 2nd, 2010
Commentary : Despite individual healthcare identifiers being allocated to every Australian by Medicare yesterday, it has not been easy for the average citizen, me, to get a hold of my own number.
Considering the legislation just passed the Senate last week, I was curious to discover how easy it would be to find out my own personal 16-digit identifier number.
As part of the roll-out, Medicare Australia established a hotline (1300 361 457) to inform patients and healthcare providers about the new healthcare identifiers allocated to them following the passing of the legislation. The Medicare online service also contains record information including the identifier number.

E-health summaries unreliable as sole source of patient records

2nd Jul 2010
ELECTRONIC summary care records (SCRs) provide little benefit to primary health care, a large British study suggests.
The study, which analysed quantitative data of more than 400,000 primary care consultations, found that where SCRs were available, health professionals only accessed them in 21% of patient encounters. Overall, SCRs were accessed in just 4% of patient encounters.
A qualitative analysis of the data found that clinicians did not view the SCR as the sole source of reliable data. 

Media Monitors sold among swarm of private equity deals

Friday, 02 July 2010 11:31
Patrick Stafford
Media Monitors has been sold to Quadrant Private Equity in a deal reportedly worth up to $200 million, as the Australian private equity scene caught fire with a number of deals taking place yesterday.
The deals included US private equity group Providence Equity Partners buying Study Group for $660 million from fellow private equity firm CHAMP.
CHAMP in turn bought fence hiring group ATF Services from Quadrant for a reported price of about $250 million.
Meanwhile, private equity groups are reportedly circling health software provider iSOFT after a number of profit downgrades and a subsequent drop in its share price. The company itself blames volatility in Britain's political system for a number of product delays.

Waikato District Health Board Selects iSOFT Group Limited (ASX:ISF) To Deliver Modern Laboratory Solution

Sydney, June 30, 2010 (ABN Newswire) - Waikato District Health Board in New Zealand has today signed a NZ$2.95 million, five-year deal with iSOFT for a laboratory information system to improve the speed, accuracy and reporting of 6.5 million test results a year.
The move provides a single solution for all of Waikato Hospital's pathology services and 190 laboratory staff, but will also be watched closely by other health authorities in New Zealand and Australia that are set to upgrade to modern laboratory systems.
Proven at over 300 laboratories across Europe and Asia, iSOFT Laboratory covers all laboratory functions including anatomical pathology. Full traceability meets all statutory regulations and provides sophisticated statistical information on the laboratory's business to enable effective decision making. Increased productivity and quicker turnaround of test results also enables faster intervention to improve patient care.

iSOFT Group Limited (ASX:ISF) Completes E-Health Roll-Out At New Macquarie University Hospital

Sydney, June 28, 2010 (ABN Newswire) - iSOFT Group Limited (ASX:ISF) has installed a host of e-health systems at Macquarie University Hospital in Sydney in time for the new 199-bed, state-of-the-art hospital to operate paper-free from day one, under a A$7.8 million deal agreed in March 2010.
The A$250 million hospital opened on 26 June with iSOFT applications for patient, clinical and medication management as well as finance, purchasing and management reporting. The solutions are fully integrated with third-party systems for radiology, laboratory and pharmacy. Integration is provided by iSOFT's Viaduct integration engine to guarantee that changes are reflected across all applications in real-time.

iSOFT CEO forced to dispose of more shares

15:39, 2nd July 2010
By Dylan Bushell-Embling (CFO World)
Gary Cohen, CEO of health IT company iSOFT (ASX:ISF), has been forced to sell even more shares because of an ongoing decline in the company's share price.
Cohen said he had disposed of around 7.6 million more shares, because he had borrowed against the holding to participate in a share purchase plan.

Govt seeks CIO to tackle e-health

By Josh Taylor, ZDNet.com.au on July 2nd, 2010
The Department of Health and Ageing is looking to appoint a chief information and knowledge officer to begin the implementation of the government's e-health agenda.
According to the advertisement, the role will report to the secretary of the department and will "have leadership responsibility for information and knowledge management across the portfolio".
"This includes an organisation-wide focus on data, performance and information to improve health outcomes and to support advances in the development of e-health, including recent Australian government investment in a personally controlled electronic health record system," the advertisement states.

Western Health to move to e-records

Victorian healthcare provider to deploy an electronic health record and scanning system
Western Health is to deploy an electronic health record and scanning system to enable the Victorian healthcare provider to digitally store and deliver patient medical records across its multiple sites.
The system, which will see some four million pages scanned in its first year of operation, will be used across all of Western Health’s sites including Western Health Footscray, Sunshine Hospital, Williamstown Hospital, Sunbury Day Hospital and a number of satellite sites.

Connecting Healthcare In Australia

28 Jun 2010
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has warmly welcomed the recent passing of the Healthcare Identifiers Bill through the Federal Parliament and is calling on all GPs to continue driving this process.
Dr Chris Mitchell, RACGP President, said that the passing of this legislation is the foundation needed to make e-health work in Australia and the passing of this legislation would not have been possible without the ongoing hard work and determination of general practice.
"The success of the Healthcare Identifiers Service in Australia will now be dependent on patients and health providers using the system to achieve the best possible health outcomes.

Macquarie Uni Hospital IT infrastructure a "spaghetti" of systems

CIO readies ageing integrated environment path designed to see a more streamlined IT infrastructure
The newly opened Macquarie University Hospital (MUH) may boast a number of Australian firsts in technology, but its IT infrastructure is a "spaghetti" of systems, according to chief information officer (CIO), Geoff Harders.
The $250 million hospital, which opened on 15 June with a single patient, was part of two year project which saw owner, Macquarie University, set up an advanced medical school as well as negotiate the move of Cochlear Limited's global headquarters to the university campus. The 183-bed private hospital expects to be fully operational by the end of July, with 12 operating theatres and specialised clinics in radiology, pathology, radiotherapy and oncology.
However, many of the firsts it boasts - the first Australian Gamma Knife, a completely paperless hospital and a combined PET/CT molecular scanning clinic - are marred by a complicated mess of IT systems, applications and infrastructure as the result of decisions made by former partner, Dalcross Holdings.

Macquarie Hospital shuns mobility

Ipad loss is thin-client win
Like many chief information officers (CIOs), Geoff Harders of Macquarie University Hospital (MUH) has tried the Apple iPad and sees its place in specialised sectors like healthcare. But unlike other CIOs, he has shunned the device.
"They're good for reference guides and patient lists," Harders told Computerworld Australia.
Harders does not find the iPad useful for either personal or professional use. He went as far to voice his qualms about the device on a colleague's blog at university proper.
The inability to print was one of Harders' main concerns that he said makes the device unfit for use in Macquarie University Hospital. Without that basic function, many MUH-accredited doctors who own practices would be incapable of taking valuable patient information with them, Harders said.

Electronic barriers

COMPUTERS: Obstacles to a paperless practice are proving difficult to shift. By Noel Stewart
GPs have been using computers for years, but the move to the paperless office is thwarted by three main limiting factors.
First, the word processing tools in most clinical software packages are quite inadequate.
You cannot have subfolders in the template list (such as one folder for outpatient referrals), so you are forced to scroll through a long list of templates. Nor can you have "if … then ..." choices, so that when you select a specific outpatient clinic, the relevant clinic details are transferred to the template you are using.

PSA rejects opposition e-health spending cuts

2 July 2010 | by Nick O'Donoghue
Federal opposition leader Tony Abbott has been told to rethink his plans to cut funding for e-health to support his $1.5 billion mental health policy.  
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia president Warwick Plunkett accused the opposition of being “short-sighted” after Mr Abbott revealed he would cut spending on e-health and other health care initiatives to support his policy should the Coalition return to power after the next election.
Mr Plunkett described e-health as the “missing link” in terms of providing effective collaborative primary-care teams.  

Updated: Qld Govt blames IBM for health payroll bungle

Whole-of-government ICT arrangements under fire as State Government reconsiders risk management and contingency requirements
The Queensland Government has threatened to terminate the troubled SAP payroll contract between IBM and Queensland Health, citing a "breach of duty of care and breach of contract".
The threat follows the release of report from the Auditor-General, which found the payroll system implemented for Queensland Health employees was not properly tested and did not provide contingency plans in case of failure when it was rolled out on 24 March, despite warnings from the testing company contracted. The fault left thousands of workers incorrectly paid.
The Queensland Government said in a statement that IBM should be held responsible for the bungle, as it was tasked with choosing appropriate software, as well as project management, design, development and implementation duties. The government issued a notice to the company to remedy breaches on 12 May, but a lack of action has caused the government to threaten to terminate the contract.

Minister keeps job despite Queensland Health payroll debacle

  • From: AAP
  • June 30, 2010 9:49AM
QUEENSLAND'S health minister will keep his job and oversee a new payroll model as the government struggles to fix its sick pay system.
Project integrator IBM says problems with the payroll system, based on SAP software, was not its fault.
Premier Anna Bligh on Tuesday insisted her deputy Paul Lucas was safe despite calls for his job following a damning report by Auditor-General Glenn Poole on the bungled rollout of the system, which left thousands of health staffers incorrectly paid.
Mr Poole revealed Queensland taxpayers have so far paid $64.5 million for a system that had no contingency plans once failures emerged.

Queensland Health's bungled payroll system was released without the proper testing, Auditor-General finds

  • From: AAP
  • June 29, 2010 10:16AM
QUEENSLAND Health's bungled new payroll system was not properly tested and was rolled out without a back-up plan to deal with failures, an Auditor-General's report says.
Responsibility for implementing the system, which has left thousands of workers incorrectly paid, was also unclear, Auditor-General Glenn Poole found.
Mr Poole's report on the fiasco, tabled in state parliament on Tuesday, identified a raft of problems with the system rolled out on March 24.

Pay system not properly tested: report

Queenland Health payroll failure lacks responsibility says Auditor-General
AAP (AAP) 29/06/2010 10:57:00
Queensland Health's bungled new payroll system was not properly tested and was rolled out without a back-up plan to deal with failures, an Auditor-General's report says.
Responsibility for implementing the system, which has left thousands of workers incorrectly paid, was also unclear, Auditor-General Glenn Poole found.
Mr Poole's report on the fiasco, tabled in state parliament on Tuesday, identified a raft of problems with the system rolled out on March 24.

Bligh offers no payroll guarantees

Premier Anna Bligh continues to give no guarantees as to when the bungled payroll system will be fixed, saying it depended on a number of factors.

IBM defends role in Qld Health payroll shambles

Technology giants IBM has hit back at Queensland government criticism of its role in the bungled implementation of a new payroll system that has cost at least $65 million and left thousands of workers underpaid since March.

Queensland Health to change payroll system again after bungle

  • From: AAP
  • June 29, 2010 2:48PM
QUEENSLAND Health workers will be paid under a local pay model from September as the government struggles to fix its sick payroll system.
Premier Anna Bligh announced the move after a damning report by Auditor-General Glenn Poole on the bungled rollout of the system, which has left thousands incorrectly paid.
Mr Poole revealed Queensland taxpayers have so far paid $64.5 million for a system that does not work.
He found the project team gave the green light for the system's rollout, despite knowing about its defects and being warned it had not been properly tested.

NBN Co's Wii based e-health trial is a promotional masterstroke

As a promotional exercise for the National Broadband Network, NBN Co, and the benefits of broadband in general, NBN's Co's trial of 'tele-therapy' for stroke victims is a masterstroke that puts the Government's $16m NBN promotional campaign in the shade.
The trial has all the right ingredients to gain wide exposure:
- It is highly telegenic: stroke victims can be shown undergoing their Nintendo Wii-based treatment and being remotely monitored via an '"NBN-like' broadband network;
- Almost every member of the community will be able to relate to some aspect of the trial: the young to the gaming aspect; older-people who almost certain know a friend or family member who has suffered a stroke; people in rural areas who struggle with their remoteness;
- It's funded by an act of philanthropy that in and of itself is newsworthy: a board member of Neuroscience Australia donates $2m to the project and related research. But when that board member is the CEO of NBN Co and the $2m is his annual salary this throws the spotlight of publicity firmly on NBN Co and its key role in the National Broadband Network.

Stroke patients make a play for remote recovery

June 29, 2010 - 8:12AM
Less than a year ago Marianne McDonald awoke to find herself living a nightmare. The 43-year-old mother had suffered a stroke and lost her ability to write, speak and walk properly.
But an innovative program using computer games to provide rehabilitation has given Ms McDonald back most of her speech and movement.
The program, developed by Neuroscience Research Australia, involved two weeks of an intensive rehabilitation program using Nintendo Wii sports games such as tennis.

Stroke patients to get Wii therapy over the NBN

NBN Co CEO donates $2 million to fund the project
The NBN Co has begun selling the National Broadband Network’s (NBN) benefit to the health sector, announcing that stroke patients will shortly receive Wii-based therapy over the network.
The initiative, run by the NBN Co and Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), will see the NBN used to deliver remote rehabilitation therapy using Nintendo’s Wii gaming device.
The therapy will see participants take part in ten one-hour sessions at home over a two-week period. During this time a therapist based in Sydney will supervise patients using video images and sensor data relayed over the NBN to analyse the patient’s movements and provide feedback.

Stroke patients get hi-tech help

  • Adam Cresswell, Health editor
  • From: The Australian
  • June 29, 2010 12:00AM
STROKE patients will be the first to receive health services through the federal government's national broadband network.
The breakthrough will come next year,  when researchers start delivering rehabilitation classes straight into people's living rooms.
The superfast communications network, which is about to start rolling out in five "test bed" sites, will allow stroke patients to do exercises required for their recovery while being supervised by clinicians hundreds of kilometres away.
The technique, which relies on patients playing on the Nintendo Wii gaming system while their movements are watched on a live video link, has already shown good results in the laboratory.

National broadband network chief Mike Quigley's $2m payday for science

MIKE Quigley did not need a job when he was approached by the federal government last year to run its nascent national broadband network.
He was independently wealthy after a long and successful career in the global telecommunications industry, but he took the job anyway, partly to move back to his native Australia. But he made it clear yesterday he still doesn't need the taxpayer-funded salary that comes with it, donating his entire first-year pay cheque of $2 million to aid research into brain diseases and stroke rehabilitation.
"I'm in the fortunate position where I can afford to give away my first year's salary," he told The Australian yesterday. "I don't spend a lot of money and I was in fact retired before I came into this role."

National broadband network to cost government $30bn, says Mike Quigley

NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley has said taxpayers will pay up to $30 billion to build the national broadband network.
The network, due for construction over the next seven years, has been widely estimated to cost $43bn.
Mr Quigley said NBN Co's three-year business case -- which was to be delivered to the government by May 31 but NBN Co has been granted an extension to factor in the $11bn deal with Telstra -- would show that the fibre-optic network would come at a cost to the government of below $30bn. The rest of the money required to build the network will come from debt markets.

Abbott commits $1.5bn to improving mental health services

TONY Abbott will spend $1.5 billion to improve front line mental health services if the Coalition is elected.
Under the Real Action Plan for Better Mental Health, the Coalition would target young sufferers of mental disorders and build a range of new mental health centres to address the problem.
The opposition pledged today to deliver 20 new Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres, 60 additional youth headspace sites and 800 acute and sub acute early intervention beds.

Microsoft game plan: copy Apple

June 29, 2010 - 12:45PM
New hardware to go with new software.
This post was originally published on mashable.com.
The Italian Windows website "Windowsette" somehow managed to get a hold of a super-secret, highly confidential PowerPoint presentation outlining many of Microsoft's goals and plans for Windows 8.
Apparently this sensitive data (complete with UNDER NDA watermarks) was just found sitting around the internet. MSFTKitchen has an extensive breakdown and detailed posting of all the slides from within the slide deck. The presentation details many of Microsoft's thoughts going forward for Windows 8, including the fact that it is taking direct cues from Apple on how to build something customers want to pay for.


Anonymous said...

So Macquarie Hospital is "paperless", but the iPAD inability to print was one of Harders' main concerns....

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that one got me too....firstly he's wrong about the printing bit... iPads and other such devices will at least initially only be used as Citrix receivers / terminal server clients in healthcare settings....which of course can print. Not that that's a desirable outcome of course.

Best to leave C-suite blokes - especially guys retiring in 4 years - to strategy and let their 20-something sons pick the technology stack.