Sunday, October 17, 2010

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 17 October, 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 subscription payment.

General Comment:

It has been a pretty quiet week but I suspect there may be a bit more activity next week with Senate Estimates Committee covering the Health and Ageing apparently meeting on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st October 2010. Wednesday is the day where DoHA (where e-Health sits) is on Wednesday according to the current program which can be found here:

When I know timing I will let people know:

The sessions are available to watch here:


More (mostly) depressing reading on e-health: a bit on why, a lot on why not, and not much at all on how…

, by Melissa Sweet

E-health: WHY?

When it comes to e-health, we know at least some of the reasons why it should be a good thing (quite apart from the fact that the e-revolution is bringing benefits to so many other aspects of life).

As a new Canadian study suggests, electronic drug information systems can help reduce adverse drug events and increase pharmacist and prescriber productivity. The study also finds that they increase “medication compliance”, but I hate that term so will instead report that they are associated with a more appropriate use of medicines.

The study, which estimates Canada’s investments in drug information systems will generate $436 million in cost savings and efficiencies in 2010, was released by Canada Health Infoway, “an independent not-for-profit corporation created by Canada’s First Ministers in 2001 to foster and accelerate the development and adoption of electronic health record systems with compatible standards and communications technologies”.


Heart to heart - directly with your doctor

Glenda Kwek

October 11, 2010 - 3:49PM

A Dutch research centre has developed a wireless monitor that allows your organs to send alerts to your mobile phone.

The electrocardiogram-sensor system - called the Body Area Network (BAN) - sends information about your heart's performance, brain and muscle activities to your phone, nanoelectronic research institute Imec said this week.

The data is then processed and sent over the internet to your doctors.

A wireless monitor that allows your organs to send alerts to your mobile phone.

"Potentially it could be quite useful," Australia's Heart Research Institute deputy director Professor Michael Davies said.


Scottish Government praises Greater Glasgow and Clyde Clinical Portal

13 October 2010

A recent Scottish government report on the use of clinical portals and telehealth in Scotland confirmed that the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Clinical Portal is widely used and delivering value for a broad user base across the Health Board.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is the largest health board in Scotland, with 44,000 staff, 35 major hospitals, 50 health centres and clinics and 1000 GPs.

The Clinical Portal provides a single and unified view of information from the Health Board's Scottish Care Information Store, a central data repository for nearly two million people, consisting of a clinical data repository, scanned paper case notes and an encounter repository. The Portal uses Orion Health technology to provide a clinician-friendly view of information from multiple information sources, including Meditech and iSOFT patient administration systems, and access to test results, referrals and clinical documentation.


iSOFT announces Lorenzo developments

Wednesday 13th October 2010

iSOFT has announced key Lorenzo developments, including the release of Lorenzo 3.6 and a drive to make Lorenzo components available to meet specific market needs, under its new Smart Solutions strategy.

The latest release of Lorenzo Enterprise features a host of new and improved functions, including nurse process management. Under a policy of delivering quarterly updates of new features and improvements, the new nursing functions are for managing day-to-day tasks, clinical forms and correspondence and clinical noting. Lorenzo 3.7, due next year, will include additional nursing functions such as shift handover support and patient cockpit.

The nursing component is just one key element of iSOFT’s Lorenzo Smart Solution strategy to provide vital new applications to the market at lower costs, in a faster go-to-market fashion, and allowing its customers to benefit from new functionalities. Based on Microsoft’s Silverlight technology, these are infrastructure-light solutions that can be installed without the need for new hardware, additional database licenses, or the upheaval of replacing existing systems.


ISoft commits to Synergy in primary care

14 Oct 2010

ISoft is to focus primary care development in the UK on its existing primary product Synergy, and to use a Lorenzo-based portal to enable information sharing.

The healthcare IT system supplier has launched a hosted version of Synergy, which is used by 80% of iSoft primary care customers in the UK, and said it is committed to primary care.

Last year Gary Cohen, former iSoft executive chairman and chief executive, announced that Lorenzo Primary Care would be available in the UK from quarter four 2010.

However, when asked about this launch this week, an iSoft spokesperson told EHI Primary Care: “ISoft remains committed to primary care and continues to intensify its focus through continued development of our Synergy solution, which has a strong clinical following, particularly in large practices.


ISoft markets Lorenzo modules to trusts

12 Oct 2010

ISoft has announced that it will market components of its electronic patient record, Lorenzo, to hospitals in the UK and worldwide under a Lorenzo smart solution strategy.

Lorenzo, which is due to be delivered to trusts in the North, Midlands and East of England as part of the National Programme for IT in the NHS, will be made available to meet specific market needs in a more modular format called Lorenzo Enterprise suite.

Functionality that will be made available will include new nursing releases for managing day-to-day tasks, clinical forms and correspondence, and clinical noting.

Michael Dawlheid, global chief marketing and medical officer, told E-Health Insider: “These components are specifically designed for faster time to market, quicker revenue and much faster implementation than implanting the full blown Lorenzo.


Pennine on brink of dropping Lorenzo

11 Oct 2010

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust may be on the brink of abandoning its Lorenzo implementation following continuing concerns and difficulties around implementing the system, E-Health Insider has learned.

Pennine is meant to be the first mental health trust to take Lorenzo. One mental health; one acute – University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust; and one PCT, NHS Bury, are required to go live with Lorenzo to trigger key NPfIT contract milestones and payments to CSC and iSoft.

Sources have told E-Health Insider that Pennine is struggling with the implementation of the electronic patient record from iSoft and may not only further delay the go-live but drop the implementation altogether.


Three-month testbed delay for health project

A THREE-month-old draft Healthcare Identifiers Service implementation plan has been reissued almost unchanged by NEHTA.

But a project plan is still some way off.

National E-health Transition Authority public affairs chief Heather Hunt says the material and timelines provided in the HI implementation approach and communication strategy were "only designed to show the public that the service will be adopted incrementally, rather than overnight in all locations".


Health rejects Opposition calls to reveal NEHTA spending

  • Karen Dearne
  • From: Australian IT
  • October 14, 2010 10:21AM

THE Health Department has refused to reveal how much the National E-Health Transition Authority has spent on travel in the past financial year, saying the taxpayer-funded body is not required to report such information under its funding agreement.

"Provision of this information to the department is not required, and is not provided in NEHTA’s annual reports," the department said in response to questions on notice from Senate estimates hearings in June but only published this week.

Liberal Senators Sue Boyce and Concetta Fierravanti-Wells have been pursuing details of NEHTA’s spending and accountability to parliament over the past year.


Health number plan in good shape

An implementation plan for the introduction of e-health identifier numbers has been released by the National E-Health Transition Authority, NEHTA.

The Healthcare Identifiers Communications Plan aims to guide the implementation of the Healthcare Identifiers Service (HI) through education and marketing initiatives for consumers, healthcare providers, and healthcare organisations.

Operated by Medicare Australia, the HI Service aims to improve healthcare communication between individuals and medical providers.

It is a national system for uniquely identifying healthcare providers and individuals.


E-health focus in new RACGP standards

8 October 2010. NEHTA has welcomed the increased number of specific criteria to address e-health in the 4th edition of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for general practices launched at GP10 in Cairns today.

The 4th edition of the Standards represents a template for quality and risk management in contemporary general practice and the review process included a separate e-health standards working group to review all the standards and their alignment with national e-health initiatives (patient, provider and organisation healthcare identifiers, and electronic health records) and best practice.

The working group comprised of the RACGP e-health working group members and NEHTA clinical leads.

Professor Claire Jackson, President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and GP in Inala, Brisbane said a new section has been included on patient identification.


NBN sees conflict ahead

Lucy Battersby

October 16, 2010

NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley has foreshadowed potential clashes between the government and companies that own fibre backhaul networks as final details of the broadband network are ironed out.

A decision on whether to install hundreds or just a few ''points of interconnect'' will either leave regional users with fewer providers to choose from or reduce the market for competitive backhaul - the high-capacity fibre that carries data between towns.

Mr Quigley yesterday ruled out widespread compensation for telecommunications providers for building over existing infrastructure.


Buy or beware - competitors gear up to do battle with NBN

Garry Barker

October 17, 2010

INTERNET and cable TV service providers that do not get an offer from the national broadband network company to buy their infrastructure say they will compete with it.

''We are not going to just walk away from our investment,'' said Andre Koot, general manager of TransACT in Canberra and Neighborhood Cable in Geelong, Ballarat and Mildura.

''We either have to make our networks attractive enough for the NBNCo to buy them, or we compete,'' he said. ''NBN is pretty earth-shattering for people like us.''


Connect to NBN now or pay up to $300 for phone line

Ben Grubb

October 15, 2010 - 4:08PM

Sign here if you want to keep your fixed-line telephone.

If Australians do not opt in to the national broadband network (NBN) as it is rolled out they will lose their fixed-line phone service unless they pay a one-time fee of about $300.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said repeatedly that he would not be forcing homes on to the NBN, however, if consumers want to keep their fixed-line telephone service once Telstra has decommissioned its copper network, then they will need to connect to the new network.

Although the government is covering the installation costs now, those who decline to allow NBN Co on to their property will need to pay up to $300 to connect to the NBN at a later date, according to ISP iiNet chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby.


Competition chief rejects cost-benefit analysis

  • Damon Kitney and Mitchell Bingemann
  • From: The Australian
  • October 14, 2010 12:00AM

THE competition regulator has questioned the need for a cost-benefit analysis for the $43 billion National Broadband Network.

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel said it was the proper role of governments to spend money on visionary projects for the future.

And it would be impossible to measure the flow-on social and economic benefits of a high-speed internet network over the next two or three decades, he said.

"It is this crystal ball gazing that can't be done, and ultimately with these things that's where government steps in because the private sector won't do the crystal ball gazing," Mr Samuel told The Australian yesterday.


A network going nowhere

Peter Martin

October 13, 2010

I AM worried about the state of our roads, but I've got an idea. Bear with me, even if it reminds you of the national broadband network.

Let's replace the lot - every single road - with brand new, state-of-the-art roads. They will be faster, they will unleash new uses for roads not yet dreamed of, and they will boost our productivity in ways that cannot yet be quantified; so there's no point in subjecting the idea to a cost-benefit analysis.

Sure, it will cost tens of billions of dollars, tie up our construction workforce for years and destroy existing, fully functioning infrastructure on a never before imagined scale. But it will be nation building. And let's do it without even considering alternative uses of the money, because, well …

And that's where I lose my way.


NBN bill at risk of $1bn blowout

THE cost of building the NBN could blow out by $1 billion if the government adopts the principles of its Tasmanian rollout around the country.

NBN Co, the government body set up to roll out the NBN, yesterday confirmed it was extending the fibre network from the street to the outside of every house it passes as part of its deployment in the Tasmanian towns of Midway Point, Scottsdale and Smithton.

It is understood that the same connection process has been extended to the first release sites on the mainland and is likely to be adopted for wider rollout around the nation.


Time to call out National Broadband Network naysayers

MIKE Quigley will start to fill the information void on the NBN today, with an address to an industry conference in Melbourne.

Next week, he will appear before a Senate Estimates Committee, which should clear more issues, but with his business case still to go to the government the reality is there are still many unanswered questions.

This, it must be noted, should not be confused with any slowdown from either Telstra or the government's side, because the reality is they both need each other.


NBN is financially viable, says Optus

AUSTRALIA'S number two telco has hit back at critics of the $43 billion National Broadband Network, claiming it is financially viable.

And according to Optus, owner of the second largest mobile network in Australia, wireless solutions are not the answer to Australia's slow broadband speeds either.

But the telco's director of government and corporate affairs, Maha Krishnapillai, says reports that Optus is poised to sign on the NBN are premature.

In an interview with Sydney radio station 2UE this morning, Mr Krishnapillai was blunt about whether the NBN would be affordable for consumers, saying: “We have done a lot of modelling on this, we've been through NBN Mark 1, we've been through years of modelling and work on this with the government and we know that the NBN, as it is characterised now, is commercially viable.”


Customers may be forced on to NBN to keep phones

  • Annabel Hepworth and Lauren Wilson
  • From: The Australian
  • October 12, 2010 12:00AM

THE Gillard government and the key providers of the NBN are still working out how to ensure basic phone services to those people who do not sign up to it.

In Tasmania, official estimates forecast that just 16 to 25 per cent of premises passed by the NBN rollout would subscribe.

This prompted the state government to switch to an "opt-out" model, where homes and businesses would be automatically connected to the service unless they refused.

Last night, the government revealed that those wanting to retain a fixed-line telephone service in their home would be forced to connect to the NBN.


Telstra's warning over NBN deal

TELSTRA has warned that its $11 billion deal with Labor's National Broadband Network company threatens to unravel.

The telco says the deal will fall apart if it is forced to maintain its ageing copper network for people who refuse to connect to the fibre network.

Under the terms of the non-binding deal, Telstra will be paid $9bn to transfer its traffic on to the NBN and to gradually shut down its copper network as customers move to the new fibre network.

But fresh concerns over the sluggish NBN take-up rates in Tasmania, coupled with the disparate methods used by state governments to connect the new fibre cable to premises, could see large parts of Telstra's copper network maintained past its use-by date and in parallel with the new NBN.


Gillard committed to ISP filter plan

  • Fran Foo
  • From: Australian IT
  • October 13, 2010 11:29AM

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard will push ahead with plans to introduce mandatory internet filters but the implementation date still remains unclear.

The government wants all ISPs to automatically block web pages with a refused classification (RC) rating on a secret blacklist.

On July 9, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the legislation would be deferred to allow a review of the RC processes central to the policy.

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) was to meet a few weeks later to discuss the review, but that meeting was postponed to November when the federal election was called.


Gillard: Filter is a “moral question”

Gillard continues defence of mandatory ISP-level internet filter

Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday took the high ground in defending Labor's mandatory internet filtering project, describing the issue of how to ensure Australians didn't get access to the wrong content as a "moral question".

Both the Coalition and the Greens have confirmed plans to block legislation associated with the controversial project when it hits parliament, leading many Australians to believe the project is dead in the water due to a lack of support in the Senate.

However, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has vowed to push on with the project, and Australian Sex Party President Fiona Patton has warned the Coalition's policy may not be rock solid.


12 reasons to try Ubuntu 10.10 on Sunday

Have you been wanting to give Ubuntu a test drive? With the debut of user-friendly Maverick Meerkat, there’s no better time.

As Ubuntu 10.10, or "Maverick Meerkat," hits the streets this Sunday, it's a pretty safe bet that legions of existing Ubuntu users will be updating to the new release. After all, it looks to be Canonical's most user-friendly Ubuntu Linux yet, and many of the new features promise to be must-haves.

For those in the business world who haven't yet tried Ubuntu, however, the reasons to download and give it a whirl are even more compelling. Here are just a few of them.

1. Speed

Ubuntu 10.10 is fast -- darn fast. Even the beta version could boot in as little as 7 seconds, according to reports. Who has time to wait around for Windows when there's work to be done?


Top 5 mistakes made by Linux first-timers

Are you new to Linux? Then don’t let these common missteps spoil your first experiences.

With the arrival of Ubuntu 10.10, the list of reasons to try Linux for your business just got a little longer. The free and open source operating system is now more user-friendly than it's ever been before while still offering the many security and other advantages it has over its competitors.

If you're among the legions of new Linux users out there, congratulations on making a smart move! Now that you're on your way to a lifetime of freedom from high costs, vendor lock-in, constant malware attacks, and the many other disadvantages associated with Windows and Mac OS X, you should be aware of some of the classic mistakes Linux newcomers sometimes make.

None of these should be deal-breakers, by any means. Nevertheless, an early heads-up can help prevent unnecessary frustration. Without further ado, here are five key things you should avoid when starting out with desktop Linux.




No comments: