Quote Of The Year

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

Monday, September 05, 2011

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 5th September, 2011.

Here are a few I have come across this week.
Note: Each link is followed by a title and a few paragraphs. 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

Really a very quiet news week. The most exciting thing is that we are promised a new revised PCEHR ConOps. It was to be delivered during August, but seems to have been delayed. That can’t be helping those delivering the system!
On another front I note that as late as Thursday September 1, 2011 we have yet to see a contract finalised between DoHA and Standards Australia to progress E-Health Standards including some involved PCHER.
To quote “I have discussed the situation with xxx, Senior Portfolio Manager. xxx has informed that unfortunately SA and  DOHA have not yet executed the contract so SA are unable to facilitate any meetings at this stage. With regard to the proposed new date, the decision is given below.”
Oh dear, seems to be getting a bit messy here. We need all involved to get moving on this if we are to see anything useful happen with the PCEHR in the next decade or so .

Govt leadership key to e-health success

The committee found that while the NBN will improve e-health implementation, a national leadership strategy is needed to implement initiatives across the entire sector
Increased government leadership is needed to successfully implement e-health initiatives across the entire healthcare sector, as opposed to individual providers, a House of Representatives committee has found.
In its report into the role and potential of the National Broadband Network (NBN), the infrastructure and communications committee found that while the NBN will play a significant role in improving the implementation of e-health systems, challenges remain in gaining wider change.
The report cites comments made by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development that the key reason behind e-health implementation delays is the benefits reaching society as a whole, as opposed to immediate positive consequences for the commercial aspects of healthcare.

NEHTA grabs half of $400m records spend

THE National E-Health Transition Authority has collared an estimated $200 million so far for the 18-month run-up to the Gillard government's personal e-health records launch next July 1, with more money to come.
The Transition Authority received some $110m in base funding for e-health standards work between January 2011 and June 2012, plus separate Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record contracts worth $90m from the Department of Health.
A third tranche of these funds is due in October.
This contrasts with just under $200m for four private-sector projects including the building of the system, three lead implementations and nine e-health pilots to be finished in the same period.
Only $2.3m has been allocated to help local software providers redevelop their products through the Transition Authority's GP desktop panel.

Sceptics change tune on electronic records

Mark Metherell
September 1, 2011
THE Facebook era is spurring an about-turn in the attitudes of those once anxious about the ''big brother'' implications of electronic health records.
Consumer health leaders have reversed their demand for the government to require individuals to choose to be part of the system that will enable the electronic storage and transfer of patient records.
At a meeting on medicines policy in Canberra this week, 50 consumer health advocates unanimously backed the introduction of an ''opt-out'' process under which individuals would be automatically connected unless they took the conscious step to stay out.
The Consumer Health Forum says the change reflects a transformation in attitudes among many health activists who are now more comfortable with electronic records and have become more convinced of the potential benefits of e-health to patient care and safety, and to streamline health services.

Patients divided on GP sign-up schemes

THERE could be a snag lying in store for attempts to improve care through a voluntary system encouraging patients to register with a particular general practice.
It seems the patients themselves are not too keen.
Newspoll research conducted for Inquirer shows slim majority support for registration, at 51 per cent, even after it's been explained to respondents that the move should give them better quality healthcare.
Support for registration dipped to 45 per cent in the 18-34 age bracket, suggesting a bumpy road ahead for efforts to bring in registration if this lack of enthusiasm reflects a generational attitude.
Support in the over-50s, who are much more likely to have the chronic conditions such as diabetes for whom such schemes are most relevant, was only slightly higher, at 55 per cent.

GP Council kickstarts patient data website

The General Practice Data Governance Council has launched a website that provides tools for health professionals looking to ensure data generated by consultations with patients is handled properly.
Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, independent chair of the General Practice Data Governance Council, said this secondary use of data could be as varied as clinical research, disease events and health planning.
The new website can be found at: www.gpdgc.org.au

Watchdog determined to grow some teeth

It was the third scathing assessment of the Therapeutic Goods Administration delivered this year to new TGA national manager Rohan Hammett, a clinical and academic physician.
"The TGA has for a long time been an easy beat-up and I think much of it has been deserved, frankly. We're trying to change that," he says.
Hammett tells Weekend Health his wish list includes beefed up post-market surveillance of medical devices, backed by the power to impose new civil penalties on companies breaching TGA regulations.

Q&A: Paul Jurman, director of IT, Southern Health

We take a look at what an average day for Jurman looks like, as well as what's next on his IT agenda
With around 13,000 staff working across more than 40 sites, Southern Health is the largest health service in Victoria. The organisation covers parts of metropolitan Melbourne, as well as sites at Monash, Greater Dandenong, Casey, Cardinia, Kingston, Glen Eira, Frankston, Knox and Bayside.
The organisation’s director of information technology, Paul Jurman, sat down with Computerworld Australia to discuss what an average day involves for him.

Pharmacy's peak bodies differ on e-health records: AMA

Leading pharmacy organisations appear to be on different pages when it comes to the introduction of Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHRs), the AMA believes.
Responding to claims by Kos Sclavos, Pharmacy Guild of Australia national president, that the AMA would seek to lock other health professionals out of the PCEHRs, Dr Steve Hambleton (pictured), AMA president, suggested the Guild consult the PSA on the issue.
In his fortnightly opinion piece in Pharmacy News, Mr Sclavos expressed concerns medical organisations including the AMA would seek to freeze other health professionals out of having input into PCEHRs, giving total control to doctors.
"In my view some of the negativity comes from medical organisations questioning controls in the system, and by default reducing consumer confidence," he said.
"The AMA has again predictably run interference stressing their desire that the system must be doctor-centric, with the doctor controlling every step.

PSA backs collaboration on e-health record

Working with doctors on personally controlled electronic health records (PCEHRs) will provide the best outcomes for patients, the PSA believes.
Following claims by Kos Sclavos, Pharmacy Guild of Australia national president, that the AMA was running "interference" to create a doctor-centric PCEHR system, Grant Kardachi, PSA national president, told Pharmacy News that collaborating with GPs was essential to ensue quality use of medicines (QUM).
"PSA’s position has always been to act in the best interests of patients, especially in the area of patient safety, following QUM principles with respect to medicines," Mr Kardachi said.
"Working with our colleague GPs will be essential to ensure medicine safety for our patients, and the PCEHRs will support that.

PHARMEDIA: PCEHR - A Fight for Control?

Squabbles are breaking out in respect of who is going to manage Person Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) being the most vocal.
This against a backdrop of a contract being awarded to Accenture and their alliance partners, Oracle and Orion to develop the system on behalf of the Australian government.
Health Minister Nicola Roxon has said Accenture would receive $47.8m to develop the personally controlled e-health record system.
The department will also pay $17.8m to Oracle in licence fees for access to e-health records stored within all PCEHR repositories, and $11m in fees to Orion for operating a portal.

Telstra, Accenture don the lab coats to develop Cloud services

Cloud product innovation laboratory opened in Melbourne, aimed at enterprise and government customers
The move to Cloud will be accelerated for Telstra’s (ASX:TLS) enterprise customers following the opening of a product innovation lab with its US-based consulting partner, Accenture, in Melbourne this week.
The lab is designed to become an Australian innovation hub, with Cloud-based technologies to be developed for both enterprise and government organisations. It is part of an $800 million, five-year investment in Cloud services announced by Telstra in June this year.
According to Telstra’s chief technology officer, Dr Hugh Bradlow, the lab will show businesses how Cloud computing technologies could improve their business performance.

Older people fall for internet scams

Older people often fall for internet scams and then are too embarrassed to report the fraud, a study has found
  • AAP (AAP)
  • 29 August, 2011 08:30
Older people often fall for internet scams and then become too embarrassed to report the fraud, a study has found.
The over-55 age group accounts for 40 per cent of victims even though their age group is less likely to use the internet, a study by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has found.
The study surveyed 202 Victorians who had sent money to Nigeria to determine why they had responded to unsolicited contact and the impact of the fraud on their lives.
Federal justice minister, Brendan O'Connor, said many victims were too embarrassed to report the fraud to authorities.

Flying Doctors fear NBN will bypass bush

  • From: AAP
  • September 02, 2011 7:42PM
THE Royal Flying Doctors' Service (RFDS) says health services in Wilcannia in western NSW could suffer if the national broadband network (NBN) fibre rollout bypasses the area.
RFDS southeastern section executive director Clyde Thompson says rural and remote areas need far better internet services than they now have.
"If we are going to have an NBN ... please make sure that the capacity of the NBN in remote areas, particularly in the satellite uplinks, meets the requirements of remote communities," he told ABC Television today.

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