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."

Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 24th June, 2013.

Here are a few I have come across the last week or so.
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

A quite interesting week with the NSW Budget released, Labor leadership turmoil continuing and the frantic push to enrol people in the PCEHR e-Health program rolling on with the truck trundling around Northern NSW and Queensland.
Additionally we have more on Privacy with data breach laws apparently being legislated in the next week or two.
Last we see the Auditor General has had a look and the Superclinics and found a lot that was not done as it should have been as they were being rolled out. I wonder when we will see e-Health reported upon.

Most Data Breaches Caused by Human and System Errors

June 17, 2013
Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) and the Ponemon Institute today released the 2013 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis which reveals human errors and system problems caused the vast majority of data breaches globally in 2012, while malicious attacks were the major cause of data breaches in Australia.
In addition, the global cost of data breaches has increased over the previous year, and within Australia, the average total organisational cost per data breach increased from $2.16 million in 2011 to $2.72 million in 2012 – a 23 percent increase.
“While external attackers and their evolving methods pose a great threat to companies, the dangers associated with the insider threat can be equally destructive and insidious,” said Larry Ponemon, chairman, Ponemon Institute. “Eight years of research on data breach costs has shown employee behaviour to be one of the most pressing issues facing organisations today, up 22 percent since the first survey”.

NEHTA wins a $47.2m injection

THE National e-Health Transition Authority has received a $47.2 million injection that will keep it operating for another year.
A Department of Health grants report shows NEHTA had an extension to Council of Australian Governments funding from June 5 to June 30 next year.
US software firm MMRGlobal has alleged the government agency infringed its patents. MMR has hired legal firm Rockwell Olivier.
US-based MMRGlobal chief executive Robert Lorsch is expected to visit Australia in July for meetings.

Long road to successful e-health system

Andrew Birmingham
Over-hyped and over-promised. That’s how Stephen Duckett, Grattan Institute’s health program director, summarised Australia’s two-decade long trek towards a digital healthcare system.
“There has been the promise that the transformation in healthcare caused by digitisation is just around the corner,” he said.
It’s a promise that includes the full integration of different healthcare systems across the private, public and allied health sectors.

Uniform e-software urgent as practices ‘bamboozled’

18th Jun 2013
THE AMA has repeated its call for a single personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) software product, amid concerns practices are being “bamboozled” with information from vendors ahead of the last deadline to qualify for incentive payments.
Since 1 February, practices have been required to clear a detailed series of software compliance hurdles by certain dates to qualify for Medicare e-health incentive payments of up to $12,500 per quarter. The last update stipulates practices must have accredited secure messaging delivery (SMD) software installed by 1 August.
As the date approaches, several sources have told MO that practices were being inundated with marketing materials from up to nine registered SMD vendors. While the material was not necessarily incorrect, they said it may lead practices to buy additional products that were not required.

Lost message another e-health hurdle for doctors

Earlier this month the practice of Sydney GP Dr Robert Lewin became one of the first in the country to be commissioned for secure message delivery – meeting one of the key requirements to be eligible for e-health practice incentive payments (ePIP).
But it could easily not have happened.
When Dr Lewin’s practice was last month given departmental approval to receive the $25,000 ePIP incentive payment, he naturally assumed that he had satisfied all five of the eligibility criteria set by the Government.
It wasn’t until three weeks ago, when his software supplier HealthLink got in touch about commissioning secure message delivery (SMD) that he realised there was more he had to do make sure he was ePIP eligible.

New ehealth system could help save lives

A WARWICK GP has touted the introduction of the new ehealth system as a potential life-saver and is encouraging everyone to get behind it.
The Federal Government initiative involves establishing a national database that will allow patients to register their medical information, which will then be accessible by medical professionals across the country.
Condamine Medical Centre's Dr Ross Hetherington said the system would be beneficial to all Australians, particularly those with ongoing health issues.
"Ehealth is a fantastic idea that will save people's lives, save lots of money and just make life easier," he said.

Signing up for an eHealth record

Florence 18 June 2013 - 12:50pm
My husband and I decided it was time for us to sign up for the Personally Controlled eHealth Record so I googled PCEHR and found my way to the eHealth registration website.
It was easy for me to sign up, but the problem came when we tried to sign my husband up.
We stepped through the form but hit a block when we were required to provide an email address.

The year ahead in eHealth – NSW budget analysis

Barry O’Farrell’s NSW government has handed down an infrastructure-heavy 2013/14 budget, with lots of money to hospitals but little targeted to eHealth.

Learning from the Qld Health payroll fiasco

Krishan Sharma 20 June, 2013
The torturous implementation of Queensland’s Health Payroll system will almost certainly be remembered as one of the most disastrous IT projects in our country’s history.
What began as a $6.19 million contract between the State of Queensland and IBM Australia to replace QLD Health’s aging payroll system eventually led to over 35,000 payroll anomalies and will ultimately cost taxpayers $1.25 billion.
While the final autopsy of the project is yet to be concluded, the project has been subjected to numerous reviews and a state level inquiry that saw a number of key IBM and QLD State Government personnel take the stand.
While we will have to wait until the end of July to see the report from the Commission of Inquiry, the public hearings have so far provided sufficient glimpses of how and why this project went so far off the rails.

Another Government IT Debacle: Ultranet facing scrap heap

Date June 19, 2013

Jewel Topsfield

The disastrous $180 million Victorian school intranet could be scrapped at the end of the month prompting fears that months of student work and reports would be lost.
The four-year contract with NEC to run the troubled network has not been renewed days before it expires on June 30, with a decision yet to be reached on its future.
Victorian Education Minister Martin Dixon said the government was committed to protecting the Victorian education system from the "Ultranet debacle", which he said the Auditor-General had confirmed was "botched from conception to implementation by the former Labor government".

eRx launches app

21 June, 2013 Pharmacy News staff
eRx Script Exchange announced today that it will launch its first smart phone app to connect consumers with eRx’s national eScripts network in October.
eRx Express is a smart phone application that allows customers to scan and pre-order their medicines from their regular pharmacy or other pharmacy of choice. 
The app works by scanning the QR code that will begin to appear on prescriptions, replicating the eRx barcode information on each script. Customers can then collect their medicine at a convenient date and time, safe in the knowledge that all privacy and safety issues are being addressed. Customers hand over their paper script at the same time that they collect, ensuring that all PBS requirements are met.

Hi-tech tracking to improve health

17th Jun 2013
For weeks, he diligently recorded everything he ate until the data revealed a nutritional gap: not enough protein. Next, he strapped on a device to monitor his activity level. The numbers revealed the software engineer was a slug, averaging fewer than 1000 steps a day, well below the recommended 10,000-step mark.
Sieling, 27, who lives in Minneapolis, is part of the rapidly growing ‘quantified self’ movement — comprising people who collect data on everything from diet to blood sugar to sleep patterns and mood levels. Also called self-tracking, bio-hacking or ‘qs’, it involves measuring and analysing the body’s inner workings for optimum health.
Once used only by elite athletes, self-tracking is becoming more accessible to everyday people as tracking devices go high-tech. Instead of single-use pedometers, devices such as Fitbit, Jawbone UP, Nike+ FuelBand and others can monitor heart rate, calculate calories and count the number of stairs you climb or the quality of your sleep.

New website details frontline health services delivered by Medicare Locals

18 June 2013
Health Minister Tanya Plibersek today launched a new government website which gives Australians information about important health services being provided by Medicare Locals in their local communities.
Ms Plibersek said the Medicare Locals website shows a map of Australia split up in to the 61 Medicare Local regions. By clicking on a region, patients are taken to a page which displays health services provided by the Medicare Local and a list of frontline health workers employed by the service, including total staffing numbers.

Medicare thrown into chaos by outage

THE Department of Human Services has described an outage that left its Medicare staff struggling to deal with customers today as a “teething problem”.
Staff at a Sydney Medicare office today advised customers that their refunds would have to be processed using a manual, paper-based method citing a national system caused by a system upgrade.
Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jogen late today confirmed that there had been a problem with Medicare’s queue management system but assured customers their payments would not be affected.

US FDA calls on medical device makers to focus on cybersecurity

The agency's new recommendations follow reports of vulnerabilities in some medical devices, the FDA says
Medical device makers should take new steps to protect their products from malware and cyberattacks or face the possibility that U.S. Food and Drug Administration won't approve their devices for use, the FDA said.
The FDA issued new cybersecurity recommendations for medical devices on Thursday, following reports that some devices have been compromise.
Recent vulnerabilities involving Philips fetal monitors and in Oracle software used in body fluid analysis machines are among the incidents that prompted the FDA to issue the recommendations, a spokeswoman for the agency said.

Privacy breach laws may prompt companies to 'dumb down' monitoring

Date June 19, 2013 - 1:13PM

Mahesh Sharma

Australia's new privacy breach notification laws could create an uneven security playing field, where companies "dumb down" their monitoring capabilities to protect their reputations, a security expert has claimed.
The new mandatory data breach notification bill, introduced by federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, was debated in the Senate last week. It requires organisations to notify the Privacy Commissioner and affected consumers when a data breach occurs. Fines could be imposed on organisations and individuals.
If approved, the law could be enforced by March 2014.

Online privacy breaches a concern for us all

Date June 19, 2013 - 1:16PM

Mark Dreyfus

Nobody wants to find out in a news story that their personal information has been exposed, says the Attorney-General.
As Australia's digital economy grows, government agencies and private-sector organisations are collecting and storing more and more personal information online. But for the digital economy to continue to thrive, it is essential that the personal information of Australians is held securely and that their privacy is respected.
At the moment there is an important debate taking place around the world about how much information we are prepared to allow law enforcement agencies to access in exchange for our protection. At a recent inquiry by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, Australian law enforcement and intelligence agencies made it clear how important data was to their investigations of serious crimes such as terrorism, murder and paedophilia.

Snore app monitors sleep patterns to find cure

  • by: Nicholas Hellen
  • From: The Times
  • June 16, 2013 3:28PM
EARLY in their marriage, Jules and Vanessa Goldberg learnt to give and take. She, however, drew the line at his snoring.
It left them both lethargic through lack of sleep and, when he sought help, doctors were not interested.
So he created a smartphone app to solve the problem. And 18 months later, SnoreLab - an app that runs on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch - has been downloaded by 100,000 fellow sufferers, some paying 2.49 pounds ($4.07).
It generates charts of the night's snoring, records samples of snoring, measures their intensity, tests the effectiveness of remedies and assesses which lifestyle factors - such as drinking alcohol - affect snoring levels.

DoHA did not follow guidelines for super clinics

Joanna Heath
The Department of Health and Ageing did not follow proper guidelines on government scrutiny of expenditure ahead of the troubled roll out of the government’s GP super clinics program, an investigation by the Auditor-General has found.
The super clinics, intended to address underservicing in GP after-hours care and improve the integration of different health services, were a 2007 election promise. $418.7 million in funding was announced to establish 65 clinics, though some have been plagued by delays, including the Redcliffe clinic in Queensland which has not yet been opened despite a promised start date of September 2011.
The Auditor-General’s report found the Department did not follow the government’s requirement that all guidelines for new discretionary grant programs be submitted for consideration by the Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet, and did not advise the minister in 2008, Nicola Roxon, of that requirement. It also found commonplace ‘value for money’ tests were not applied during the assessment process of the first round of funding for the super clinics.

Audit shows super clinic woes

21st Jun 2013
THE federal government’s controversial GP Super Clinics Program was heavily skewed towards marginal electorates, with high-profile collapses and delays resulting from risk assessment that “lacked rigour”, the auditor-general has found.
In a long-awaited report, sparked by a request from AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton, Auditor-General Ian McPhee also said super clinics were struggling to attract and keep staff, were beset by planning delays, and were established without prior “value for money” testing.
He also said they reported to the health department on “qualitative and descriptive” rather than measurable terms.
 The Opposition immediately seized on the document, which was tabled in parliament late last week.

Connecting to a rising tide of data

Ian Grayson
Information technology has radically altered the business world during the past two decades, yet this impact pales in comparison with what lies ahead.
Massive advances in data storage, processing and artificial intelligence will create a plethora of new services and capabilities that will usher in fundamental changes to every sector.
Experts agree the business world of 2100 will be a radically different place, but the pace of technological change makes predicting those differences a difficult task.
Australian futurist Ross Dawson says studying the technological trends happening now allows reasonable insights into what conditions will be like for about the next decade. Beyond that, however, uncertainty levels quickly increase.

Kept in the dark

Date June 17, 2013 - 9:00AM

Peter Spinks

Fairfax Science Columnist

At face value, it seems to be present virtually everywhere, yet scientists still have precious little idea of what dark matter is. Widely believed to occupy large swathes of the cosmos, the controversial material – which has gravity but emits no light – has left scientists in the dark.
But now research aboard the International Space Station has uncovered what could be the telltale signature of dark matter, perhaps lurking somewhere near the outskirts of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
The signature comes in the form of a shower of antimatter, something formerly the stuff of science fiction.

1 comment:

Terry Hannan said...

Regarding Andrew Birmingham's comments it is obvious he is new to the 'game' or has been hiding under a bushel. We KNOW how damn long it takes. It is even worse if you don't follow the established "knowledge trails" and think reinvention of the wheel will get you there. How about 30+ years of knowledge and experience.
On breaches of security clinical staff issues have also been known for a long time.
"The major vulnerabilities are related to inappropriate use of patient-specific information by health workers who have access to those data as part of their regular work. Such risks are greater when data are stored in paper charts.”(The evolution of health-care records in the era of the Internet.EH Shortliffe. Semi-Plenary. MEDINFO Seoul, August 1998)
“85% of unauthorized access to medical records is by hospital medical staff who have no rights of access to the medical record.” R.L.Simpson, 1996. Security threats are usually An inside job. Nursing management 27(December);43
Finally, on the new funding to NEHTA which has produced no significant changes in effective health care delivery. It is worthwhile obtaining the AMIA Plenary speech by Dr Mark Smith of the Californian Health Care Foundation titled, “Health IT: Hope, Hype, and How to Avoid
the Road to Hell.”