Monday, December 16, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 16th December, 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

I think the biggest news of the week was the announcement of the revised strategy for the NBN which looks as though it will be slower and take a while longer to be delivered.
On a personal note my internet experience has been dramatically improved by the addition of the Firefox extension Adblock.
See here:
This is pure magic and stops all that nonsense with a web site going off to Facebook, Twitter etc. while not actually showing the page you want. Worth 20 times the voluntary 5 bucks that is asked for I reckon! Has made my month!
This will be the last news review for 2013 (baring major news events) so can I wish all who browse here a happy and safe Christmas for you and all you care about.
I suspect 2014 will be a big year somehow.

Information Commissioner received no eHealth privacy complaints in 2012-13

  • David Braue (CSO Online (Australia))
  • — 09 December, 2013 11:35
Australian privacy-enforcement authorities did not receive any complaints about the use of personally controlled electronic healthcare records (PCEHR) during the first year of their use, new figures confirm.
According to figures published recently by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and tabled in Parliament this month, the organisation “received no complaints regarding the PCEHR system” during the 2012-13 reporting period and closed only one outstanding complaint, related to the Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010, that was held over from the previous year.
Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the OAIC and the Department of Health and Ageing – which runs through 30 June 2014 – the OAIC received $2.2m in funding to carry out enforcement activities around the use of eHealth records.

Majority of Australian patients want greater access to electronic medical records, according to Accenture survey

Strong disconnect between patient and doctor expectations regarding access to records
SYDNEY, Australia; 10 December 2013 – The majority of Australian health patients (78 per cent) believe they should have full access to electronic medical records (EMR), but roughly only one in four consumers (22 per cent) say this is what they currently have, according Accenture's nine-country survey of more than 9,000 consumers, including 1,002 Australians. These findings are also consistent with other research that shows only 18 per cent of Australian doctors believe patients should have full access to their own record.
Supporting the growing trend of patient engagement, nearly half of Australian consumers (47 per cent) surveyed without online access to their medical records would be willing to switch doctors to gain access. This percentage rises to 55 per cent among consumers under 55 years in age without online access to their records.
“The health sector is developing more advanced electronic capabilities to support clinical decision-making and more integrated care. Consumer engagement is a part of this, but not necessarily a primary driver,” said Leigh Donoghue, managing director of Accenture’s health business in Australia. “This may need rethinking in light of the considerable gap between doctor and consumer attitudes towards electronic access to medical records, particularly for younger, technology-savvy consumers.”

Aussies to be automatically enrolled for e-Health records under changes

December 13, 2013 12:00AM
AUSTRALIANS would be automatically enrolled for an e-Health record and have to opt out to protect their health privacy under sweeping changes to the $1 billion white elephant.
A government review of the troubled computer system is also considering changing the extent to which patients control what appears on the record.
And doctors could get paid to upload patient health summaries onto the record to get more clinicians involved in using it.
Launched in July 2012 the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record was meant to bring medical records into the digital age and contain an electronic patient health summary, a list of allergies and medications and eventually X-rays and test results.

Review of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health System


By: Avant Media
The new Commonwealth Government recently announced a review of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) system and Avant has been invited to provide a submission to the Review panel.
Avant has been generally supportive of the voluntary, national ehealth record system which aims to cut down the chance of adverse medical events and improving coordination and quality of healthcare, by allowing consumers and health professionals to access to a range of health information. 
However the introduction of the system has not been smooth, with many of our members expressing concerns about the level of medico-legal risk that they may be exposed to when they use the system, as well as having issues with the operability of the system itself.

2014 prediction – Professor Richard Murray

3rd Dec 2013
AUSTERITY will be the new black, and health must play its part in finding efficiencies while retaining access and quality for patients and communities.
That means the bush has a lot to teach the city about generalism and about team-based care, and about making do while providing excellent care.
We would welcome the opportunity to help inform the broader reforms needed to give us a universal access, high-quality system that is leaner and more responsive to patients and communities.
We need to see that the effort that has gone into the personally controlled electronic health record is salvaged, and that we focus on a broader implementation of e-health that is not about a central point for information storage.
We have a lot more on the e-health agenda in parallel with the shared electronic record agenda, though.

IBM says Qld govt making it a scapegoat over payroll claim

November 9, 2013
Mark Ludlow
Global information technology ­company IBM has hit back at the Queensland government’s compensation claim over the botched health payroll system, saying it was being made a political scapegoat over the project.
The Newman government is seeking significant damages for the failed ­system, which is expected to cost $1.2 billion to fix. IBM said it will defend itself against any proceedings.
A spokeswoman for IBM said the firm had yet to be formally served or notified of any claim, despite a statement of claim being filed in the Supreme Court in Brisbane last week.

Queensland drags IBM to court over payroll debacle

Summary: IBM believes the court case is only to make it a "political scapegoat".
By Michael Lee | December 8, 2013 -- 08:31 GMT (19:31 AEST)
The Queensland government is beginning to seek compensation from IBM after the company failed to deliver as expected on the state's health payroll system.
According to the Australian Financial Review, a statement of claim has been lodged with the Supreme Court. This course of action is in contrast to the former state government's handling of the issue in which Anna Bligh sought to settle the case outside of court.
In 2011, IBM buried the hatchet with the Queensland government, with the company's Australian managing director Andrew Stevens telling ZDNet Australia that it was "behind us and behind Queensland".

2014 prediction – Dr Steve Hambleton

3rd Dec 2013
THERE is no doubt that health will see savings in the budget.
The minister has indicated that he is unwilling to cut anything from general practice. He is unwilling to cut anything from hospitals but that every portfolio has got to participate in the savings push, so it is likely to be entities or agencies or parts of the portfolio that are not involved in direct patient contact.
Health Workforce Australia is one of those agencies. The parts of Health Workforce Australia that look at the numbers and varieties of specialists that Australia needs, we think need to be retained so we can do some proper workforce training.
(Note - No mention of e-Health)

Science academy launches app to explain vaccination

  • AAP
  • December 13, 2013 12:00AM
A NEW tablet app will help counter misinformation from anti-vax groups, the head of Australia's peak medical body says.
The free Science Q & A app, launched on Thursday by the Australian Academy of Science, gives parents the latest evidence-based information on immunisation.
It comes amid concern that some communities are putting the lives of their children and others risk by not vaccinating their kids.

Cloud accounting and eHealth gives GP more time for patients and students

It’s been a busy year for Narooma GP Jenny Wray, awarded a Member of the Order of Australia on Australia Day this year for her services to rural medicine and then in October named the ‘NSW Business Owner of the Year’ in the 2013 NSW Telstra Business Woman Awards.
Dr Wray (a former RACGP ‘GP of the Year) has worked on the NSW South Coast since 1977, opening her own practice, Lighthouse Surgery, in Narooma in 1994, which she has since expanded to a second practice in the small fishing town of Bermagui.
She says that the extensive application process for the Telstra Business Woman awards were a great opportunity to make some big changes to the way she ran her practice.

Jane McCredie: Texting hazards

Jane McCredie
Monday, 9 December, 2013
WE humans are quite good at convincing ourselves that rules are for other people.
The less nimble or less skilled might need to comply for their own safety but we can safely cross against the red light or send a quick text while driving to meet friends.
I don’t know how scientifically based it is, but this New York Times interactive game designed to highlight the effect of texting on driving certainly makes you question your ability to multitask at that level.
A paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine last week argues the use of electronic health records may pose a similar challenge for doctors.

Aged care CIO dreads telehealth switch-off

No guarantee of ongoing funding for telehealth pilot.

Halfway into a two-year, NBN-enabled telehealth trial, Feros Care CIO Glenn Payne says he is not looking forward to the day he has to go back to his elderly participants to uninstall the potentially lifesaving equipment.
In June next year, the not-for-profit aged care provider will have to end the trial while they wait for news on a permanently funded roll-out.
“This will be really sad for us,” Payne told iTnews.
The team will report its findings, including the estimated reduction that the $2.7 million telehealth trial has on the national healthcare burden, at the end of the experiment.

Vic health investigates data fudging claim

December 13, 2013 9:02AM
VICTORIA'S Department of Health and Monash Health are investigating claims staff were forced to fudge data at the Dandenong Hospital emergency department.
Sixty nurses and doctors signed a six-page complaint alleging widespread fabrication of emergency department discharge records to meet federal government targets, News Corp Australia reports.
They said senior management had directed them to "backdate" discharge times, and were concerned this jeopardised patient care.

Hospital audit

Date December 14, 2013

Kate Hagan

Ernst and Young will conduct an independent audit of Dandenong Hospital's emergency department data following claims that staff were directed to alter records to meet time targets.
The Victorian Health Department and Monash Health ordered the audit after nurses and doctors signed a document claiming records were being altered to make it appear patients were being discharged or sent to a ward bed within four hours.

2013: the year millions of passwords hit the headlines

Date  December 13, 2013 - 11:33AM

Liam Tung

Hackers had a field year in 2013.
A data breach involving more than 40 million passwords occurred once every three months in 2013, including an Australian breach that may be the world’s worst for the year.
The multi-gigabyte torrent of passwords and other private customer data that hackers siphoned out of company servers this year made LinkedIn’s 6.5 million records breach in 2012 look like a minor spill.
Four online companies joined the leak club, including Adobe, note-taking app Evernote, deal site Living Social, and Australian dating site Cupid Media. Together, the four breaches alone saw just under 300 million passwords and usernames fall into hackers’ hands.

The worst IT project disasters of 2013

The rollout leads a pack of painful projects including one from Australia
Trends come and go in the technology industry but some things, such as IT system failures, bloom eternal.
"Nothing has changed," said analyst Michael Krigsman of consulting firm Asuret, an expert on why IT projects go off the rails. "Not a damn thing."
"These are hard problems," he added. "People mistakenly believe that IT failures are due to a technical problem or a software problem, and in fact it has its roots into the culture, how people work together, how they share knowledge, the politics of an organization. The worse the politics, the more likely the failure."

NBN Co has not tested fibre to the node

Date December 11, 2013 - 4:44PM

Lucy Battersby

NBN Co has not conducted any trials of the alternative national broadband network since the change of government, executives told a senate select committee on Wednesday morning.
Nor has NBN Co received detailed information from Telstra about its own fibre-to-the-node trial or the condition of its copper network, despite the fibre-to-the-node model relying on copper to deliver broadband to premises.
NBN Co and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull are expected to release a review of NBN Co on Thursday morning, including audits of the company’s financial history and strategy.

Updated: NBN Co releases strategic review

New plan to cost $41 billion and will be delivered three years later than Labor had previously forecast

At least 90 per cent of Australians would get broadband speeds of about 50 Mbps by year-end 2019 under a Coalition proposal to overhaul the NBN.
The recommendation was made in NBN Co's 60-day strategic review of the NBN, released today with redactions for commercially sensitive material. The review will be used in the NBN Co's next corporate plan, planned for release in the first half of 2014.
The goal marks a delay from Labor's goal of 25 Mbps speeds for all Australians by 2016. The NBN Co report said there was "no viable path" to achieve that target.

Revised NBN to deliver access to fast broadband to Australians sooner and at less cost to taxpayers

12 December 2013
Revised NBN to deliver access to fast broadband to Australians sooner and at less cost to taxpayers
  • NBN Co submits Strategic Review to Government
  • 100Mbps wholesale download speeds available to more Australians by 2019 than if previous plan had continued on current path*
  • Peak funding reduced by faster uplift of revenue, reduced construction costs and lower debt levels
NBN Co has completed the Strategic Review of the National Broadband Network and has delivered the findings to the Government.

HFC in the National Broadband Network

Posted on December 14, 2013

HFC, the NBN, and the meaning of life

With the release of the NBNCo Strategic Review earlier this week, I’ve seen some very significant misunderstandings (and consequent angst) expressed about the inclusion of HFC into the mix of technologies intended for the NBN rollout. 
This post is intended to be a counterpoint to those misunderstandings.
I haven’t written this post to tell you that this is the best, or the only, way to change the shape of the future version of this network.
I haven’t written this because I’ve stopped believing that the best ultimate answer wherever possible is Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP) – because it still is.

Learning to love the alien

Date December 5, 2013
Can we rewire our human distrust of robots that look like us, asks George Zarkadakis.
Humans have evolved to relate emotionally to inanimate artefacts, which is strange when you think about it. Children play with dolls and toy soldiers as if they were people. Adults talk to their cars. As long as they are robot-like and "mechanical", we are comfortable around them, and can display affection. But when it comes to human-like robots, something unnerving happens.
As they acquire more human-like features, our affection wanes and we begin to get a creepy feeling. Our liking turns to revulsion. Androids that look too human freak us out.
This odd phenomenon is called the "uncanny valley", and it has befuddled engineers and scientists who design robots and interactive software.

Ancient Mars lake may have supported life: NASA

Date December 10, 2013 - 9:03AM

Kerry Sheridan

NASA's Curiosity rover has found remnants of an ancient freshwater lake on Mars that may have supported tiny life forms, scientists say.
There is no water left in it, but drill tests and a chemical analysis of its fine-grained rocks by Curiosity's instruments suggest microbial life could have thrived there billions of years ago.
The rocks contain signs of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur, and "would provide perfect conditions for simple microbial life", said the report in the journal Science.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Information Commissioner received no eHealth privacy complaints in 2012-13

That could be because:

No one is using the PCEHR.


The PCEHR is so fantastic that everybody is using it properly.

"Still a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest"
The Boxer, Paul Simon