Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 20th January, 2014.

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

Again a pretty quiet week with not much apparently going on except ongoing efforts to alienate Indonesia with one wag is now terming the effort ‘Sovereign Blunders’ and a lot of cost cutting ideas being floated by the Commission of Audit.
Sadly if seems the new Australian Standard to assist in preventing major IT disasters might be just a bit late! Maybe things will improve after this is out there.
I wonder how much it costs to get a copy?

Australian IT project failures spark new ICT governance standard

Date January 14, 2014 - 1:39PM

Trevor Clarke

65 to 85 per cent of IT projects fail to meet their objectives, run significantly late or cost far more than planned, says Minter Ellison partner Paul Kallenbach
The frequent failure of major IT projects across the country such as the Queensland Health payroll debacle has spurred Standards Australia to release an updated standard for IT governance.
The 24-page long standard was developed by the Standards Australia Technical Committee and aims to guide leaders during major IT projects.
"The standard was prepared due to continuing failures of major IT projects to deliver expected value. The aim was to bring home the need for action from boards and senior business executives who are responsible for the overall governance of the organisation," said Standards Australia chief executive, Dr Bronwyn Evans.
"If organisations want to obtain maximum value from their investment, governance of IT projects should not be left to the IT department alone."
Here is the release:

IT Governance Standard to benefit consumers and organisations

IT governance is not a readily accessible issue for consumers yet the decisions made by most organisations about information technology (IT) can have great later significance, as is evident in a number of Australian IT project failures. IT supports organisations’ core functions and so IT investment choices and the contribution of IT to business capability and performance often play a significant role for future success.
Standards Australia has published a significant New Standard for IT Governance to support governance leaders in guiding major IT projects. Organisations undertaking significant IT projects will find this the ‘go-to” document when it comes to linking governance and management. Consumers Federation of Australia (CFA) has a representative on the Standards Australia Technical Committee IT-030 IT Governance which was responsible for the development of the standard.
AS/NZS 8016:2013 Governance of IT enabled projects offers a model of engagement between an organisation’s governing body and management. 

Tech executive leaves Queensland in turmoil after unexpected departure

Paul Smith
The sudden resignation of the executive charged with fixing the Queensland government’s controversy-plagued IT operations is a blow to efforts at ­cleaning the mess that led to the health ­payroll debacle, technology experts say.
Department of Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts executive director of ICT renewal Glenn Walker resigned just nine months after he commenced in the role, ITNews reported on Friday.
The news is a major setback for ­Queensland IT Minister Ian Walker, who wanted Mr Walker to ­implement a ­comprehensive IT plan ­following two highly critical inquiries into its ­technology systems.
The Queensland government in December lodged a statement of claim against IBM in the Supreme Court to seek compensation for the failure of its payroll system, which is expected to cost taxpayers up to $1.2 billion. Mr Walker was responsible for implementing measures that would reduce risks in the state’s tech ­purchasing and implementation, and improve the ­performance of its ­technological ­systems.

Seniors reluctant to share PCEHR with all health professionals

By Natasha Egan on January 15, 2014 in Consumers, Health & medical, Technology
Most senior Australians are willing to grant their GP, specialists, hospital medical staff and emergency workers full access to their electronic health record but are not inclined to do so for other health professionals or carers, according to a study targeting over-65s in regional Australia.
Education is therefore needed about the importance of all health professionals having a full picture of a patient’s health, says a co-author of the paper, which was recently published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics.
The La Trobe University pilot study on the views of elderly regional Australians of personally controlled electronic health records (PCEHR) involved 80 seniors from Bendigo in Victoria. The bulk of the participants, which were recruited at local Probus clubs catering to active and retired professionals, were aged 60 to 79 (84 per cent) and most were female (62 per cent).

Elderly reluctant to share health records with pharmacists

15 January, 2014 Nick O'Donoghue
Australians aged over-65 would prefer family members and pathology lab staff to have access to their Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) than pharmacists, a study reveals.
The research, published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics, found that 95% of elderly Australians said they would be happy to give their GP full access to their PCEHR, while just 44% said pharmacists should have access to the document, the Australian Ageing Agenda reported.
The authors from La Trobe University used a self-administered questionnaire, distributed to members of a community club for active business and professional retirees, to gauge their views on the PCEHR.

Contact lens glucose sensors a sweet solution for diabetics

  • AP
  • January 17, 2014 11:50AM
GOOGLE has unveiled a contact lens that monitors glucose levels in tears, a potential reprieve for millions of diabetics who have to jab their fingers to draw their own blood as many as 10 times a day.
The prototype, which Google says will take at least five years to reach consumers, is one of several medical devices being designed by companies to make glucose monitoring for diabetic patients more convenient and less invasive than the traditional finger pricks.
The lenses use a minuscule glucose sensor and a wireless transmitter to help those among the world's 382 million diabetics who need insulin keep a close watch on their blood sugar and adjust their dose.
The contact lenses were developed during the past 18 months in the clandestine Google X lab that also came up with a driverless car, Google's Web-surfing eyeglasses and Project Loon, a network of large balloons designed to beam the internet to unwired places.

Australian researchers hail new cost-effective gene sequencing machine

Date January 15, 2014

Julia Medew

Health Editor

Leading Australian researchers say thousands of Australians are set to benefit from the acquisition of new machines that can sequence a whole human genome for about $1000.
The Garvan Institute of Medical Research says it is one of the first in the world to acquire technology capable of sequencing genomes for that price, making it possible to do around 350 genomes a week or 18,000 a year – a "massive increase" on what is currently being done in Australia.
Unlike commercial DNA tests being routinely used already, the Garvan's new Illumina machines will sequence about six billion base pairs in a person's DNA – the complete set of genetic information we inherit from our parents.

New devices and special glass claim to thwart germs on phones, tablets - but do they work?

Date January 16, 2014

Ben Grubb

Deputy technology editor

Your smartphone may be your best friend, but it is also probably teeming with germs. According to recent research conducted in Britain, there's a one-in-six chance it has faecal matter on it, most likely put on it after you've visited the toilet (one-third of respondents to an Australian survey admit to using a phone there).
After all, our smartphones, like our hands, can be good surfaces for common bugs - such as golden staph, influenza and the cold virus - to rest on. And if those bugs come into contact with our eyes or mouth, they can potentially lead to sickness.
We wash our hands when we've been to the toilet and before we cook, but we never ever wash our phone.

Administration taps Accenture to take over

The Obama administration is granting the consulting firm Accenture a contract worth between $90 million and $100 million for maintenance of the federal Obamacare website, two sources familiar with the contract told CBS News.
Accenture will replace the original lead contractor responsible for the site, CGI, whose contract is expiring. The contract leaves the consulting firm responsible for the continued construction and maintenance of the site, with a special emphasis on “back-end” portions of the site that handle the transfer of data from users to insurers.
Accenture will also work with QSSI, the contractor that was appointed in late October to lead efforts to fix after its disastrous launch.

Is it wise to let patients read your notes?

16 January, 2014 Paul Smith
Giving patients immediate access to doctors' medical notes following a consultation is being touted as a new standard of care following a US study.
The year-long OpenNotes study involved sending 20,000 patients a secure message following consultations with their GPs inviting them to read the doctor's notes via an online portal.
Jan Walker, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, in Boston, US, said many doctors had been wary of the project, concerned about increased workflow and what she described as an "avalanche" of questions from patients about the information in their medical notes.

Coalition hits the ground reviewing

Written by David Guest
Published: 12 January 2014
Commentary by David Guest
The new Coalition government hits the ground reviewing.
The report on the troubled PCEHR project has been delivered to the Minister but not released. On 16 December 2013 it was announced that Professor John Horvath, former Australian Chief Medical Officer, would review the Medicare Locals. Submissions to the review closed on 20 December.
A number of organisations have already been abolished or absorbed by other Federal Departments. Gone are the Department of Science, the Climate  Commission, the Foreign Aid Agency, AusAid ( Australian Agency for International Development), the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Immigration Health Advisory Group and the National Adoption Advisory Group. Federal government support for the Murray Darling Basin Authority and the Marine Parks Authority has been reduced. The funding for the legal aid services (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, Community Legal Services and the Family Violence Prevention Legal Services) has been drastically cut.

Breastfeeding mothers get help from Google Glass and Small World

Date January 19, 2014

Lucy Battersby  Julia Medew

New mothers struggling with breastfeeding may soon have the latest technology at their disposal to get expert help at any time of day.
The Melbourne office of an innovation company called Small World is about to conduct a Google Glass trial with the Australian Breastfeeding Association that will effectively allow their telephone counsellors to see through the eyes of mothers while they breastfeed at home.
The company is looking for 10 Victorian women expecting to give birth in February who want to trial the high-tech glasses for six to eight weeks to receive breastfeeding coaching. During that time, participants would receive training through their glasses on the fundamentals of breastfeeding. The gadget will display prompts, allowing mothers to keep their hands free to nurse their baby.

Guest Post: FHIR Ballot Process

Posted on January 16, 2014 by Grahame Grieve
GE have asked for another round of FHIR balloting. See here and here. I don’t have time to commit my thoughts to the blog in a measured way – it’s very hard to comment rationally on this matter, and I don’t have time. So instead, Lloyd McKenzie volunteered this as a guest post:
The FHIR Management Group and the FHIR Governance Board will be making the determination of whether to go back to ballot during one of their face-to-face meetings at the WGM next week.
A few things to keep in mind:
  • All balloters *have* had a two-week chance to review the dispositions of all ballot comments (not just their own) and the specification has been up to date reflecting those changes. Thus far, only one balloter  has indicated an issue with any of the resolutions, and it looks like we can resolve that.
  • In parallel with that opportunity for review by balloters, every page in the specification has undergone QA for style, formatting, etc. So most, if not all, minor readability issues resulting from the changes should now be cleaned up.
  • The DSTU specification is a draft. It will change and will continue to evolve.
Technically, the ballot has more than met the HL7 requirements to pass. The question is whether it would be in the interest of implementers to hold the specification back for another 6 months to go through another round of balloting, subsequent updates, QA and publication. I’m far from convinced that is the case.

Australian Privacy Act amendments loom large

January 13, 2014
Australian Privacy Act changes smell of SOX
Australian organisations risk financial and reputational damage if they fail to meet the challenges of this year’s Australian Privacy Act changes warns Centrify Regional Director APAC Matt Ramsay. Taking effect from March, the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 implements a new set of harmonised privacy principles to regulate the handling of personal information by both Australian businesses and government agencies. Enacted in 2002, the SOX law strengthened compliance standards for US public company boards, management and public accounting firms by requiring top managers to individually certify the accuracy of financial information, applying more severe penalties for fraudulent financial activity.

Austin Health finalist at Victorian Public Healthcare awards for implementation of Health IQ’s Queue Manager

Austin Health was recognised at the 2013 Victorian Public Healthcare awards for its leadership in innovation for optimising healthcare through e-health and communications technology. The project, ‘E-queuing at Austin Health Specialist Clinics’, saw Health IQ’s Queue Manager successfully implemented in their outpatients department and at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre.
Queue Manager was first implemented at Austin Health in September 2012 and its significant benefits have already captured the attention of the healthcare community within the few months since.

PC shipments mark 'worst decline in PC market history' with 10 per cent drop in 2013

Date January 13, 2014 - 1:47PM

Aaron Ricadela

Personal computer shipments fell 10 per cent in 2013, marking the worst-ever decline after lacklustre holiday sales underscored how consumers and businesses are shunning machines for mobile devices, two research firms said.
Manufacturers shipped 315.9 million units, returning to 2009 levels and making it the "worst decline in PC market history", researcher Gartner said in a statement late last week. IDC also said shipments had a record decline.
US consumers omitted PCs from their holiday shopping lists while buyers in Asia opted for smartphones and tablets. More computing tasks are moving to websites and applications tailored for wireless gadgets, rather than software installed on laptops and desktops. The annual drop eclipsed the previous record decline of 3.9 per cent in 2012, Gartner said.

Microsoft on the threshold of deleting 'appalling' Windows 8 software

  • Murad Ahmed
  • The Times
  • January 14, 2014 12:52PM
MICROSOFT plans to cut its losses on Windows 8, the latest version of the software that runs the majority of the world's computers, jettisoning the brand in an attempt to appease millions of disgruntled users.
Industry sources believe the world's biggest software company will announce a new operating system, codenamed "Threshold", at an event in April.
It is understood that ultimately Microsoft will call the system Windows 9 - a move, nonetheless, away from the Windows 8 brand that executives believe has become irreparably damaged by poor sales and scathing customer reviews.
The company will also make a number of changes to the system's design and functionality. It will go on sale in 2015, far earlier than many anticipated.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To answer the question posed at the head of this post : pricing for AS8016:2013 varies with the copyright restrictions you are prepared to accept, but minimum spend quoted on the 'SAI Global' website ("print once, no copy/paste, no sharing") is $90.51. Organisations apparently have the option of requesting a licensing arrangement.