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, May 11, 2015

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 11th May, 2015.

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

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Australians to benefit from Sussan Ley's ehealth health records revamp

Date May 10, 2015 - 12:00AM

Adam Gartrell

Australians will get easier access to their medical records and be at less risk of treatment and prescription blunders under a revamped e-health system that will cost the Abbott government at least half a billion dollars.
The new myHealth Records system will be announced by Health Minister Sussan Ley on Sunday. It will build upon and replace some elements of a struggling scheme introduced by Labor in 2012, which has already cost taxpayers more than $1 billion.
Tuesday's federal budget will set aside $485 million over the next four years to get the new system up and running but costs will continue beyond that.

Budget 2015: New 'opt out' e-health system to see all Australians given electronic record

By medical reporter Sophie Scott
All Australians will now have an electronic health record as part of a new e-health system, and people will have to opt out if they do not want to take part.
The previous arrangement, commissioned in 2012, was an "opt in" system where patients could choose to join, but it was plagued with problems.
Health Minister Sussan Ley said research showed the best way was to put everyone on the system by default.
If a person did not want to be on the system, they would need to opt out.

Millions more may be spent on eHealth records

5th May 2015
THE government is expected to recommit to the personally controlled eHealth record in the federal budget despite failing to respond to a 500-day-old review of the bug-riddled system.
A spokesman for Health Minister Sussan Ley would not confirm the sum allocated to the system, which Fairfax Media has reported to be hundreds of millions of dollars.
Over the past five years successive governments have spent more than $1 billion on the PCeHR. It has been on life-support since last year’s budget allocated $140.6 million for its continued operation while the government “finalises its response" to the Richard Royle review, delivered in December 2013. 
One of the authors of the Royle review was former AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton, who now chairs NEHTA – a body the report said should be scrapped.

Online support networks should be used as 'first line of defence' in mental health care, report says

A report by one of Australia's main youth mental health services ReachOut.com says boosting online support networks will help reduce the strain on health system.
According to the report, three-quarters of mental health problems start in people under the age of 25, and up to 80 per cent of them do not seek advice or help.
The report found that e-health programs should be used as the "first line of defence" in mental health care.
ReachOut.com Chief Executive Jono Nicholas said online mental health aid had proven to be successful.
"We have an absolute challenge in Australia where there is a significant number of those that need help [but] can't access traditional services," he said.

Digital technology crucial to Telstra’s mission to revolutionise health

Mitchell Bingemann

Telstra’s stand-alone health unit is on a mission to revolutionise the nation’s strained healthcare system with plans to slash hospital waiting times, improve patient-to-doctor relations and usher in a new era of telehealth services that will elevate the telco as the ­nation’s premier e-health service providers by 2020.
The Health unit — carved out as a separate division at Telstra in October — has been on an acquisition war path over the past 24 months, spending more than $130 million on investments and joint ventures as it seeks to build the nation’s first integrated health system that will provide technology solutions in telemedicine, aged and residential care, hospital, radiology and pathology.
Telstra has astronomical ambitions for the unit, aiming to grow the business from its revenue run-rate of $40m a year into a billion dollar-a-year business and the nation’s leading e-health provider within five years. “That’s what we are targeting. We are very passionate and believe it’s a doable thing. It won’t be easy but once we do that the e-Health business of Telstra will be one of the biggest health businesses in Australia,” the managing director of Telstra Health Shane Solomon told The Australian.

Smartphone app a lifesaver for patients after myocardial infarction

Mohanraj K Karunanithi, Marlien Varnfield and Darren L Walters
Med J Aust 2015; 202 (8): 404.
doi: 10.5694/mja15.00380
Clinical guidelines recommend that patients complete a cardiac rehabilitation program after experiencing a myocardial infarction, with studies showing that those who do have much better long-term health outcomes.
Despite the benefits, uptake of traditional cardiac rehabilitation programs is poor. Many patients find weekly travel to a health facility to be difficult. This is particularly so for those who work, care for others or live in regional Australia where these services are not available.
To overcome this problem, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Queensland Health have developed a home-based cardiac rehabilitation program delivered via a smartphone app, called the Care Assessment Platform. This home-based program features health and exercise tools, motivational materials and multimedia delivered through the app to educate patients about disease management, and remote mentoring consultations.

Snelling insists e-health on track for new RAH

Bension Siebert | 4 May 2015
Adelaide | The State Government’s $422 million Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS) will be functional “on day one” of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, Health Minister Jack Snelling says.
Snelling told 891 ABC radio this morning that doctors’ expectations that the EPAS would not be functional at the new RAH until July 2017 were wrong.
InDaily revealed the expectations last week, as well as doctors’ claims that the number of outpatient appointments offered to older people and veterans at the Repatriation General Hospital had halved because of the installation of EPAS at the site.
Snelling said the Patient Administration System (PAS) function of EPAS – which deals with administrative details such as patients’ names, addresses and appointment times – would have to be functional before the new Royal Adelaide Hospital opened.

In Conversation with…Enrico Coiera, MB, BS, PhD

Editor's note: Enrico Coiera, MB, BS, PhD, is a professor and director of the Centre for Health Informatics (Australian Institute of Health Innovation) at the University of New South Wales. Dr. Coiera has researched and written about clinical communication processes and information systems. We spoke with him about how interruptions and distractions in the clinical environment influence patient safety.
Dr. Robert Wachter, Editor, AHRQ WebM&M: How big a problem are interruptions and distractions in the world of patient safety?
Enrico Coiera: Interruptions happen every day to every clinician, nurse, and doctor. It's become clear over the last decade that in some clinical settings, not only are interruptions frequent but they're also a patient safety risk. We're not saying every interruption is a bad interruption, but we do know that for certain places and times, they can lead to significant patient risk.

 Vic commits to script monitoring

PharmacyDaily May 7, 2015
THE Victorian Government has committed to an initial sum of $300,000 toward evaluating and planning for the implementation of a real-time prescription monitoring system in its state budget handed down this week.
The Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy had previously said she was “receiving advice” on the issue (PD 15 Jan).
This followed a call from Coroner Jacinta Heffey for the Victorian Department of Health to implement such a system as a “matter of urgency”, with overdose deaths data showing “clearly” that Schedule Four drugs were “tremendous contributors” to overdose deaths in the state (PD 15 Jan).

Human trials for bionic eye with 'wireless brain chip' to start next year

Date May 5, 2015 - 3:00AM

Bridie Smith

Science Editor, The Age

Researchers working on the ambitious project led by Monash University to build a bionic eye have revealed they are ready to start human trials next year.
"We have gone past the point of no return, where the device has been manufactured in prototype form and it is working in the laboratory," said Jeffrey Rosenfeld​, director of the Monash Institute of Medical Engineering.
Professor Rosenfeld​ outlined the group's progress in Washington DC on Monday, at the American Association for Neurology Surgeons' annual scientific meeting.
The human trial will involve patients who have lost their sight having tiny "ceramic tiles" the size of a small fingernail implanted into their brain's visual cortex at the Alfred Hospital, where Professor Rosenfeld​ is director of neurosurgery.

Privacy complaints leap as companies struggle with compliance

Date May 4, 2015 - 3:09PM

Hannah Francis

Technology Reporter

More than half of all major Australian companies recently examined by Australia's Privacy Commissioner have failed to comply with privacy rules.
Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said that 55 per cent of the 20 top websites run by the companies examined published inadequate privacy policies, while privacy-related complaints had leapt 43 per cent in the year since the nation's privacy laws were revamped.
The companies surveyed included the "big four" Australian banks; social media sites Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter; the Department of Human Services; and major media outlets including news.com.au, ninemsn.com.au, The Guardian Australia, Yahoo!7 and The Sydney Morning Herald, owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this article.

NSW Privacy Commissioner calls for mandatory data breach notification

State privacy act needs an overhaul
NSW Privacy Commissioner Doctor Elizabeth Coombs has called for amendments to be made to the state's Privacy and Personal Information Protection (PIPP) Act from 1998 to bring it in line with 21st Century privacy concerns.
A report (PDF) was tabled in state parliament which outlined a number of recommendations.
These include:
  • The PPIP Act to be amended to provide mandatory notification of serious breaches of an individual’s privacy by a public sector agency.
  • Access to and amendment of personal information to be governed solely by the PIPP Act and access to non-personal government information to be governed by the Government Information Public Access (GIPA) Act
  • All NSW state owned corporations should be covered by privacy legislation
  • Principle of anonymity and pseudonymity where lawful and practicable

Nearly half of employees inadequately trained on Privacy Act compliance

Only 54 percent of workers believe their employers have given them adequate training about how to preserve the privacy of customers' personally identifiable information (PII), a new survey has found as privacy authorities spruik a new privacy management framework designed to help Australian organisations improve privacy compliance efforts that have been slammed as inconsistent and unbelievable by consumers.
Released by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to mark the 2015 Privacy Awareness Week – an annual awareness exercise run by the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) forum – the new Privacy management framework is designed to help organisations boost employee awareness of privacy responsibilities.
Specific recommendations are intended to inform organisations' privacy response along four key steps: embedding a culture of privacy, establishing robust and effective privacy processes, evaluating privacy processes to ensure continued effectiveness, and enhancing organisations' response to privacy issues.

Faster check-in and better patient data

MedicalDirector and Jayex Australia have today announced their partnership. This will help patients to self check-in at their GP practice and update their patient contact details via the Jayex Self Check-in Kiosk.
The Jayex patient kiosk provides patients within multi-GP practices to quickly and easily check-in and free up busy reception staff to manage their workload, reduce stress and care for their patients.
The Jayex check-in kiosk is a great help for practices serving large multi-cultural communities as a patient can check-in using a choice of 51 languages. It also prompts patients to confirm their basic contact details. If the patient updates any details this information will be automatically updated in MedicalDirector PracSoft, and the patient will be added to the waiting room to be seen by the Practitioner.

How to register for  the eHealth record system

NEHTA are exhibiting at booth 58 at the 'Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Annual Scientific Conference' at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on 4-8 May 2015.
Here you will find step-by-step instructions on how to begin your eHealth registration. Click (or tap if you're on a mobile device) on each row to expand the information within them.
If you need any assistance, please contact NEHTA Help Centre, email help@nehta.gov.au or call 1300 900 001.

Manage your diabetes and health related information with your own personalised eHealth record

Created on Friday, 08 May 2015
In the Autumn 2015 edition of Circle Magazine (Diabetes Australia) NEHTA Chair Dr Steve Hambleton and the CEO of Diabetes Australia Prof Greg Johnson explain why diabetes patients and their healthcare providers can both benefit from using eHealth.

Manage your diabetes and health related information with your own personalised eHealth record

If you have diabetes you need to see many health professionals and health services to help you manage your diabetes – your GP and specialist, a diabetes educator, dietitian, pharmacist, podiatrist, optometrist, pathology services, hospitals and more! Most of your health information from these interactions is stored on different computer systems and they are not connected so it's not easy for you to see all your information or for you to share your information with the range of health care providers you visit.

Stephen Leeder: Complicating consent

Stephen Leeder
Monday, 4 May, 2015
AS a young intern at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital in the late 1960s one of my duties included admitting patients on the weekend for elective surgery and “getting consent”.
A grey printed sheet was attached to the front of each patient’s chart. I would explain the proposed surgery to the patient — many knew all about it from their surgeon, but not all — and ask them to consent to it and to any necessary additional procedures or interventions that might be required, such as blood transfusions. They would then sign the form and I would witness it.
I learned years later that these consent forms had no legal value and that if the operation went wrong or the surgeon did more than agreed with the patient no matter how much apparent surgical freedom the consent form gave — such as removing the ovaries as well as the uterus during a hysterectomy — he or she could be sued.

Australia's slow digital economy needs government innovation, says Ernst & Young

Date May 4, 2015 - 10:15AM

Noel Towell

Reporter for The Canberra Times

Australia is being left behind as a digital economy and government departments and the public servants who work there could be key culprits, according to a new report.
Accounting giants Ernst and Young say the Commonwealth government is failing in its key duty to drive digital innovation and put it into use in the everyday lives of Australians.
The EY research, Digital Australia: The State of the Nation published on Monday, finds Australia stuck in the slow lane with action now urgent to catch up with the United Kingdom, Singapore, Belgium and even New Zealand in government-led technical innovation.

Tesla’s power to the people in energy revolution

  • James Dean
  • The Times
  • May 02, 2015 11:07PM

Tesla unveils batteries for homes

Household batteries that will save consumers hundreds of dollars a year by collecting solar power and cheap off-peak electricity are to become as common as washing machines after a scientific breakthrough, experts have predicted.
The device, unveiled yesterday by Tesla in the United States, was hailed as the start of a new era of cheaper electricity and home-generated renewable energy.
The wall-mounted battery stores energy collected by roof-mounted solar panels and garden wind turbines. It can also suck cheap electricity from the grid in the middle of the night for use in peak daytime hours.
As many as eight of the units, called Powerall and manufactured by the American electric carmaking company Tesla, can be linked together to provide extra storage capacity for homes with high electricity demands.


Juanita Fernando said...

What a wank! You cant control behaviour to fit admin needs so you legislate them. I wont bother to opt out because I never volunteered to opt in. I simply wont consent for my physicians to use the government picture box HR on my behalf. Every Aussie will have an IHI and record populated by whatever government body but these will not translate into patient populated records so we'll have millions of empty records.

Trevor3130 said...

David, have you given Wachter's excellent book 'The Digital Doctor' a plug?

Dr David G More MB PhD said...

I think you just have!

Was mentioned April 18 blog


Anonymous said...

Joe Hockey would be very well advised to delete reference to the PCEHR in his Budget Speech tonight.

He should know that to allocate another $0.5 billion to this failed $1.2++ billion project will act like a powerful magnet post budget, attracting unwelcome opprobrium and negative publicity, gobbling up oxygen and diverting attention from the really good points he is trying to make with his Budget.

Hopefully, some sensible people at the highest levels of Government will advise Joe Hockey and Sussan Ley how big a mistake they are making and how badly they will be burned by this absolutely ludicrous decision.

Invest in Health - oh yes indeed, but spend more on this the biggest health IT disaster in the nation's history - substantiated by empty rhetoric fed to the Minister by the same bureaucrats responsible for this humungous disaster - oh no; don't do it Joe - sidestep the entire fiasco.