Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 24th August, 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

A very quiet week unlike last week. Interesting there just seems to be ongoing Health IT problems in both Adelaide and Perth with their new hospitals.
Good to see increasing activity in the private sector in the e-Health space.

SA Health rejected “fix” for EPAS woes

Bension Siebert | 19 August 2015
Adelaide | A former head of SA Health says technology that would fix problems with the state’s beleaguered $422 million electronic health system was rejected by the department last year.
Former SA Health CEO Ray Blight told InDaily he had pitched the Miya patient flow system – developed by his SA-based company Alcidion – to SA Health in November last year.
He said the technology was a relatively inexpensive method to speed up doctors’ access to patient information within the Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS), as well as other e-health systems.

Pilgrim reappointed to Privacy Commissioner role

Appointed for 12 months amid continued uncertainty about the OAIC's future
Timothy Pilgrim has been reappointed to the role of Australian Privacy Commissioner, ending the vacancy since his previous term expired in July.
After his previous five-year term expired, Pilgrim was appointed acting Australian Information Commissioner.
That role came on the heels of Australian Information Commissioner Professor John McMillan leaving the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to take on the role NSW Ombudsman.
"Mr Pilgrim was appointed acting Australian Information Commissioner for a three month period in July 2015 while the Government considers options for the future of the Information Commissioner position," a statement issued today by Attorney-General George Brandis said.

Crackdown looms over pharmacists' scanning fails

Serkan Ozturk and Meg Pigram | 18 August, 2015
Supermarket shoppers are not the only ones plagued by self-scanning issues with some pharmacists suffering “perennial problems” with scanning barcodes on medication packaging.
But while Coles and Woolworths are looking to redesign their self-serve checkouts so frustrated shoppers no longer need to hear the phrase “unexpected item in the bagging area”, pharmacists who continue to fail to scan the barcodes of items may soon face unprofessional conduct charges.
More than 110 complaints had been received by the Pharmacy Board of Australia in the past 12 months about dispensing irregularities and errors, the majority of which were caused by the failure of pharmacists to use scanners.
Errors have involved drugs with a narrow therapeutic index such as digoxin and methotrexate, which in two instances partly contributed to fatalities. 

Google Flu Trends calls in sick, indefinitely

Google will pass along search queries related to the flu to health organizations so they can develop their own prediction models
Google has shut down its website that predicted how influenza and dengue fever were spreading based on queries that people ran in the company's search engine.
Instead of running Google Flu Trends, the company will pass along the data gleaned from user searches to heath organizations that study infectious diseases so they can develop their own prediction models. Those organizations include the Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Boston Children’s Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Influenza Division, Google said Thursday.
Google is also making the historical data its collected as part of the project available for download.

NEHTA Dose Based Prescribing Reference Sets open for review

Created on Friday, 21 August 2015
As part of ongoing product development NEHTA conducted a market survey to identify potential areas of improvement to the Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT). The survey results were used to prioritise areas for development.  One priority area identified was dose based prescribing (acute care).
Through a series of workshops and previous communications, NEHTA engaged with clinical representatives from various state health jurisdictions, vendors who provide software to those jurisdictions, and others in an effort to define standardised terminology to support dose based prescribing. 
An open review of the resulting draft reference sets is now underway. 

From Emerald to Japan (and back again)

There’s a long tradition of Australian doctors having multiple specialties. Dr Ewen McPhee is one of them. A rural GP obstetrician, he has operated a rural health clinic in Emerald, Central Queensland, for the last quarter century.
Last week Dr McPhee undertook a trip to Japan at the behest of a Japanese colleague he met at a conference in Dubrovnik. The Japanese doctors wanted to learn how rural and remote GPs in Australia manage to cover multiple specialties. That’s not the case in Japan, where doctors may have additional qualifications, but they’re generally not allowed to practise them.
The conference in Japan was well attended by doctors who showed a great willingness to change and to learn. “There is a tremendous enthusiasm for [doctors having] multiple skills, but they are not allowed to practise those skills,” he says.

Opinion: GPs should use technology to their advantage

18 August 2015
SO MANY things now no longer need physical human interaction. You can organise a loan without visiting the bank. Accountants, lawyers and other professionals rely heavily on electronic communications.  
What does this mean for the medical profession? Why do we still insist on seeing people? 
I am not advocating we no longer see patients face to face (f2f), merely that we can be more efficient by not doing so for much of our work, and still be just as effective (from both technical and relationship perspectives). And this doesn’t necessarily mean Skype.
Online tools for mental health are well received by patients and show positive outcomes, yet:
  • I can’t routinely book my doctor’s appointment online (specialist or generalist).
  • I can’t email my doctor with a simple question and instead must lose an entire morning sitting in the waiting room.
  • I must play telephone ping pong with my providers. 
Funding plays a role yet, in a workforce-limited world, inefficiencies abound. In one 15-minute f2f consult time, I could probably deal with four email consults: your cholesterol level is okay; no, you don’t need to come in unless it doesn’t improve by tomorrow; I’ve got the test results; you can take the antibiotics. 

Clinical Informatics Business, Alcidion Corporation to List on ASX

August 20, 2015 9:12pm   
Alcidion Corporation, a leading health informatics company based in Adelaide has entered into a binding agreement with Naracoota Resources Ltd to list Alcidion on the ASX via a Reverse Takeover (Transaction). The Transaction will see Alcidion valued at $12m with a healthy $7.00m in cash post listing.
Adelaide, SA (PRWEB) August 21, 2015
Alcidion Corporation a leading health informatics company based in Adelaide has entered into a binding agreement with Naracoota Resources Ltd to list Alcidion on the ASX via a Reverse Takeover (Transaction). The Transaction will see Alcidion valued at $12m with a healthy $7.00m in cash post listing.
The Transaction is being backed by Allure Capital, the private investment vehicle of technology entrepreneur Mr. Nathan Buzza, BlueSky Private Equity (ASX:BLA) and Patersons Securities Limited. Mr Buzza was previously the second largest shareholder of Clinical Middleware Provider, Azure Healthcare, which catapulted into the spotlight after the stock rocketed from 3.3c to 34c over his two and a half year tenure.

Bill Madden: Archaic communication

Bill Madden
Monday, 17 August, 2015
IS sending a time-sensitive letter about a patient by ordinary post an archaic means of transmission in 2015?
The recent findings of an inquest by the South Australian Deputy State Coroner Anthony Schapel into the death of Marjorie Irene Aston suggest that the answer is “yes”.
Mrs Aston, aged 86 years, had consulted a cardiologist just before Christmas, a month before she died. He recommended she begin warfarin therapy of 5 mg once daily for her atrial fibrillation, replacing the aspirin she had been taking for the condition.
The cardiologist (in the patient’s presence) dictated a letter to her GP about her starting warfarin therapy and advised of the need to test and adjust the dose in the usual way.

New Zealand firm Datacom posts healthy revenue growth

Jennifer Foreshew

Datacom Group has reported a lift in revenue of 6.3 per cent overall and maintained the 10-year compound annual growth rate at 11.2 per cent.
The New Zealand-owned and headquartered IT company saw total operating revenue increase to $920.5 million ($NZ937 million).
The Group profit before tax for the year was at $34.7 million ($NZ35.3 million) below the previous year’s unusual high of $57.4 million ($NZ64.7m). Profit after tax was $23.9 million ($NZ24.3 million).
Datacom Group chief executive officer Jonathan Ladd said the 2013-14 profit period was assisted by the divestment of the Group’s Asia contact centre business.
“Also this year, we have greatly increased our investment in new lines and a lot of that comes as operating expenditure so it comes off the P & L line,’’ he said.

Hospitals & patients will benefit from more efficient Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software

Leading hospitals in Australia are looking for technologies to provide efficiency gains across departments, reducing the risk of human error and improving patient care with a single platform. This is the new mantra for Australia’s preeminent hospitals.
Hyland, creator of OnBase - a leading ECM software technology company headquartered in the United States – continues to increase its investment in Australia.  
Susan deCathelineau, Vice President of Global Healthcare Sales and Services, Hyland –recently attended the Health Informatics Conference (HIC), Australia’s premier digital health, health informatics and e-health conference and expo in Brisbane - said “Hospitals benefit both clinically and administratively from working with OnBase.”
“While hospitals are well versed in paper scanning, the next evolution of this process is taking the information gathered and doing meaningful things with it. How can that data be used to automate business processes helping clinical and administrative staff efficiently manage work processes, reduce the risk of error and improve patient care? With the future of increasing patient numbers and tight budgets, technology must be leveraged to provide efficiencies to do more with existing staff and infrastructure,” Ms. deCathelineau said.

Human performance analytics are coming to an office near you

Date August 16, 2015 - 9:06PM

Olivia Solon

The future of the high-performance workplace is taking shape behind closed doors and kept quiet by non-disclosure agreements.
Across Britain, hedge funds, banks, call centres and consultancies are installing tracking systems to link bio-sensing wearable devices with analytics tools once the preserve of elite sports.
The idea that you can augment yourself with technologies will become absolutely commonplace and a natural progression. 
Chris Brauer, University of London
"There isn't a competitive sports team in the world that doesn't adopt high-end analytics tracking the athletes on the field, off the field, at home, when they're sleeping, when and what they're eating," says Chris Brauer, Director of Innovation at Goldsmiths, University of London. "The workplace is heading towards that model."

About Us - Specialists Doctors

SPECIALIST DOCTORS is a unique web-based search facility developed to fill a major gap in the provision of medical services to patients and their families.
It has always been a significant problem for patients needing a medical specialist to know who to choose, especially as medical knowledge and expertise have expanded to the point that highly specialised and specific expert specific advice (equal to that available anywhere in the world) is now available in Australia.
The question for patients and, indeed for most referring general practitioners, is which specialists have the highly developed expertise that may be required for many conditions.
There is no shortage of websites which simply list medical specialists; the vast majority of these are essentially variations of “Yellow Pages” listings; that is to say, each specialist will have paid to have an entry listed.

Systems science – the new way of thinking?

| Aug 20, 2015 8:13AM | EMAIL | PRINT
In this fourth instalment on the CEIPS (Centre of Excellence in Intervention and Prevention Science) seminar series Rebecca Zosel delves into the world of systems science and public health. What is systems thinking? How should we apply it? Or has the systems approach already run out of time to prove it’s worth?
Rebecca Zosel writes:
In the fourth of the CEIPS Seminar Series on Tuesday 23 June, Dr Therese Riley, Senior Research Fellow, explored two questions about quality in systems science in her presentation: ‘How do we know our systems science is any good?’
Therese spoke of ‘the turn to complexity’, which has seen an ever growing list of disciplines grappling with complexity theory and systems science. More recently, public health in Australia (and Victoria in particular) has seen the investment of significant effort and resources in systems science. Systems thinking has been positioned as a new way of thinking in public health, and the preferred approach when addressing complex health issues such as the rising rates of chronic disease.

Windows 10 is here – what happens next?

Windows 10 was built with the help of a huge number of ‘Windows Insiders’ who were largely responsible for the start menu returning, thousands of new features, and making the product the most stable and trouble free Windows release ever.
So now Windows 10 has been released the ‘Insiders’ are keen to continue to drive its ongoing development.
Their first task is to look at the next generation of Windows 10 – and if that sounds like it should have been Windows 11 or 12, you are wrong. Windows is Windows and will now become a homogenised operating system continually centrally updated to avoid the horror fragmentation issues that plague other operating systems. The aim is to get most of the legacy one billion desktops, tablets, notebooks, and soon smartphones that run Windows 7 or 8.x and Phone 8.1 onto Windows 10.

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