Monday, August 03, 2015

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 3rd 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 busy week with some interesting revelations regarding some of the issues that are festering around the country.
Interesting that - as of the time of writing - the links to the NEHTA Chairman’s recent interview is not working. Testing links seems to be a good plan!

'We are failing': Digital Transformation Office CEO Paul Shetler warns public service

Date July 28, 2015 - 11:08AM

Phillip Thomson

Public Service Reporter at The Canberra Times.

Australia's public service must stop failing customers and become as good as Airbnb and Uber at helping people, the bureaucracy's new Digital Transformation Office chief Paul Shetler said. 
Mr Shetler told a crowd of 300 at a breakfast at the National Gallery of Australia on Tuesday that most users were reporting a problem with Australian government websites.
"Our job is to serve the public and we are failing," he said. 
"It's not good enough in the age of Uber and Airbnb.
"If Amazon did that they'd go out of business."
He said Australians, like people in many countries, often became overwhelmed because they were wrongly forced to keep in their minds a map of how government services worked when dealing with the public service.

Interview with NEHTA Chair Dr Steve Hambleton on NEHTA's work

Created on Monday, 27 July 2015
NEHTA Chair Dr Steve Hambleton talks to Health Professional Radio on NEHTA's work and the benefits of eHealth.
(Link is currently broken)
Glad to see @AustralianLabor recommit to E-Health rollout - I now look forward to their support in Parliament for our opt-out legislation

Call to end ‘snail mail’ between doctors

28th Jul 2015
RACGP president Dr Frank Jones has endorsed calls for an update of medical communications after a missing hospital letter was blamed for contributing to the warfarin-related death of an elderly Adelaide woman. 
SA deputy coroner Anthony Schapel found a specialist’s “archaic” practice of sending a letter by ordinary post contributed to the death of Marjorie Irene Aston, 86. 
Among his recommendations, handed down on 17 July, he said prescribing specialists should adopt the “most efficient means possible” of notifying a patient’s GP if they did not intend managing warfarin therapy themselves. 
He spelt out the need to stop relying on the postal service and shift to email and facsimile transmissions.

Troubled IT system for kids hospital

Angela Pownall
July 31, 2015, 10:36 am
A computer system that is causing problems for staff and patients at Fiona Stanley Hospital will still be rolled out at the new Perth Children’s Hospital.
Health chiefs are ploughing ahead with the digital medical record at the $1.2 billion hospital despite an independent review revealing many problems with the BOSSNet system at FSH.
FSH is the first WA hospital to roll out a digital medical record, replacing the traditional paper-based records system.

A deadly dose of doctor shopping

29 July, 2015 Meg Pigram
The need to speed up the introduction of real-time monitoring of prescription drugs has been highlighted by a recent coronial inquest, the Pharmacy Guild believes.
Queensland coroner Christine Clements has renewed the call for a monitoring system among other recommendations at an inquest into the death of a critical care nurse from an accidental prescription drug overdose.
Katie Lee Howman died in late 2013 from an overdose of fentanyl.
According to papers from the Office of the State Coroner, Ms Howman was never given a prescription for the medication, and had been under AHPRA supervision after sourcing fentanyl from her work at Toowoomba hospital in 2010.
Between this 2010 episode and her death in 2013, Ms Howman had visited 30 other doctors and numerous pharmacies in the Toowoomba area, including 20 different doctors and 15 different pharmacies in the 13 months between October 2012 and November 2013.
Australian software development company PowerHealth Solutions (PHS) has won a major contract with a European healthcare organisation for a nationwide licence for their PowerPerformance Manager (PPM) patient level costing system across all their hospitals in the country. PHS software is internationally recognised and used across the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the Middle East and the United States. PHS has demonstrated expertise in delivering quality, large scale implementations through the use of developed project management and governance skills. The client organisation is based in the European Union with a highly developed healthcare system providing quality healthcare to its populace as a result of healthcare reform introduced after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The reform introduced key initiatives such as Patient Level Costing and Activity Based Funding to encourage treatment at the lowest level of complexity that is safe, timely, efficient, and delivered as close to home as possible. PowerHealth Solutions CEO Patrick Power said, “PowerHealth Solutions has an in-depth understanding of healthcare costing in different countries and worked hard to secure this nationwide contract.”

Dell's medical expert says patients' wearable data requires context, analysis

Knowing how many steps you took today doesn't help him much
Doctors find little value in the way activity data from patients' wearables is presented to them today.
So says Nick van Terheyden, a doctor who was recently appointed chief medical officer at Dell's healthcare and life sciences division. Far from improving patient care, he says, the deluge of data can overwhelm doctors and prevent them from seeing what's important.
"Do I care that you took 10,000 steps today? Not really," van Terheyden said.
That type of data is only useful if it's presented in the context of a person's overall health, he says. A marked drop in the number of steps a person takes over a certain time period could indicate the onset of arthritis, for instance.

CSIRO portable eye scanning machines helping to close healthcare gap in Torres Strait

A trial to improve the eye health of residents in the Torres Strait has been hailed a 'revolutionary' way of closing the healthcare gap in remote areas.
The CSIRO trial involved setting up three portable eye scanning machines across the Torres Strait, to give residents immediate access to free check-ups.
The low-cost cameras took retinal scans, which were sent over satellite to an ophthalmologist in Brisbane for immediate diagnosis.
Usually, residents would have to wait for a visiting ophthalmologist to have their eyes checked, which only happened once or twice a year.
Dr David Hansen from Brisbane's E-Health research centre said the year-long trial had been a remarkable success.

Lessons to be learned from the OAIC’s security assessment of St Vincent’s hospital

Blog IP Whiteboard

King & Wood Mallesons
Australia July 30 2015
Last month the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) issued a privacy assessment report of St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney Limited (St Vincent’s).[1]
The Privacy Commissioner has the power to carry out assessments under section 33C of the Privacy Act in order to determine whether an organisation is complying with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and other relevant requirements under the Act. Assessments are seen as an educative process as well as a compliance mechanism, and the results reported by the OAIC serve as a useful indication for other organisations as to the Commissioner’s view of the standard of compliance required under the APPs. These assessments supplement the more formal guidance that the Commissioner has already made available, such as guidelines on the APPs and on information security matters.[2]
The primary purpose of the particular assessment carried out on St Vincent’s was to determine whether St Vincent’s had satisfied the requirement under APP11 to take reasonable steps to protect the personal information in its possession from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. In particular, the assessment looked in detail at the access security controls used by St Vincent’s in relation to information stored in its electronic health record system (eHealth system). The Commissioner’s report made four key recommendations (all of which were accepted by St Vincent’s), from which other organisations can learn useful lessons.

Spyware for sale: Hacking Team leaks show Australian companies scrambling to cash in on Government surveillance contracts

By the National Reporting Team's Lisa Main and Conor Duffy
At least four Australian companies have tried to sell a range of controversial spyware and surveillance tools to Australian law enforcement agencies as well as foreign governments, according to emails revealed by WikiLeaks.
The sophisticated spyware has been developed by controversial Italian company Hacking Team, which recently came under criticism for its links to repressive regimes.
Earlier this month Hacking Team's inner workings were revealed after the company itself was hacked and thousands of emails were published by WikiLeaks.
The trove of emails exposed the secretive and lucrative dealings of the private surveillance industry.
An investigation by the ABC revealed Australian companies have been acting as middle-men, dealing with Hacking Team on the one hand, and agencies such as the Australian Federal Police, Defence and Indonesian intelligence on the other.

Mater Health Services selects Nutanix

Queensland not-for-profit healthcare organisation Mater Health Services Brisbane has deployed a web-scale hyper-converged infrastructure from Nutanix to support virtual desktops, giving its employees reliable access to business-critical applications and tools.
Implementation of the technology underpins the expansion of Mater’s virtual desktop project from 2,000 to 5,000 endpoints, allowing the healthcare provider to dedicate more resources to patient care.
Mater operates hospitals and a medical research institute, and employs 6,500 staff who provide pathology, pharmacy, and health and wellness services, and discharges around 110,000 patients annually.

Leading AI researchers, scientists call for a ban on autonomous weapons

Ban weapons that choose their targets before they start an arms race, say Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and other signatories of an open letter
Ban autonomous offensive weapons before they start an arms race or a war: That's the demand of the artificial intelligence and robotics researchers who joined more than 1800 people in signing on to an open letter published Monday.
Stephen Hawking, Tesla founder Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak are among the signatories of the letter published at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, which runs through Thursday in Buenos Aires.
They warned that the creation of weapons that select and destroy targets autonomously, without human intervention, is likely to start a new global arms race -- something that could happen within a few years, given the current state of AI research.

Uber-like health apps go live in US

AAP | 29 July, 2015 |
Healthcare delivery apps that operate like Uber are being trialled in the US.  
The apps, called Pager and Heal, aim to make medical care more customer-centric by sending doctors to patients’ homes on demand. 
Gaspard de Dreuzy, one of Pager’s three co-founders, says the services’ typical customers are working mothers aged 30-45. 
“It’s really an urban population that is busy and values its time.” 
They value it so much, they are willing to pay a premium. 
July 31, 2015

FDA Advises Clinicians to Use Generic Names After Brintellix/Brilinta Confusion

By Kristin J. Kelley
The FDA warned on Thursday of prescription errors involving two drugs with similar brand names: the antidepressant Brintellix (vortioxetine) and the antiplatelet agent Brilinta (ticagrelor). Given that the two brand names begin with "Bri," they both may be displayed when providers select them in an electronic physician order entry system.
There have been 50 reports of confusion over the two brand names; 12 of these resulted in the wrong drug being dispensed. Thus far, the agency says, no patients have reported ingesting the wrong medication once it was dispensed, but clinicians are urged to use both brand and generic names in addition to the indication when prescribing either Brintellix or Brilinta.

How to install Windows 10

Date July 31, 2015 - 7:29AM

Hayley Tsukayama

Microsoft rolled out Windows 10 on Wednesday, making the new operating system available to the vast majority of the PC and Windows tablet universe. For those who were frustrated by Windows 8, this should be a welcome update. So how do you jump on board?
First things first: You should figure out if you can upgrade and how much it's going to cost.
Most Windows-based PCs out there should be able to upgrade, but not all of their owners will be able to do so for free. If you're still among the portion of the Microsoft-using world that uses Windows Vista or Windows XP, you'll have to buy the new system for $179. If you're working with a computer that's running one of those systems, chances are that it's also probably pretty old. (Microsoft, in its own FAQ on the upgrade, not-so-subtly suggests it may be time for a computer upgrade if that's the case).

Windows 10's Wi-Fi sharing feature a potential security concern

Date July 30, 2015 - 9:03AM

Brian Krebs

Windows 10: something old, something new

Start button returns, the web browser gets a revamp and Siri gets some new competition. Hannah Francis reviews the latest Windows operating system.
Starting this week, Microsoft is offering most Windows 7 and Windows 8 users a free upgrade to the software giant's latest operating system — Windows 10. But there's a very important security caveat that users should know about before transitioning to the new OS: unless you opt out, Windows 10 will by default share access to your Wi-Fi network with any contacts you may have listed in Outlook and Skype — and, with an opt-in, your Facebook friends!
This brilliant new feature, which Microsoft has dubbed Wi-Fi Sense, doesn't share your Wi-Fi network password per se — it shares an encrypted version of that password. But it does allow anyone in your Skype or Outlook or Hotmail contacts lists to waltz onto your Wi-Fi network — should they ever wander within range of it or visit your home.

Windows 10 review: Hold off if you use Windows 7

Windows 10 is what Windows 8 should have been, but it has too many rough edges to attract Windows 7 users. Continuous upgrades could change that.
After the truly wretched Windows 8 and marginally less wretched Windows 8.1, Windows 10 comes as a breath of fresh air.
Windows 10 is much more usable than Wndows 8 or 8.1 and proudly offers a bundle of new features, including improved security, a new browser, and the voice-activated intelligent assistant Cortana (which will be available in Australia soon). You might even call Windows 10 the most revolutionary version of Windows ever, mainly because it will be continually upgraded as part of Microsoft's "Windows as a service" effort.


Anonymous said...

The Lead Organization Paving the Way with a National Vision for eHealth all Throughout Australia [Interview][Transcript]
~~~~ Tim C

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

IMHO, Dr. Hambleton's nativity is astonishing.

1. If he thinks we have a national eHealth infrastructure to which we are transitioning, he is wrong. eHealth in Australia is fragmented, embryonic, at best, dangerous at worst and is underused by professionals not because so few people have a PCEHR, but because it serves no useful purpose.

2. "... we will start to see some of the benefits that we know we can get from better communication". Nobody has explained what those benefits are and how they will be achieved and what part "better communication" plays.

3. "So you can’t look at the personally controlled electronic health record unless you’re a registered health professional". Wrong. A patient can look at their own health record.

4. "So security and privacy has been built in into this product, controls are also built in so that patients can actually limit who can see their information, they can limit it to just one practitioner, and they can limit it to only the practitioner to have their personal access code." AFAIK, that's wrong. Access control only works at the organisational level. And as we saw recently, elderly patients cannot control what their children or carers can see.

He's either being disingenuous or he just doesn't understand where and why he's got it wrong. Neither is a good thing.