Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 21st September, 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

What a busy week with PCEHR Legislation introduced and some more interesting news from Telstra.
Next step is to see what impact a new or the same health Minister will have. Watch this space.

Govt introduces bill for opt-out e-health records

By Paris Cowan
Sep 17 2015 4:28PM

New criminal penalties for breaches.

The federal government has introduced a bill into parliament that will enable it to transform its stalled e-health records regime by automatically creating a record for every Australian by default.
The bill entered parliament before the Department of Health commenced pilots of the new ‘opt-out’ approach to getting healthcare recipients registered for an electronic record.
The bulk of the pilots are due to be carried out in 2015-16, at a range of sites.
The new laws will allow health authorities to automatically set up online accounts for selected participants using names, addresses and health identification numbers pulled out of the Medicare database.

PCEHR renamed to My Health Record, automatic account creation trialled

Nearly two-years after a review was performed on the government's struggling e-health platform, new changes based on recommendations the review made were introduced into legislation on Thursday.
By Asha Barbaschow | September 17, 2015 -- 07:33 GMT (17:33 AEST) | Topic: Enterprise Software
The Australian government introduced legislation on Thursday which will see its struggling personally controlled e-health record (PCEHR) system renamed and individuals automatically given an account.
PCEHR will now be known as My Health Record, and in a bid to boost recruits, the government wants to conduct trials which will see individuals automatically have an account created for them, which will require them to opt-out if they do not wish to continue with the online service.
If the trials are successful, the government will consider rolling out automatic accounts nationally.

Govt push to boost e-health records uptake

AAP | 17 September, 2015 | 
Legislation to increase uptake of the national electronic health record scheme was introduced to Parliament on Thursday by the Federal Government.
The new laws will allow the government to trial a new e-health record scheme that will only allow people to opt-out of the scheme. Rather than the current system where they have to opt-in.
If trials are successful, the government will consider rolling out automatic accounts nationally.

eHealth records: Government seeks to clear way for opt-out system

The federal government has introduced a bill to shake up the national eHealth record system
The federal government has introduced a bill that will allow trials of an opt-out approach for the national eHealth record system.
The Health Legislation Amendment (eHealth) Bill 2015, introduced into the House of Representatives today, will rename the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) to My Health Record.
The proposed legislation implements the government's $485 million budget announcement on eHealth, health minister Sussan Ley said when introducing the bill to the house.
The bill is based on a 2013 review of the PCEHR and a review of the Healthcare Identifiers Service, which is a foundation of the electronic health records system.

NEHTA publishes flawed pathology terminology

2015-August-01 | 16:53 By: Filed in:
On its  shiny new website  under About NEHTA , NEHTA now starts its strategy statement with: “With the foundations built, the infrastructure in place…“.
Nothing can be further from the truth. No amount of shouting from the rooftops, even by NEHTA’s Chairman, can change the facts. Most of us involved at the coalface of e-health know only too well that the foundations are not built and that the infrastructure simply is not in place!
Over the past decade, NEHTA has really struggled to develop and introduce useful terminology products for the Australian e-health community. The few it has developed, such as the Australian Medicines Terminology have been largely ignored by vendors, jurisdictions, systems integrators and others. When it comes to supporting diagnostic tests, NEHTA walked away from leading the terminology foundation development for years and years.

Architect of UK’s hated scheme quits NHS, flees from Britain

Tim Kelsey grabs the reins at Oz's Telstra Health next July

17 Sep 2015 at 13:29, Kat Hall
The architect of Blighty's hated scheme, Tim Kelsey, has today announced he will quit as the NHS's National Information Director.
Kelsey will leave the British health service in December and take the new role of director at Australia’s telecoms biz Telstra Health next July.
Curiously, the NHS did not list among his achievements in its press release announcing Kelsey's departure. The scheme has been subject to severe delays, due to the serious concerns regarding the sharing of sensitive personal data with private sector third parties.

Cameron adviser leaves controversial NHS data scheme for private sector

Former journalist who led error-strewn programme goes to work for Australian telecoms company
One of David Cameron’s top advisers on technology, Tim Kelsey, has resigned from the NHS to take up a job with the health data division of Australia’s largest telecommunications company.

NHS patient data plans unachievable, review finds

A controversial figure who led the error-strewn programme, which aimed to create a single database of all English patients’ medical records, Kelsey will leave his role as NHS England’s national director for patients and information in December.
News of Kelsey’s departure comes on the day that board papers released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), a centralised repository of NHS data, revealed that it had made key objections about in mid July.
However a week later Kelsey wrote to MPs on the health select committee to say that the HSCIC board had “reviewed” the project but did not say they had sought to amend the scheme.

Kelsey to leave NHS England

Thomas Meek & Lyn Whitfield
17 September 2015
Tim Kelsey will step down as NHS England's national director for patients and information in December to take on a new job in Australia.
Kelsey has been with NHS England since 2012 and was appointed chair of the National Information Board last year, which is leading on the drive towards a 'paperless NHS' by 2020.
His new role is commercial director at Telstra Health, the healthcare arm of Australia-based telecommunications company Telstra.
Telstra Health bought Kelsey’s former company Dr Foster earlier this year.

Telehealth lacks consistency

Nicole MacKee
Monday, 14 September, 2015
AUSTRALIA lacks nationally consistent telehealth clinical standards as its rollout gathers pace and new business models enter the field, say leading telehealth proponents.
Rural GP Dr Ewen McPhee, chair of Queensland Health’s Telehealth Advisory Committee, said a lot of work had been devoted to developing telehealth standards, but Australia still lacked a consistent, national framework for clinical governance.
“There are so many players who want to be a part of this space, but the issues around clinical safety, confidentiality and consent are all in a state of flux in Australia”, Dr McPhee told MJA InSight.
“It’s such that people don’t quite know what they are consenting to and what the implications are in telehealth and home monitoring. We certainly don’t explain it well”, said Dr McPhee, who has successfully integrated telehealth into his practice in Emerald, Queensland.

Smartphone health apps tested by VicHealth

  • September 14, 2015 11:04AM
PEOPLE should be cautious when using smartphone apps to lose weight and stay healthy, the Victorian government says.
VICHEALTH has launched a Healthy Living App Guide, rating more than 200 apps for their effectiveness in helping people shed weight and live a healthier lifestyle.
They say it is the first time that health apps, which are used by two in five Australians, have been independently tested on a large scale to compare quality and effectiveness.
"We rated them out of five and the best rating achieved was three," VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said.

Lessons from overseas: e-health in Canada ‘significantly impacting home care’

By Natasha Egan on September 14, 2015 in Technology Review
AUDIO: Improved quality and access to care for consumers and increased productivity for clinicians, are among the positive impact digital health is already having on home care in Canada, an international conference has heard.
Fraser Ratchford, group program director or consumer health and innovation at Canada Health Infoway, gave delegates at the recent ACSA/IAHSA Joint International Conference in Perth a glimpse into Canada’s home care landscape, which he said was having a significant impact on care.
Mr Ratchford said Canada had laid many digital health foundations, which empowered consumers were now using to make better healthcare and quality of life decisions.

Must-have app for breast self-examination

18 September 2015
IT is recommended that women of all ages are familiar with how their breasts look and feel.
The Breast Self-Examination app has been developed by BIOCORE Applied Research Group at Coventry University, UK, in collaboration with the National Health Service, and provides basic instruction.
The app provides a point guide on the breast changes to be looking for during breast self-examination (BSE) such as a lump, thickening or pitting of the skin. There are video demonstrations of, firstly, how to perform a visual inspection and, secondly, a systematic guide to how to palpate the breasts.

Medical practices targeted in Medicare rort

17 September 2015
THE DEPARTMENT of Human Services has been accused of failing to ensure the security of Medicare clients’ bank details after criminals allegedly stole records from medical practices in Sydney’s southwest. 
The thieves allegedly managed to change the patients’ bank details registered with Medicare, set up fake accounts in the patients’ names and had rebates diverted to the new accounts. 
The opposition says Human Services Minister Marise Payne “dropped the ball” after being questioned about the security issue last month.
“I raised the issue just under a month ago with the minister and nothing has been done,” Senator Doug Cameron told reporters in Canberra today. 

10 social media tips for GPs

16 September 2015
The RACGP is holding two webinars on social media for GPs in advance of next week’s GP15 conference in Melbourne.
Here are 10 handy social media tips for the busy GP, according to RACGP Western Australia Faculty Chair Dr Tim Koh:
  1. “If you wouldn’t say the comment in public, it’s most likely not appropriate to post. The same laws on patient confidentiality apply to social media.
  2. Social media can be great for communicating important information from your practice with your patients and community, such as opening and closing times or new doctors joining the practice.

Human Services kicks off welfare payments system upgrade

The Department of Human Services on Friday published an expression of interest document, with a tender pinned for 2016, to replace the existing 30-year-old welfare payments platform.
By Asha Barbaschow | September 18, 2015 -- 07:31 GMT (17:31 AEST) |
The Department of Human Services on Friday published a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) from the IT industry to help design and begin construction of a new welfare payment system to replace the 30-year-old system the department has in place called Income Security Integrated System (ISIS).
The decades-old system is currently used to process family support payments, letters, income assessments, and other notifications for around 100 programs, and as of June this year, was undertaking more than 50 million transactions per day.
The REOI said the department currently relies on ISIS to deliver payments to 7.3 million Australians, with Centrelink payments totalling over AU$100 billion annually.
"The start of procurement marks the first milestone for the Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) programme,'' Minister for Human Services Senator Marise Payne said. "This is one of the largest social welfare business transformations undertaken worldwide; success will depend on establishing strong industry partnerships.''

Guide to mandatory data breach notification in the PCEHR system

Note: This Guide and the mandatory data breach notification obligations in the PCEHR Act only apply to the PCEHR System Operator, registered repository operators, and registered portal operators. Registered healthcare provider organisations and registered contracted service providers who experience a data breach should see the OAIC’s Data breach notification guide: A guide to handling personal information security breaches for guidance on dealing with the breach.
September 2015
A guide to mandatory data breach notification under the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records Act 2012 for the System Operator, registered repository operators and registered portal operators.

PDF attachments in HL7 messages

2015-August-04 | 11:35 By: Filed in:
Last year in Australia there was an agreement amongst a number of parties, led by the Australian Department of Health, for the results of diagnostic tests to be sent to the national electronic health record system for accessing by both care providers and the individuals for whom the tests were performed. The current proposal to support this specifies that a single PDF report for each test be sent by the laboratory through to the national electronic health record system.
That proposal has led to an increased interest in PDF renditions of pathology reports as well as kindling an interest in how to add attachments to both HL7 v2 messages and CDA documents ( and probably via FHIR now too ). Of course, PDF lab report files are not the only sort of attachment that can be carried by either of these two media. Images, HTML, RTF, Word documents, and a number of other formats can be used. Electronic referrals and discharge summaries are also likely candidates for carrying attachments of various kinds.

CSIRO uses to 3D printing to create new ribs for cancer patient

Anatomics and CSIRO collaborated to create a customised titanium implant
A Spanish cancer patient has a new, customised titanium sternum and ribcage, thanks in part to a collaboration between the CSIRO and a Melbourne medical device company.
Melbourne-based company Anatomics used the CSIRO's 3D printing facility, Lab 22, to create the implant.
The federal science and industry minister, Ian Macfarlane, revealed details of the project today.
The 54-year-old patient, who suffered from a chest wall sarcoma that meant his sternum and part of his ribcage needed to be replaced, is recovering well and has been discharged, the CSIRO said.

MedAdvisor is Josh Swinnerton’s mother of all medication advisers

Sarah-Jane Tasker

A strong desire to help his mum manage her supply of medications drove software engineer Josh Swinnerton to develop ­MedAdvisor — a platform he hopes to expand offshore through a backdoor listing on the Australian market.
The company has kicked off a roadshow to drum up investor support to raise about $5 million through a backdoor listing via mining shell Exalt Resources.
Chief executive Robert Read, who was recently appointed to oversee the listing, said the Med­Advisor software, which helps people manage their medication, was driving adherence by up to 20 per cent.
“From a big macro picture, adherence is probably the biggest, preventable health cost,” he said.

Intuitive Surgical: invest in the future through robotic surgery

We recently wrote on the advances and proliferation of robotics in the industrial world. There are other areas where robotics is having a significant impact.
Recent advances in sensors, machine vision, drive motors, electronics and hydraulics are giving rise to technologically superior robots that can augment skilled human endeavour. These machines are raising productivity, improving outcomes and having significant economic impact.
Healthcare is an area where robotic surgery is increasingly making inroads. This is also the area where there is an investable opportunity: Intuitive Surgical (ISRG US), a publicly listed, US-based pioneer in the design and manufacture of robotic surgery systems.
Intuitive Surgical has had a virtual monopoly in the robotic surgery space since it was founded in 1995. The company went public in 2000.

NBN and our first hi-tech Prime Minister

Just before he became Prime Minister I had a telephone discussion with the then Minister for Communication, Malcolm Turnbull, regarding an article I wrote in which I expressed my disappointment about various issues around the NBN. He invited me for a deeper discussion on this, I think the time might be ripe to review the NBN and start adding the Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) extension to it
I was very critical of the minister in my article but at the same time I am well aware of his knowledge on ICT-related issues, and in most of my blogs where I have talked about this I expressed my high regard for his technical understanding. That was why I expressed my surprise and frustration at his lack of support for a proper NBN and the absence of a visionary drive from him on how we should get there. The multi-technology network (MTM) is simply not good enough in the long term.
With Turnbull now in the top job, he will have far greater freedom to express his views on these issues – views that will most certainly be far more liberal than conservative, which the industry would welcome.

Start me up: Malcolm Turnbull plugs in to the IT crowd

Glenda Korporaal

On the Friday after the budget in May Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull addressed the end-of-week get-together at Fishburners, a start-up co-working space in the inner-Sydney suburb of Ultimo.
Among the entrepreneurs who listened to Turnbull was Danny Adams, a 35-year-old former aeronautical engineer who had just founded a fuel-saving start-up called GoFar.
Adams and his co-founder Ian Davidson just happened to be in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for GoFar, a device that plugs into the car to give driver feedback on fuel ­efficiency.
Adams explained his vision for GoFar to Turnbull who then sat down at a computer and used his credit card to pay for the $120 needed to order a GoFar Ray, a space-age-looking device that sits on the dashboard of a car and provides colour-coded feedback on the car’s fuel efficiency.

Federal government: A worthy benchmark for IT security?

The federal government is, and realistically should be, the benchmark for cyber security in Australia.
It has the most to lose, holding not only our most sensitive state secrets, but also managing air traffic control, billions of dollars in welfare payments, and databases of financial details for each and every one of us.
Canberra took a big step forward in 2013, making the Australian Signals Directorate’s ‘Top 4 Strategies to Mitigate Targeted Cyber Intrusions’ a mandatory part of the Australian Government Information Security Manual.
The ASD boasts that these four strategies - application whitelisting, patching applications, patching operating systems, and minimising who has admin privileges - will defend against 85 percent of all successful intrusions it sees every year.


Anonymous said...

Telstra Health is very lucky to be getting such top-notch expertise from the mother country.

Anonymous said...

Yes I think he will fit right in at Telstra health....