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, November 30, 2015

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 30th November, 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

An interesting week, with more concern regarding the PCEHR emerging and again more activity from the private sector.
It’s a bit of a worry that the IT at the Fiona Stanley Hospital is still such a mess - years after it was recognised to be a problem.

The problem with the government's eHealth vision

24 November 2015
THE government is set to introduce changes to the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) eHealth Incentive to encourage ‘active and meaningful use’ of the myHealth Record (formally PCEHR).
To receive the ePIP, it is likely practices will have to meet targets for the uploading of shared health summaries (SHS) to the myHealth Record.
The RACGP argues these proposed changes are misguided.
Not only will they fail to deliver ‘active and meaningful use’ but they represent a missed opportunity to reform the ePIP in ways that would truly support the vision for a shared national electronic health record.
The advent of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) in 2012 was heralded as a national system. It was proposed to ‘enable people to share their health information with their healthcare providers’, it says in its annual report.

Government signals consumer reviews for My Aged Care

By Linda Belardi on November 26, 2015 in Community Care Review
The Minister for Aged Care Sussan Ley has reaffirmed the government’s intention for the My Aged Care gateway to progressively resemble TripAdvisor, the popular travel review website that now hosts more than 250 million user reviews.
Ms Ley told the Getting Ready for Increased Consumer Control conference on Wednesday that older people and their families needed better access to information when making decisions about their aged care.
“We all know the value of that service when planning a holiday. Why shouldn’t we create that style of information to help older people make even more important life decisions?”
Ms Ley’s comments advance those of her predecessor Senator Mitch Fifield, who said My Aged Care should develop “TripAdvisor-style capacities” to rate services according to what matters most to consumers.

Qld Health signs Fujitsu, Orion Health in middleware overhaul

Takes first leap in big work program.

By Allie Coyne
Nov 27 2015 7:00AM
Queensland Health has appointed Fujitsu to help introduce Orion Health integration software into its IT environment as the first step in a massive work program to incrementally replace its legacy systems.
In September the state government department revealed it was planning to tackle its heavy legacy environment not by a single big-bang systems overhaul, but by first addressing the plumbing tying the systems together.
Taking this approach means CTO Colin McCririck, chief architect Brendon Kirby and team can transform smalll chunks at a time while ensuring overall stability.
At the moment, around half of Health's critical legacy applications use the ageing Oracle e*Gate and JCAPS products, which will soon be sunsetted. The other half are dependent on bespoke point-to-point interfaces and messaging.

Tech talk: How algorithms can help detect disease

Serkan Ozturk | 25 November, 2015 | 
It’s likely to change the face of medicine in the near future, but for now, the idea of 'deep learning’ probably conjures up hours of text books and medical journals. 
In fact, deep learning is the ability of computer software to produce algorithms that can not only store and capture data, but also create links and infer patterns in data sets. 
As opposed to traditional binary logic that we’re familiar with, deep learning refers to 'fuzzy logic’, where a “true” or “false” conclusion is replaced with “degrees of truth”.  
Algorithms are largely behind many of the functions utilised by online giants such as Google and Facebook.

A state of confusion

27 November, 2015 Meg Pigram 
Unethical pharmacists are a leading cause of illegal pseudoephedrine supply, according to a Queensland report.
The Queensland Organised Crime Commission report recommends that the Project Stop system become mandatory for all the state’s pharmacies that dispense pseudoephedrine-based products, in a bid to curb the misuse and supply of the drug.
“Pseudoephedrine remains the most commonly used ingredient in the making of methylamphetamine and investigations suggest that pharmacists – specifically those who have poor prescribing practices and prescribe (knowingly or otherwise) larger-than-required quantities of pseudoephedrine – are the main source of the ingredient,” the report states.
The report claims that 15% - or one in seven - Queensland pharmacies currently opt out of using ProjectStop.

The Clinical Terminology v20151130 Release is now available for download

Created on Friday, 27 November 2015
The Clinical Terminology v20151130 November 2015 release is now available for download from the NEHTA website.

FHIR Notepad++ Plug-in: Tools for #FHIR developers

Posted on November 24, 2015 by Grahame Grieve
I’m pleased to announce that the FHIR Plug-in for Notepad++ that was distributed and tested at the DevDays in Amsterdam last week is now ready for general release.
Notepad++ is a powerful text editor that’s pretty popular with developers – it seems most of us who use windows use it. And it has a flexible and powerful plug-in framework with an active community around that. So it was the logical choice for a set of FHIR tools. The FHIR tools themselves offer useful functionality for FHIR developers (programmers, analysts), based on the kinds of things that we need to do at connectathons or for authoring content for the specification.

Telstra Health’s unique new ‘radiology storage and viewing service’

Telstra Health has announced it has ‘implemented a vendor neutral image and data management service that provides radiologists with the ability to view x-rays, MRIs and other radiology studies, regardless of location or the system used to capture the image.’
The company says its new service ‘bundles vendor neutral archiving capability with a curated storage solution and Telstra’s best of breed [data] network.’
This combination of software and the Telstra IP network allows very large studies to be rapidly fetched from the archive by any site in the network, reducing idle time and improving efficiency.

A new blueprint for mental health services

26th November 2015  
Today the Turnbull Government releases its response to the National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Programme and Services.
The response sets out a bold reform package that will put the individual needs of patients at the centre of our mental health system.
Every year, around 4 million Australians suffer some form of mental health issue, making it the third largest chronic disease in the country, only behind cancer and cardiovascular disease.
However, we recognise that when it comes to mental health or illness, not everyone is the same.

Coming soon – the online clinic that can predict emotional collapse

Date November 28, 2015 - 9:15PM

John Elder

Senior Reporter for The Sunday Age

Victorian researchers are developing a personalised e-clinic for mental illness that will predict – via biometric measurements from devices such as a Fitbit – when a patient is about to emotionally slide.
Once detected, alerts are triggered within the system and the patient is issued with key intervention tools to assist in offsetting this decline in real time – and days ahead of time.
Federation University is designing a series of treatment programs using these technology, the first being LIFE FleX, which targets anxiety and depression.
The program is the brainchild of Professor Britt Klein, one of Australia's pioneers in online mental health treatment programs. In 1998, with the late Professor Jeff Richards, she created Panic Online, one of the first digital therapy programs for panic disorder. She later directed the eTherapy unit and the National eTherapy Centre, with David Austin, launching one of the world's first full service e-clinic's, Mental Health Online.

Clinicians struggle to engage patients with chronic conditions

Despite the growing burden on primary care to manage complex, chronic conditions, clinicians are struggling to engage patients in their own care.
According to the Chronic care challenge: How technology can enrich patient care whitepaper, released by MedicalDirector today, more than 55 per cent of clinicians say engaging patients to manage their condition/s is the biggest barrier to effectively treating chronic disease.
“Chronic disease is not new, and while clinicians are able to provide patients with more information on their condition than ever before, basic challenges like staying on top of appointments and understanding their care plan remain a concern,” says MedicalDirector Chief Medical Officer, Dr Andrew Magennis.
For more information visit: www.medicaldirector.com.

Fiona Stanley Hospital still struggling to stabilise IT systems

Committee report highlights ongoing challenges.

By Allie Coyne
Nov 26 2015 4:25PM
Western Australia's Fiona Stanley Hospital is still struggling to overcome serious problems with its IT systems and infrastructure a year on from the hospital's opening.
The state parliament's education and health standing committee today tabled its report into the transition and operation of services at the hospital.
The hospital has battled through high-profile errors and IT mismanagement since it opened last October, which has resulted in delays and huge cost blowouts, and limited full operation of the facility.
It has already been the subject of several inquiries and reports, which identified governance failures resulting in, among other things, software that was siloed and did not meet the hospital's needs.

Who will be healthcare CIO of the year?

Electronic healthcare in the spotlight.

This year's finalists in the healthcare category of iTnews' annual Benchmark Awards demonstrate just how pervasive technology has become to the sector, from the hospital to the pathology lab and right through to buying insurance.
The diversity of entrants shows that no aspect of the industry can claim to be untouched.
All three shortlisted for this year's award have shown a commitment to making Australia's health system more efficient and easier to navigate as our population gets older and more reliant on clinicians and hospitals.

'Instagram for doctors' healthcare app Figure 1 may risk patient privacy

Date November 26, 2015 - 1:00AM

Amy Mitchell-Whittington

More than half a million healthcare professionals are sharing their medical cases via an app likened to an Instagram for doctors, but grave concerns are held for patient privacy and confidentiality.
The app, Figure 1, was set up in 2013 and is a platform for healthcare professionals to upload and share images of medical cases with other professionals for feedback, education, teaching and research.
About 50,000 users access the app daily in more than 100 countries, including Australia.
Figure 1 co-founder and practising critical care physician Dr Josh Landy launched the application to connect with colleagues away from the traditional electronic lines of communication such as email and text message.
26 Nov 2015 8:25 AM AEST

Carsales.com.au boss leads new round of investment in HealthEngine.

26 November, 2015 
Australia’s largest health marketplace, HealthEngine, has celebrated its 2 millionth booking with a fresh round of capital raising focused on further growth and expansion.
The round has attracted a number of high profile investors from the health and technology sectors including Greg Roebuck, founder and CEO of carsales.com.au, joining Telstra and Seven West Media on the share register.
Roebuck said “HealthEngine has demonstrated itself as the clear market leader in the provision of online health services and are best positioned to capitalise on further growth in the industry. I see a number of similarities with Carsales at the same stage in its growth. I look forward to being part of HealthEngine’s exciting future”.
Dr Marcus Tan, HealthEngine’s CEO said “the capital raise has attracted a high calibre of investor. This brings a great deal of value to the business as we focus on expanding our products and markets”.

Marie's mission to highlight fatal flaws in medical devices

Date November 27, 2015 - 12:13PM

Liam Tung

Marie Moe is a thirty-something Norwegian security researcher with a rare heart condition that would have killed her were it not for the computerised pacemaker wired to her heart.
She's grateful for the technology, but the former incident response manager at Norway's computer emergency response team, NorCERT, knows that if a computer is connected to the internet it can be hacked from afar. The problem is she's had better visibility into Norway's critical infrastructure networks than the device in her heart.
She's on a mission to change this by convincing 'ethical' or good hackers — those who find and report bugs rather than use them for personal gain — to focus on medical devices and help her and others become "informed patients".

The costly abolition of Medicare Locals

23 November 2015
Source: Policy Online
Despite promising to keep Medicare Locals, the Abbott government abolished the fledgling organisations after it took office, writes economist John Thompson
Even when it had no clear policies or plans to replace them, the Abbott government seemed determined to undo many of the initiatives of the previous Labor government. This was certainly the case in relation to primary health care.
In 2008, the then Labor government established the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission (link is external) (NHHRC) to conduct a comprehensive review of Australia’s health system. The review provided the basis for the National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA) signed by the Australian government and the states and territories in August 2011. The reforms set out in the NHRA had three main objectives:
  1. Reforming the fundamentals of our health and hospital system, including funding and governance, to provide a sustainable foundation for providing better services now and in the future.
  2. Changing the way health services are delivered, through better access to high quality integrated care designed around the needs of patients, and a greater focus on prevention, early intervention and the provision of care outside of hospitals.
  3. Providing better care and better access to services for patients, through increased investments to provide better hospitals, improved infrastructure, and more doctors and nurses.

NSW spends millions more cleaning up LifeLink

Ill-fated government system finally stable.

The NSW government has been forced to spend an additional $3.7 million cleaning up defects and clearing out backlogs from its LifeLink births, deaths and marriages database, after rushing the troubled system to completion in June 2014.
LifeLink will likely have a long reputation within the NSW public service as one of the most ill-fated and drawn-out IT projects in recent history.
It represents the third attempt by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages since 2002 to replace its paper-based system for recording the life events of NSW citizens, after two consecutive contracted vendors failed to deliver.

Heed lessons of NSW LifeLink debacle, auditor says

Third attempt at LifeLink came in $5.9 million over budget and seven months late
An audit of NSW's law and order and emergency services agencies has recommended that lessons from state's 'LifeLink' project be taken on board by the Department of Justice.
The LifeLink System project began in 2002-03 with the aim of replacing the paper-based Life Data system employed by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages with an electronic system.
The first two attempts to build a new system failed. Work on the third attempt to implement LifeLink began in December 2010.
The system went live in June 2014.

Labor slams NBN over Optus HFC network revelations

Jason Clare takes aim at government over revelations NBN may overbuild the Optus network
Labor’s broadband spokesperson, Jason Clare, has slammed NBN over revelations the company may overbuild some areas covered by Optus’ HFC network.
Clare cited the move as evidence of the “absolute mess that Malcolm Turnbull has created with his second rate NBN”.
A leaked NBN draft presentation states that the Optus HFC network is not “fully fit for purpose” in all areas and that some 470,000 premises covered by the network may have to be overbuilt by either FTTx technologies or Telstra’s HFC network.
Some Optus equipment is approaching its end of life, Optus HFC nodes are oversubscribed and existing Optus cable modem termination systems don’t have enough capacity for NBN services, the document notes.

Raspberry Pi rolls out its cheapest product yet: a $7 computer

  • Dow Jones
  • November 27, 2015 11:11AM
The Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK-based non-profit that makes cheap, bare-necessities computer processors, on Thursday released its cheapest product yet: a $US5 ($A7) computer called Pi Zero.
The device, about the size of a money clip, is being given away for free in the UK, packaged up with the December issue of The MagPie, Raspberry Pi’s magazine, which hit newsstands Thursday.
The Zero isn’t a complete computer. It consists of a small motherboard and a processor.
Sockets allow a user to plug in a keyboard and monitor.

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