Monday, January 18, 2016

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 18th January, 2016.

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

Welcome to the New Year - I hope you have a good one!
Clearly the biggest news is this!

Current notices

  • Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR)
The Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) system is being renamed The My Health Record system on Saturday 16 Jan 2016. The system will be unavailable on Saturday from 08:00AM to 09:45AM AEDT.
Looking around on Sunday 17 I also notice the NEHTA web site seems to be unreachable - I would what that is about? (Later fixed)
Other bits of news follow!

GPs must upload PCEHR summaries for PIP

Paul Smith | 13 January, 2016 |
GPs will have to upload shared health summaries to the PCEHR in return for e-health PIP payments, Australian Doctor has been told.
Leaked details on the new requirements of the E-health Practice Incentives Programme emerged last month following a consultation by the Federal Department of Health in September.
It is understood that under the revamp, each practice will be required to upload a shared health summary onto the PCEHR for 0.5% of its standardised whole patient equivalents (SWPEs) each quarter.
Australian Doctor has been told this would mean each GP creating and uploading around five shared health summaries per quarter for the practice to meet the new requirement.

Practices to lose thousands if GPs don't create PCEHR summaries

Paul Smith | 14 January, 2016 |
Practices will lose their entire e-health Practice Incentive Program payment if their GPs refuse to upload shared health summaries to the PCEHR, the Federal Department of Health has confirmed.
On Wednesday it emerged that the E-health Practice Incentive Porgramme requirements will be revamped.
From May, each practice will have to upload a shared health summary for 0.5% of its standardised whole patient equivalents (SWPEs) each quarter.
Australian Doctor has been told this would mean each GP creating and uploading around five shared health summaries per quarter for the practice to hit the target.
However, the health department says failure to hit the target will mean practices being denied the entire incentive payment — even if they meet the four other e-health PIP requirements.
The RACGP has blasted the reform, saying that practices cannot force GPs to upload the summaries.

New ePIP rules ripe for 'gaming': RACGP

15 January 2016
GOVERNMENT plans to tie e-health practice incentive payments of $50,000 a quarter to GPs uploading a specified number of shared health summaries leaves "the door wide open" for "gaming the system", the RACGP says.
Under changes flagged in a Christmas Eve email from the Department of Health, practices will need to upload a shared health summary for 0.5% of the their "standardised whole patient equivalent" per quarter to maintain ePIP eligibility.
The RACGP says the policy misses its target because it aims incentives at practices rather than practitioners.
"Practices cannot directly influence the actions of practitioners," says chair of the college's expert committee on eHealth and Practice Systems, Dr Nathan Pinskier.

Qld Health CIO reportedly stood down

Recruitment saga circles department.

By Paris Cowan
Jan 6 2016 12:04PM
Queensland Health has confirmed it has stood down two senior executives over allegations of nepotism, with recently appointed CIO Colin McCririck reported to be one of the officers out of a job.
Health released a statement revealing it has “stood aside two senior officers following an internal complaint regarding recruitment processes”.
A spokeswoman declined to comment further on any actions that will be taken in relation to the complaint, or to confirm the identities of those involved.
But the Courier Mail has reported that one of the two executives involved is CIO and chief executive of the state government’s new eHealth Queensland division, Colin McCririck.

Two senior Queensland Health executives stood down

Two senior Queensland Health bureaucrats have been stood aside while the Crime and Corruption Commission investigates their behaviour in a staff recruitment matter.
The Courier-Mail reports deputy director-general of corporate services Sussan Middleditch and eHealth Queensland chief executive Colin McCririck are the two bureaucrats under investigation over allegations they “conspired to get one of their spouses a plum job”.
The department released a brief statement citing the investigation of “two senior officers following an internal complaint regarding recruitment processes”:
“The Department of Health will not be commenting on the current actions being undertaken in relation to the complaint.”
Queensland Health boss Michael Walsh is understood to have stood down the pair on New Year’s Day, after the CCC informed him of the investigation the day prior.

NSW Health offers up 350k salary in hunt for CIO

New boss for the new year.

By Paris Cowan
Jan 5 2016 1:53PM
NSW Health’s IT wing, eHealth NSW, is advertising for a new boss after former CIO Michael Walsh left to take on the top job at Queensland Health.
The successful candidate will assume the dual titles of chief executive of eHealth NSW and CIO of the state’s public health system, and will report directly to NSW Health secretary Mary Foley.
The state is offering a salary of up to $352,000 to attract top candidates to the role.
eHealth NSW's inaugural chief executive, Walsh, left the agency in July after being selected to return to Queensland Health as director general.

Small businesses shouldn't be excused on data breach reporting, experts say

Date January 8, 2016 - 3:19PM

Tim Biggs

Technology reporter / producer

Even small companies now collect masses of personal information.
New laws proposed by the Turnbull government would force some companies to notify Australians if their personal data is breached as the result of a hack or cyber attack, but some experts say the rules don't go far enough.
The exposure draft of the Privacy Amendment (Notification of Serious Data Breaches) Bill 2015, introduced at the end of last year, requires any company or government agency subject to the Privacy Act 1998 to make the notifications within 30 days, however this means any non-profit or company with less than a $3 million per year turnover is exempt.
Ty Miller, of computer security firm Threat Intelligence, says the $3 million provision is a "historical value", sorely in need of updating in an age where even the smallest start-ups are collecting reams of personal data.

Report reveals scale of health record data breaches

392 million protected health records disclosed globally
A new Verizon report reveals the scale of data breaches affecting protected health information (PHI) records.
More than 392 million (PHI) records have been disclosed during 1931 data breach incidents, states the report, which draws on data dating back to 1994 but mainly focused on incidents between 2004 and 2014.
Alongside the health sector, the inaugural PHI Data Breach report includes breaches from industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, retail, finance, education and public service.
The report includes data from 25 countries, including Australia, although the majority of the data is drawn from the US.

Digital disasters haemorrhage bucketfuls of public money

  • The Australian
  • January 16, 2016 12:00AM
It’s a type of childlike optimism — the idea that governments can achieve lots of good things through the creation of large-scale, all-embracing information technology platforms. We just need more data and more investment in IT systems, so the central planners will argue, and the benefits will flow forever.
Indeed, our Prime Minister is very much taken by the potentially transformative power of government investments in IT. “Right across the board, you will see there are measures to ensure that government is digitally transformed, so that it is nimble, so that you can deal with government as easily as you can with eBay or with one of the big financial institutions.”
Or take this statement of faith by an ex-Treasury official: “The adoption across all levels of government of uniform IT systems in the health and education sectors, allowing a client’s entire service history to be tracked. Bingo!
“Then each and every service provided will be recorded, for all time, and can be benchmarked for performance. No more students leaving school who can’t read without a clear audit trail. No more health specialists charging differing fees for the same procedure without sanction. In other words, let digital disruption loose in core public service provision to drive up quality and drive down costs and the number of poor outcomes for consumers.”

Making FHIR work for everybody

Posted on by wolandscat
FHIR is the HL7’s modern approach to connecting components in the health computing space. Unlike the HL7v2 message approach, FHIR is oriented to enabling applications connect to back-ends. It has been running for a few years now, and is doing good work on how to use REST, terminology, and generally make the application programmers experience better.
It is also over-hyped. That’s not mainly the fault, as far as I can tell, of the core developers but more of an industry exhausted by attempts to make HL7v3 work, but still desperate for solutions. Some of the hype would have you believe that FHIR solves all health informatics problems; common sense says this is not true. A lesser version of the hype would have you believe that FHIR solves all interoperability problems in health. A superficial inspection shows this is also not true. Both versions of the hype are leading some vendors, providers and even some government programmes astray.

Announcement: #FHIR publishing plans

Posted on January 16, 2016 by Grahame Grieve
At the Orlando meeting, the FHIR Management Group (FMG) made an important decision around the future plans for the FHIR specification.
In March 2015, the FMG decided to publish DSTU2 that covered the base infrastructure, and to plan to release a DSTU 2.1 that left the infrastructure unchanged, and filled out additional details around the Financial and workflow resources, for ballot in the May ballot.
We’ve been following that plan until the meeting in Orlando, but it was evident that we needed to reconsider our plans. There were two reasons why:
  • Resolving the issues around the workflow resources was taking longer than we hoped, and sticking to our plan would mean no connectathon testing of the redesign
  • There was ongoing pressure to make changes to resources that were frozen for DSTU 2.1
After consulting with as many stakeholders as we could, and considering the ramifications of waiting until the September ballot, FMG decided that we will no longer publish a DSTU 2.1 version. We will instead plan to ballot DSTU 3 in September, with a likely publication date late this year.

The upwardly mobile future of healthcare

The healthcare sector as we know it is undergoing a full examination, with digital practices transforming the ways medical professionals interact with their patients. Today, doctors have immediate access to tools that enable them to review patient data on-the-go, access databases and applications outlining drug and treatment options at their fingertips, and ultimately heighten response-times and management programs for patients in need.
The high uptake of bring your own device (BYOD) and wearable devices across the healthcare sector is not only benefiting doctors with more flexible ways of working — it’s also enabling the provision of faster diagnosis and superior care.
Mobility solutions have already made significant inroads into the health sector, seamlessly driving interactions from hospital room, to office, to clinic. Although, like any new business IT policy, the successful rollout of BYOD in an environment as sensitive as healthcare requires some significant thought and consideration.

ACT Health CIO Judy Redmond moves on after five years

Territory unveils packed IT schedule for successor.

The ACT government's health directorate is preparing to search for a new chief information officer after its IT leader of five years, Judy Redmond, vacated the position in December.
Warren Prentice, who previously was a program manager overseeing military platform integration at the Department of Defence, is serving as acting CIO following her departure.
Prentice has held various IT-related roles with the RAAF, Australian Army, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Attorney-General’s Department and Microsoft.

This Connection is Untrusted

You have asked Firefox to connect securely to, but we can't confirm that your connection is secure.
Normally, when you try to connect securely, sites will present trusted identification to prove that you are going to the right place. However, this site's identity can't be verified.
What Should I Do?
If you usually connect to this site without problems, this error could mean that someone is trying to impersonate the site, and you shouldn't continue.
Good it now Seems to be Fixed!

Google search puts NSW Medical Council on the wrong side of privacy laws

Shabby online redaction lands regulator in hot water.

A NSW tribunal has ruled that the state’s Medical Council breached privacy laws when it published what it thought was a redacted PDF document on its website, but in doing so revealed the hidden identities of a doctor and her son to Google's web crawling bot.
In April, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) will decide what penalties to apply to the NSW Medical Council for inadvertently publishing the names online, following a legal spat over the doctor's registration that had wound up in 2009.
The previous case had been settled between the parties and a non-publication order barred anyone involved from identifying the doctor and her sick son in the context of the litigation.

Centrelink and BoM glitches: Government technical problems blamed on 'chronic underfunding'

Date January 12, 2016 - 12:15AM

Noel Towell

Reporter for The Canberra Times

Computer glitches that raised more than 70,000 bogus welfare debts and the collapse of the vital weather bureau website are the result of "chronic underfunding" of government departments, the main public sector union says.
The Bureau of Meteorology said it recovered quickly after its main forecasting website crashed for several hours on Friday, as several bushfires burned around the nation.
Now the Community and Public Sector Union says there is a pattern of "computer glitches" emerging across the Commonwealth as cash-starved departments struggle to keep their systems functioning.
The BoM's website was hit with a "physical networking issue" early on Friday morning that prevented updates to its website, with the problems persisting well into the afternoon.

NEHTA eHealth Software Developer Community Webinar Series - Webinar invitation and Survey

Created on Thursday, 14 January 2016
NEHTA is running a series of webinars for organisations developing software to support the national eHealth programme, including accessing the My Health Record system and the Healthcare Identifiers service.
We are pleased to invite you to join the Connecting your software to the My Health Record system – Process and Resources webinar.
Connecting your software to the My Health Record system
Process and Resources
Wednesday 3 February 2016 1:30 pm (AEDT)
The Connecting your software to the My Health Record system webinar follows on from the first webinar Introduction to the national My Health Record system and will outline the steps for software developers to connect your system to the My Health Record system. It will also cover the resources available to support your implementation.

Global Health clinches e-health contract with Adelaide PHN

Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Adelaide based Global Health (ASX:GLH) signed a new contract for its MasterCare Electronic Medical Record with the Adelaide Primary Health Network.
Adelaide PHN has a goal of improving health outcomes and commissioning services.
Global Health works with state and federal programs to seek productivity improvements and optimise patient outcomes.

Global Health starts the year with two contract wins

e-health solutions provider Global Health has secured two major contracts – a $3 million five year contract with the ACT Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug Services (MHJADS) Electronic Clinical Record (ECR) project – and a contract with the Adelaide Primary Health Network (APHN) for the roll-out of MasterCare Electronic Medical Record (EMR).
The ACT Mental Health contract covers the licensing, implementation and ongoing support of the MasterCare Electronic Medical Record (EMR), MasterCare Data Warehouse software and reporting platform for the ACT Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug Services (MHJADS) Electronic Clinical Record (ECR) project.
MHJADS will use the MasterCare suite to integrate its clinical record management across all operations, and allows Alcohol & Drug Services and Justice Health Services to replace their paper-based clinical records, whilst Mental Health Services will benefit from an upgrade in their electronic clinical record capabilities.

Latest products, services and ventures

January 10, 2016
The Rust Report has created a new section announcing just-released products, services and initiatives new to the marketplace. For information regarding possible listings please email
Orion Health launches Rhapsody Version 6.2
Orion Health, a leading population health management and healthcare integration company, has announced the release of Rhapsody Integration Engine Version 6.2. The new version of Rhapsody delivers a number of customer focused innovations to help users work smarter. Plus, it builds on the FHIR capabilities introduced in Rhapsody 6.1, the first integration engine to implement the new HL7® Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard. The Rhapsody dashboard has been enhanced to provide at-a-glance monitoring via multiple channels such as a tablet, smart phone, and monitor.

What the NBN will look like in 2020

The national broadband network should presumably be rolled out by mid-2020 and the end result will inevitably dismay some and amaze others. It’s likely that the talk of selling NBN Co will be back on the agenda by then, along with a wholesale recognition of what this shallow version of the NBN truly represents.
By mid-2020 the NBN will have become critical infrastructure that underpins Australia’s slice of the $US1.36 trillion added to the global digital economy by the increased use of digital technologies globally. It’s a slice that will be significantly slimmer than what could have been garnered, courtesy of the deliberate manner in which the original NBN was hamstrung.
Public-private partnership
The NBN has polarised the nation and will fuel discontent for decades to come. It will certainly be seen as an object lesson in whether or not a government can be trusted to embark on large infrastructure projects without the overwhelming support of the major participants in the industry sector and a private industry partner.

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