Monday, July 11, 2016

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 11th July, 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

South Australia seems to have risen to the top of the news again with ongoing fears and discussion about just is what is going on. They must be keen to get out of the headlines again soon!
Other than SA was a very quiet week with the usual interesting things happening all over. Enjoy browsing. Great to see Graham Grieves’s book coming out!

SA could install legacy software at new Adelaide hospital

Continues to invest in old patient system just in case.

By Paris Cowan
Jul 6 2016 6:35AM
South Australian health bureaucrats will decide next month whether Adelaide’s newest hospital will run new patient administration software when it opens, or whether it will need to install a legacy solution as a back-up.
The state’s auditor general, Andrew Richardson, yesterday released his annual check-up on the rollout of SA’s enterprise patient administration system (EPAS) [pdf], revealing the government continues to sink money into stabilising its legacy acute patient management system (APMS) as a contingency for the new Royal Adelaide Hospital opening.
SA Health is due to decide next month whether the RAH hospital will be ready to take on the troubled EPAS before it opens its doors in November this year.
The recently completed implementation of EPAS at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital will act as a barometer for the system’s performance in a large and complex health environment and inform the nRAH determination.

Auditor-General reveals almost 4500 dead people received taxpayer-funded electricity concessions — some for 8 years

July 5, 2016 10:48pm
ALMOST 4500 dead people have received taxpayer-funded electricity concessions that may have continued for up to eight years after they passed away, the Auditor-General has found.
In two damning reports handed to State Parliament on Tuesday, Andrew Richardson revealed major flaws in the health and communities department, as Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis prepares to hand down his third Budget tomorrow.
In one report, Mr Richardson finds that the State Government has known since at least January that expected benefits of the Enterprise Patient Administration System have seriously deteriorated and that the almost $450 million program is now creating more financial harm than good.
The Opposition says the findings are evidence that the Government’s management of the State Budget and health system is in disarray, and has led to increases in taxes and levies.

SA's electronic health record system defended despite report finding further problems

By political reporter Angelique Donnellan, staff
July 5, 2016
The South Australian Government has defended the rollout of its electronic patient records system at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), despite an auditor-general's report identifying further problems with it.
The beleaguered $422 million system, known as EPAS, was intended to replace paper medical records but has been subject to glitches and delays.
Auditor-general Andrew Richardson said EPAS was now expected to face a $29 million funding shortfall, while $152 million in savings were unlikely to be realised.
His investigation revealed 103 defects with the system - five rated as critical, 40 as high, 49 as medium and nine as low.

EPAS set to break Half Billion Barrier

Wednesday 06 July 2016
The State Liberals are demanding Health Minister Jack Snelling come clean on the total cost of his botched EPAS project as it is now inevitable that the project cost will exceed $500 million.
Yesterday, the Auditor-General confirmed that the cost of EPAS had blown out to $450 million by the end of last year.
Originally, it was going to cost $215million. [1]
“Clearly the ultimate price of EPAS will be a great deal more than the $450 million it has already cost,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.
“It will cost more than $40 million to roll out EPAS to country hospitals and that figure isn’t included in the $450 million spent to date.”

SA govt finally starts move off unlicensed hospital software

By Paris Cowan on Jul 7, 2016 5:33PM

Funds transition plan as copyright trial looms.

South Australia has found space in its 2016 budget to pay for the first stage of the migration of its regional hospitals off long out-of-date CHIRON patient administration software.
The software is currently at the heart of a bitter court battle between the state and vendor Global Health, which refused to sell the SA hospitals any more licences for CHIRON beyond March 2015.
The 1980s green screen product was superseded in 2003.
However, with no transition plan in place, the 12 regional hospitals have continued using the system, triggering a copyright lawsuit that is due to be heard in early December 2016.

Principles of Health Interoperability SNOMED CT, HL7 and #FHIR (Edition 3)

Posted on July 7, 2016 by Grahame Grieve
I’m pleased to announce that the 3rd edition of “Principles of Health Interoperability” is now available. Tim Benson wrote the first 2 editions, with coverage of V2, V3, CDA, and SNOMED CT, and he asked me to join with him for the 3rd edition, and provide a section on FHIR.  I’m really glad to say that it’s finally come to fruition, and the book is now available.
Dr John Halamka very kindly wrote a foreword for the book. Quoting from it:
Health Interoperability is a must read for policymakers, technology leaders and industry implementers.    The book distills thousands of pages of standards into the essential information you need to know.  The addition of the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) make the 3rd edition even better than the 2nd edition.   FHIR will enable an ecosystem of apps, which layer on top of existing EHRs, reduce the cost of interfacing and accelerate innovation.

Hackers are coming for your healthcare records -- here’s why

One in 13 patients will have their records stolen after a healthcare provider data breach
Data stolen from a bank quickly becomes useless once the breach is discovered and passcodes are changed. But data from the healthcare industry, which includes both personal identity and medical histories, can live a lifetime.
Cyberattacks will cost hospitals more than $305 billion over the next five years and one in 13 patients will have their data compromised by a hack, according to industry consultancy Accenture.
And a study by the Brookings Institute predicts that one in four data breaches this year will hit healthcare.
The recent study by Brookings showed that since late 2009, the medical information of more than 155 million American's has been exposed without their permission through about 1,500 breaches.

Google teams with UK eye hospital on AI disease diagnosis

Google DeepMind will look deep into the eyes of UK eye hospital patients to provide early warning of sight loss
Peter Sayer (IDG News Service) 06 July, 2016 00:38
Google's DeepMind AI business unit is hoping to teach computers to diagnose eye disease, using patient data from a U.K. hospital.
Using deep learning techniques, DeepMind hopes to improve diagnosis of two eye conditions: age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, both of which can lead to sight loss. If these conditions are detected early enough, patients' sight can be saved.
One way doctors look for signs of these diseases is by examining the interior of the eye, opposite the lens, an area called the fundus. They can do this either directly, with an ophthalmoscope, or by taking a digital fundus scan. Another diagnostic technique is to take a non-invasive three-dimensional scan of the retina using process called optical coherence tomography (OCT).
The project began when a consultant ophthalmologist at the hospital, Pearse Keane, asked DeepMind for help with the time-consuming process of analyzing the scans. If interpretation of the scans could be speeded up with computer assistance, then doctors would be able to treat more patients.

Google training AI to detect disease through UK eye scans

By Paris Cowan on Jul 6, 2016 4:51PM

Future healthcare delivered by Dr DeepMind.

Google's artificial intelligence research arm has been handed the keys to a database of one million de-identified eye scans collected by a UK hospital, in the hope it can train its algorithm to detect the early stages of eye disease.
London's Moorfields Eye Hospital has inked a five-year agreement with Google’s DeepMind business to design new software to speed up the analysis of the complex images.
Analysing detailed eye scans is a significant drag on a health professional’s time, and the kinds of software tools available on the market today cannot be relied upon to reach the same conclusions.
Moorfields says it collects roughly 3000 optical coherence tomography - a 3D scan of the layers making up the retina - images every week.

Receptionist used patient Medicare numbers in $189k fraud

7 July 2016
A QUEENSLAND medical receptionist who used the Medicare numbers of 518 patients to fraudulently claim $189,000 has lost a bid to reduce her jail time.
At one stage Kristy Marie Buckman had been visiting her practice out-of-hours to process claims and was receiving up to $5750 a week from Medicare.
Buckman, who used the money to fund drug and gambling habits, was given a three-year jail sentence - with provision for release in 14 months - in January after pleading guilty to three counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.
She was already serving an eight-month minimum sentence over previous medical fraud which gained her $35,000.

MedAdvisor platform picks up pace

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM July 5, 2016

David Swan

ASX-listed digital medical start-up MedAdvisor says it is ready to capitalise on the $665 billion problem of medicine adherence, with its platform now connected to 30 per cent of Australia’s pharmacies and about 180,000 patients.
“We make sure patients can manage their medication in advance without having to go to a pharmacy, in a completely automatic way,” CEO Robert Read told The Australian.
“We basically visualise on an internet connected device all the medications you’ve got at the pharmacy and your prescription history. We’re helping improve adherence to medication, enabling people to understand their medications better and reminding them to take their meds when they need to, too.”
Mr Read, an experienced private equity and venture capital investor and director who has held senior roles with ANZ Private ­Equity and St George VC, said there was evidence from the UN showing in developed countries there was only 50 per cent adherence to long-term therapies, meaning effectively half of prescribed medication went to waste.

Medibank data bungle delays customer tax returns

By Allie Coyne on Jul 7, 2016 9:19AM

Doesn't know when it will be able to send out statements.

Medibank has informed customers that there will be an unidentified delay to the arrival of their tax statements following a data migration bungle in its $150 million technology renewal project.
The health insurer today said a "reporting issue" meant it won't make its July 15 deadline for sending out annual tax statements to most of its customer base.
Medibank is currently nearing the end of a $150 million systems overhaul that involves the replacement of its core policy and customer relationship management systems.
With the help of integrator IBM and software partner SAP, Medibank is swapping out its customer, policy, premium and product management systems with a single, integrated commercial insurance software suite.

Medibank data migration causes tax-time delay for customers

Health insurer blames delay on ‘major technology upgrade’
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 07 July, 2016 10:13
Most of Medibank’s customers will be unable to file their tax returns with the Australian Taxation Office until a tech glitch is resolved, the health insurer revealed today.
Medibank said the issue was related to a “major technology upgrade” and a related data migration process which had led to a reporting issue that will delay the company from issuing annual tax statements to the majority of customers.
“I sincerely apologise to our customers for this disruption. It is important for customers to know their personal data has not been compromised,” Medibank CEO Craig Drummond said in a statement.
“Our team is working around the clock to resolve this issue, and I want to assure customers that our focus is on minimising the impact this will have on them,” Mr Drummond said.

Medibank system glitch could delay completion of tax returns

Medibank has assured its customers it is working around the clock to fix a problem with its systems, but has warned the problems are likely to prevent it providing annual tax statements to a majority of its customers by 15 July.
The health insurer puts the glitch in its systems down to a major technology upgrade and problems with customer data migration, while “sincerely apologising” and reassuring its members that their personal data has not been compromised.
According to the website notification, Medibank says there was a “reporting issue” uncovered during the upgrade implementation which is nearing completion.
In an apology posted on Medibank’s website, chief executive Craig Drummond says, “unfortunately the majority of our members will likely experience a delay in receiving their 2016 tax statement from Medibank by 15 July. We can’t tell right now when impacted members will receive their statement but please be assured we are working as hard as we can to minimise any delay. We will contact any affected members directly”.

Will lung ultrasound replace stethoscopes and X-rays?

Antony Scholefield | 5 July, 2016 | 
Researchers say lung ultrasound scans could supersede the stethoscope and chest X-rays to diagnose pulmonary oedema caused by heart failure.
Specialist emergency medicine physician Dr Kylie Baker, from Ipswich Hospital in Queensland, spent more than four years studying the efficacy of ultrasound for diagnosing the cause of lung problems.
Lung ultrasounds have 80-95% accuracy in distinguishing heart failure from other conditions, compared with just 65% for chest X-rays, she claims, based on her five articles in the Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine between 2013 and 2015.
Ultrasounds could especially benefit rural doctors who don’t have easy access to X-ray technology, she says, because of their portability.

Mobile Applications To Enhance Self-Management Of Gout


•Consumers, especially those with chronic diseases, are increasingly adopting electronic tools and applications to manage their health.
•There are currently six applications (‘apps’) on the Apple and Google Play app stores that are available to gout patients to help them to manage their condition.
•Of the currently available gout self-management apps, only one incorporated all the elements recommended for successful patient self-management of gout, such as serum urate tracking and patient education. However this app asked users to print out documents in order to record their results.
•Currently, no completely electronic app is available to help gout patients better manage their disease.

Advance Care Directives and My Health Record

04 July 2016
Advance Care Directives and advance care plans are important documents which represent you and your wishes when you can no longer make decisions- such as when you might be unconscious near the end of your life. However, a practical problem inherent in these paper based documents is that they are often not available to your loved ones or representatives, or to your doctors, at times when you most need them- such as when you might arrive in a hospital emergency department. And this may lead to treatment being provided to you which does not align with your wishes.
To solve this problem, the national My Health Record System (a secure online medical record system previously known as the Personally Controlled Health Record) has now added a new functionality allowing individuals to scan and upload their Advance Care Directive or advance care plan to their individual My Health Record. So, in situations where you might be admitted to hospital in an emergency, your doctors will be able to view your medical history, but also understand your wishes or be aware of who your substituted decision-makers are.  In this way, you will be able to be provided with care that will better align with your wishes, including near the end of your life.

My Health Record ‘opt-out’ trial in Queensland and New South Wales

My Health Record is a secure online health information summary that can be viewed by treating healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists across Australia if their patient or client has given them access.
A My Health Record 'opt-out' trial is currently underway in the Nepean Blue Mountains and Northern Queensland.
People living in the trial areas have had a My Health Record automatically created for them unless they chose not to participate.
If you have DVA patients or clients in these areas, they may be part of the trial.
My Health Record enables information about your patient’s or client’s allergies, medical conditions and treatments, medicine details and test or scan reports to be digitally stored in one place. It includes a ‘Veteran and Australian Defence Force (ADF) Status’ indicator which can help you identify patients who may be eligible for DVA services.

Smartphone health data slammed as 'voodoo machine learning'

Date July 6, 2016

Andrew Masterson

The widespread use of smartphones to collect healthcare data has been thrown into doubt by a couple of recent studies.
In some fields — such as the management of chronic diseases and mental health monitoring smartphones have enabled a greater level of patient self-control, and personalised clinical intervention. Success in one area, however, does not imply success in all – especially as smartphone health apps are often rolled out before evidence of their effectiveness has been rigorously analysed.
A major study into the use of mobile phone data as a tool for predicting clinical decisions, released in June, came to a scathing conclusion, characterising the practice as "voodoo machine learning".
The research, led by Dr Sohrob Saeb, artificial intelligence researcher at Northwestern University, Illinois, looked at methods used by doctors to validate clinical predictions made by machine learning algorithms based on smartphone data. The methods, they found, "often massively overestimate the prediction accuracy of the algorithms".

Department of Health on the hunt for data analytics panel

The Australian Department of Health plans to extend its existing data analytics capabilities with the establishment of a health data analytics panel in September.
By Aimee Chanthadavong | July 8, 2016 -- 02:30 GMT (12:30 AEST) | Topic: Big Data Analytics
The Australian Department of Health is looking to establish a health data analytics panel to provide a range of data analytic services to support the department.
The department has gone to tender [PDF] saying a key objective of the panel will be to supplement its existing data analytics staff and capabilities, while assisting it to evaluate new and emerging analysis methods.
In addition, the panel will be responsible for delivering trial and evaluation services of self-service data reporting and analytic tools, such as those that assist economic, statistical, and location-based analysis; project management services for data analytics projects; services to collect, collate, and prepare data for data analysis projects; and services to communicate the results of data analysis.

APNA delegates on the benefits of My Health Record system

Created on Thursday, 07 July 2016
The Agency recently spoke to a number of delegates at the Australian Primary Nurses Australia (APNA) Conference 2016 about the benefits of the My Health Record system.
Watch the playlist below to see what they had to say.

Magnetic brain stimulation can help treat drug-resistant depression, study finds

Date July 9, 2016 - 12:49AM

Bridie Smith

Science Editor, The Age

John Campbell has depression. Diagnosed in 2011, the 58-year-old motor mechanic has been unable to work for two-and-a-half years.
It’s made me so much better...I have a future to look forward to. 
John Campbell
Next month he'll return to the workplace, following successful treatment as part of a clinical trial into a non-invasive form of brain stimulation known as transcranial magnetic stimulation.
According to the results of a new study, the once-controversial method of beaming magnetic fields into the frontal areas of the brain saw one third of the 1132 patients with severe depression go into remission.
Mr Campbell admits he was apprehensive about TMS initially but decided to go ahead with the trial because he wanted relief from the same debilitating condition that had dogged his father and stolen his brother at age 45.

Medicare points to new era of IT partnerships

  • Antony Harrowell
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM July 5, 2016
Unwrapping the parcels of election campaigns at times delivers unexpected presents — some ignite a flame of intrigue and discussion while others are fizzers, failing to ignite at all. So in a dreary eight-week campaign that failed to capture the imagination there was one gift that added some spark to the fog of boredom in which we were enshrined — “Mediscare”.
For six weeks, the hustings trod were a vanilla route of the same old same old — nothing special, nothing new and nothing exciting, until the idea the Liberals were thinking of privatising Medicare was flagged by Labor. Bill Shorten ran a scare campaign that made Medicare a political football and certainly swayed enough voters to almost deliver him the keys to the lodge.
Medicare is Australia’s healthcare icon, it’s the safety net guaranteeing Australians access to medical and hospital services and the benchmark on which countries globally seek to model their health systems.
It’s an essential service, not an asset-based utility, so privatising Medicare will not at any point deliver a gain. This in itself creates a mechanism of self-regulation that ensures no Australian government would sign its own death warrant and have itself banished to political obscurity by so doing.

Who will be Queensland Health's next CIO?

By Allie Coyne on Jul 7, 2016 10:26AM

Candidates line up to tackle meaty IT challenges.

Queensland's health department is hunting for a chief information officer willing to take on a massive program of work in the wake of Colin McCririck's departure.
The CIO of Queensland Health also serves as the chief executive of the department's $485 million tech arm, eHealth Queensland, reporting to director-general Michael Walsh.
From tomorrow, that role will become vacant when former IT chief McCririck leaves to take up a job with IBM in the United States.
The health department is now searching [pdf] for a successor, who will be its fourth IT boss since mid-2014.

NZHIT, Orion Health and Ryman Healthcare affirm benefits of Microsoft Cloud services for NZ

Posted on 8-Jul-2016 19:10. | Filed under: NewsSaaS.
New Zealand health organisations have today welcomed the Ministry of Health’s official acceptance this week of Microsoft’s Trusted Public Cloud services for advancing the country’s electronic health service capabilities. 
The announcement by Microsoft New Zealand, confirms that Microsoft’s core cloud services Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online, have met the Ministry’s requirements for storage of personal health information.  
Barrie Sheers, Managing Director for Microsoft New Zealand, says the Ministry of Health’s decision to accept the use of Microsoft’s public cloud will be transformative for the eHealth agenda in New Zealand. 
“New Zealand’s health tech industry is today worth $1.3B to the local economy, and our country significantly punches above its weight on the international stage with health tech innovation,” says Sheers. 

After five-year voyage, Juno space probe almost ready to orbit Jupiter

Date July 4, 2016 - 2:21PM
A US spacecraft is due to arrive at the planet Jupiter after a five-year journey on a mission to provide clues about the formation of the solar system.
The Juno spacecraft is set to fire its engines at 1.20pm on Tuesday AEDT for a 35-minute manoeuvre to place it into orbit around the solar system's largest planet as researchers watch from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Researchers will await the results of the tricky move with a three-second long radio signal announcing if the craft has been successful.
Juno is to orbit the planet 37 times over the course of the next 20 months, coming the closest of any spacecraft ever to the planet, grazing Jupiter's highest clouds just 5000 kilometres from the surface.

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