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, October 31, 2016

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 31st October, 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

This week has essentially been ‘stuff-up’ central with all sorts of bad things happening all over!
Additionally we have the pharmacists saying the myHR is hardly up to scratch and hospitals blowing poor patients up with oxygen connected to the wrong tubes….heavens above….
Read and be amazed!
Thank heavens for some apparently good news on secure messaging!

Why pharmacists are saying no to the e-health system

25 October, 2016 Tessa Hoffman 
The government’s $1 billion e-health record system could be heading for white-elephant status in community pharmacy – with fewer than 5% using it in any given week.
Only about 1250 pharmacies are registered for the system, previously known as PEHCR and now called My Health Record. And only 20% of these view or upload information in any seven-day period, according to the department of health.
It says that once fully rolled out, the system will enable automatic uploading of dispensing information to a patient’s e-record. Pharmacists will be able to view a patient’s medical history – including shared health summaries and hospital discharge documents.
This would improve efficiency and reduce the risk of medicines misadventure, says the health department. But it admits that only 45% of pharmacies have software that’s compatible with the system.
  • October 28 2016 - 9:30PM

Red Cross data leak: personal data of 550,000 blood donors made public

Tom McIlroy
Fergus Hunter
Rania Spooner
The private lives of half a million Australians – including sexual and medical histories – have been made public in what could be one of the country's largest data breaches.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service staff are contacting more than 550,000 blood donors whose personal information was contained in a file accidentally placed on an unsecured, public-facing part of their website.
The information relates to donors from 2010 to 2016 and includes names, addresses and dates of birth as well as sensitive donation eligibility questions concerning sexual activity, drug use, weight and medical conditions.

Australia's biggest data breach sees 1.3m records leaked

By Allie Coyne on Oct 28, 2016 12:00PM

Medical data exposed.

More than one million personal and medical records of Australian citizens donating blood to the Red Cross Blood Service have been exposed online in the country’s biggest and most damaging data breach to date.
A 1.74 GB file containing 1.28 million donor records going back to 2010, published to a publicly-facing website, was discovered by an anonymous source and sent to security expert and operator of haveibeenpwned.com Troy Hunt early on Tuesday morning.
The database was uncovered through a scan of IP address ranges configured to search for publicly exposed web servers that returned directory listings containing .sql files.
The contents of the 'mysqldump' database backup contains everything from personal details (name, gender, physical and email address, phone number, date of birth and occasionally blood type and country of birth) to sensitive medical information, like whether someone has engaged in at-risk sexual behaviour in the last year.

Contractor behind Australia's biggest-ever data breach revealed

By Allie Coyne on Oct 28, 2016 4:25PM

Exclusive: How human error exposed 550,000 donors.

Over four frantic days that must have felt like mere minutes, the Red Cross Blood Service has been battling to deal with a data breach that exposed the sensitive personal and medical records of 550,000 of its donors online.
An anonymous individual stumbled across the 1.74GB file containing 1.28 million records while scanning IP address ranges for publicly exposed web servers containing .sql files.
The Red Cross Blood Service became aware of the blunder on Tuesday morning through a chain of communications that included security researcher Troy Hunt and Australia’s computer emergency response team AusCERT.

Veteran's Affairs races to stave off IT catastrophe

By Paris Cowan on Oct 25, 2016 10:53AM

Overhaul to cost 'hundreds of millions'.

Department of Veteran’s Affairs boss Simon Lewis says his agency’s pending IT transformation is expected to cost “hundreds of millions” of dollars, as the department races to get its IT shop in order before legacy applications collapse.
DVA is currently working with PriceWaterhouseCoopers on a business case to convince cabinet to fund the overhaul, which it estimates will take around five years.
The $8 million paid to the consultants comes out of $24.8 million DVA got in the last budget to fund a blueprint for its “veteran-centric reform”, to be underpinned by a fundamental modernisation of the department’s IT systems and business processes.

Are GPs ready to embrace ultrasound technology?

Antony Scholefield | 28 October, 2016 | 
Due to ultrasound's shrinking price and size, the technology is being touted as a good option for general practice. But is real change afoot?
Some machines that go ‘ping' have proven revolutionary in medicine, and perhaps none more so than the ultrasound.
Ultrasound's first use on patients came via 1940s' quackery — ultrasonic energy administered as a therapy for a variety of common ailments, from arthritis, eczema and asthma to haemorrhoids and urinary incontinence.
But scientists in Europe at the time were also recognising its possibilities as a diagnostic tool, with early experiments attempting to locate exudates and abscesses, and even brain tumours although this was less successful.

Thodey, Bassat back UHG health info bridge technology

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM October 25, 2016

Damon Kitney

Seek chief executive Andrew Bassat and former Telstra CEO and now CSIRO chairman David Thodey have taken strategic stakes in a Melbourne health technology company allowing corporations, doctors and insurers to share medical records online.
Unified Healthcare Group, whose “medEbridge’’ online platform is used to send requests for medical reports and files from insurers to doctors, is now preparing to launch a multi-million-dollar capital raising to bankroll its growth plans after securing the support of Mr Bassat and Mr Thodey.
In June the company secured the exclusive support from the Royal Australian College of GPs for the exchange of health information from GPs to businesses and government agencies.
“The support of the RACGP, the peak body representing the 30,000-plus GPs, is very important for UHG to achieve its objectives to improve the interactions between businesses and healthcare providers,’’ said UHG chief executive Brandon Carp.

HFC Catalyst health-tech accelerator programme returns

If you are a health entrepreneur, expert or specialist, the HFC Health-tech programme may help start-ups and others to accelerate their use of technology in the healthcare industry.
HFC’s Catalyst programme has returned for a second year, building on the success of the pilot programme developed with Slingshot last year. iTWire has a report on its launch here and the results here.
HCF Catalyst is now accepting applications from health entrepreneurs, experts, and other specialists to participate in a 12-week structured programme designed to develop compelling business models and secure the traction, viability, and investment needed to succeed.

Disease threat unchecked as School vaccination register faces a delay

Sue Dunlevy, National Health Reporter, News Corp Australia Network
October 30, 2016 12:00am
VITAL immunisation information that will help prevent killer disease outbreaks may not be available because of a delay in awarding a tender for the new Australian School Vaccination Register.
Two months before it’s due to start the federal government has yet to award a tender for the register that will remind high school students about key school based vaccines and identify areas with low immunisation.
The $26.4 million program was meant to begin on January 1 2017 and is a fundamental part of the government’s No Jab No Play policy introduced in response to News Corp’s campaign to improve immunisation rates.

SA Health’s EPAS record ‘confusing’, could damage coronial inquests, State Coroner says

Andrew Hough, The Advertiser
October 24, 2016 8:55pm
THE state’s controversial new electronic patient medical system is “confusing” and its complex hard copy records almost indecipherable, the State Coroner has warned.
Mark Johns on Monday raised concerns about the potential negative impacts the Enterprise Patient Administration System could have on important coronial inquests.
The Coroners Court heard that among medical blunders was the contentious EPAS system failing during critical moments.

Former Socceroo Stephen Herczeg died after oxygen tube connected to catheter caused bladder to burst, coroner hears

A former Socceroo died in an Adelaide hospital last month after his oxygen supply was connected to his catheter causing his bladder to burst and lungs to collapse, a coronial inquest hears.
Stephen Herczeg, 72, was South Australia's first World Cup qualifying Socceroo in 1965, but his death on September 19 this year at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is now the subject of a coronial inquest.
The inquest, being held before State Coroner Mark Johns, also heard hospital staff could not access Mr Herczeg's resuscitation status because of problems with SA Health's new electronic records system, EPAS.
The court heard Mr Herczeg suffered from a number of health problems, including lung disease, and had a catheter in place due to urinary retention problems.

No access to records as Socceroo was dying

- on October 28, 2016, 3:12 pm
A former Socceroo who suffered an agonising death in an Adelaide hospital had a "not for resuscitation" status but medical staff had trouble accessing his records and attempted CPR, a nurse says.
Steve Herczeg died in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on September 19 because his urinary catheter had somehow become attached to an oxygen supply, bursting his bladder and collapsing his lungs.
Enrolled nurse Kayla Woodward has told an inquest that medical staff performed CPR for about 13 minutes before she gained access to the electronic patient records, and efforts to revive Mr Herczeg were stopped.

How rural health practitioners are using e-health for palliative care

27 October, 2016 Carmel Sparke  
Rural health practitioners are using Skype to care for terminally ill patients who wish to die at home.
The innovative palliative care scheme in Queensland aims to provide rural patients with the same quality of care they would receive in the city, says Olivia Carey, clinical nurse manager of the medical palliative care unit at St Andrews Hospital, Toowoomba.   
Ms Carey set up the program two years ago and presented details on more than 20 case studies at the Rural Doctors Association of Australia annual conference in Canberra last week.  

Google just made GP-led telehealth a whole lot easier

Antony Scholefield | 25 October, 2016 | 
Some GPs wish there was a magic word that could dispel all the technical issues that are preventing telehealth from taking off. Could that magic word be “gRPC 1.0”?
GP and software developer Dr Joe Logan has helped develop a telehealth system called Air Health — a system that is sold as more secure than Skype.
He says a big positive during its development was when Google released open-source software called gRPC 1.0 so that anybody could work with it.

Digital Health Agency responds to calls to fix electronic messaging

Created on Wednesday, 26 October 2016
The Australian Digital Health Agency is launching a major program with the medical software industry and healthcare providers to realise the direct benefits for providers and their patients of using secure, electronic messaging for communicating with other health professionals.
"I have been listening to key partners in the community on their aspirations for the Digital Health Agency and ways it can support key health priorities in Australia," CEO Tim Kelsey said.
"I have had hundreds of conversations with patient and public advocates, leaders in public and private health services, the clinical community, industry, peak bodies and innovators. I have met with frontline professionals and service-users who have taken me through ways in which digital technology can support them better.
28 October, 2016

Secure messaging: the great leap forward?

Posted by Julie Lambert
A team of outsiders, led by Melbourne GP Dr Nathan Pinskier, will oversee the development of secure electronic messaging for the medical profession so that doctors can finally set a bonfire of the faxes.
Australian Digital Health Agency chief Tim Kelsey said interoperable secure messaging was the top digital-health priority to permit healthcare professionals to communicate with each other easily, safely and routinely.
“Many of the problems we have to resolve are not straightforward ones.  I think we all have recognise this is going to be small steps, small steps to build confidence,” Kelsey told the RACGP eHealth Forum last week.
He acknowledged a “history of disappointment” in digital health in Australia, saying he worried that people were fatigued by the overselling of the digital technology in healthcare.
24 October, 2016

Can one bloke change the fate of Australian health?

Posted by Jeremy Knibbs
With barely two months under his belt, but a tonne of kilometres already clocked up running around the country listening to stakeholders from all walks of the health spectrum, the new head of the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA), Tim Kelsey, is charged up and ready to fire the starting gun on what might be a new beginning for Australia’s health future – one with some semblance of sensible and practical digital health strategy development and execution.
If he could wrangle even half of the  herd of cats that has wandered our digital health landscape in the last few years – the federal regulators, software vendors (eg, patient management systems and secure messaging vendors), health service providers (eg, pathology labs), state government health department empires, the politicians, the GP and specialist lobby groups and the media –  it would be a promising start.
Today he announced the appointments of Associate Professor Meredith Makeham as the Chief Medical Advisor to the ADHA and Dr Steve Hambleton, a key player and digital health influencer and a past AMA president, as the “Senior Responsible Owner” for a number of high-priority clinical digital programs for the ADHA.

Clinical experts join new digital health agency

By Andrew Sadauskas on Oct 24, 2016 6:27PM

Researcher, former AMA president claim posts.

The federal government has recruited two leading medical professionals to senior roles at the Australian Digital Health Agency to help oversee the revised implementation of personal electronic health records in Australia.
Macquarie University associate professor Meredith Makeham has been appointed as ADHA’s chief medical adviser. The new role is responsible for engaging with researchers in the design, build and evaluation of digital health services.
Makeham is a member of the WHO safer primary care working group and a member of the representative expert committee for e-health and practice systems with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.
Separately, Steve Hambleton has been named the first in a series of non-executive ‘senior responsible owners’ who will lead clinical priority programs within the agency, with additional SROs expected to be appointed over the coming weeks.

Clinical Leaders to join Digital Health Agency

Created on Monday, 24 October 2016
The Australian Digital Health Agency has today announced the appointments of Associate Professor Meredith
 Makeham and Dr Steve Hambleton.
Leading patient safety advocate Associate Professor Meredith Makeham takes on the role of Chief Medical 
Adviser in which she will lead the development of initiatives to ensure that digital health services are designed
, built and evaluated in partnership with the research community in Australia and internationally.  
 Associate Professor Makeham, a practising GP, will be a member of the Australian Digital Health Agency’s
 executive leadership team and will provide advice in her areas of expertise including patient safety, 
clinical governance, risk management, and digital health and safety research.
“It’s a great honour for me to join the Australian Digital Health Agency.  As a clinician and a researcher,
 I see first-hand the immense value that digital health technologies can offer people and their care 
professionals, and their fundamental importance in our aims to deliver better health outcomes to Australians”, 
she said.

Real-time prescription monitoring can’t work alone

Authored by Nicole MacKee
A LEADING addiction specialist has warned that introducing the proposed Commonwealth developed and funded Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs (ERRCD) system across Australia, without improving access to addiction services and agreement on the “flags” of misuse, has the potential to do more harm than good.
In September 2016, at a Council of Australian Governments Health Council meeting, Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley urged all state and territory Health Ministers to adopt a national real-time prescription monitoring system that alerts doctors and pharmacists to people who are misusing prescription drugs by doctor or pharmacy shopping.
However, Professor Nick Lintzeris, Clinical Professor, Discipline of Addiction Medicine at the University of Sydney, said that prescription monitoring was an important component in a response to prescription opioid misuse in Australia, but warned: “On its own – don’t do it.”

EPAS Program Manager

  • Department for Health & Ageing, Adelaide CBD
  • Indicative Total Remuneration: $126,911 – Temp F/T (up to 29/12/2017) – MAS3
You will be directly responsible for managing the delivery of specific projects that relate to critical Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS) priorities and goals. You will be required to plan, lead, coordinate, control and manage timely, high quality and cost effective projects and provide expert advice and consultancy services. You will also be required to lead, manage and monitor staff as required such as IT contractors, suppliers and consultants. As the Program Manager, you will provide authoritative advice, leadership, and manage the coordination of the operational outcomes for the EPAS Program, including management of outcomes, milestones and associated documents required to successfully complete this project of work. This position provides the critical conduit to enable and facilitate high level communication channels, collaboration and coordination of functional and operational streams within SA Health, as well as providing the key interface between SA Health and Allscripts.
HaBIC Seminar Series 2016

A big-bang EMR implementation at RCH

The Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre is pleased to invite you to this seminar on EMR implementation. RCH was the first hospital in Australasia to implement the Epic system and went live with this fully integrated EMR across the entire hospital in April 2016. We will present details of what was delivered and the implementation process.
Prof Mike South - Chief Medical Information Officer, The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne
Jackie McLeod - EMR Project Director, The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne

Magnetic field to help detect deadly disease

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM October 28, 2016

Paige Taylor

Researchers from Western Australia, Queensland and Brazil have collaborated to invent a simple and cheap prototype that detects the early stages of a globally devastating parasitic disease considered second only to malaria.
The syringe-like device uses a magnetic field to detect tiny amounts of the parasite eggs that cause schistosomiasis in humans.
Schistosomiasis may initially have no symptoms but eventually causes debilitating organ damage and can be deadly if left untreated. It affects 250 million people a year and is most prevalent in poorer and rural parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. However, it is curable if detected early.
  • October 26 2016 - 9:37AM

Census debacle laid bare: Malcolm Turnbull to decide which heads will roll

Peter Martin
Stephanie Peatling
The Prime Minister's special adviser on cyber security has told the Senate the denial of service attacks on the census website were small and predictable and should not have brought it down on census night.
Malcolm Turnbull now has the report Alastair MacGibbon conducted on behalf of the Prime Minister to determine "which heads will roll and when" as a result of the the debacle.

IBM and ABS share census blame

The cyber attacks on census night were minor and should have been easily repelled, says the Prime Minister's cyber security adviser.
"They were indeed small attacks," Mr MacGibbon told a Senate committee on Tuesday. "The attacks were around three gigabits per second. To have some comparison, it's not uncommon now to see attacks of 100 gigabits per second, and some of the attacks against some of the internet infrastructure such as domain name servers are up to 1000 gigabits per second.

Global IT spending projected to grow 2.9 percent to US3.5 trillion in 2017

October 24, 2016
Gartner forecasts worldwide IT spending to total $3.4 trillion in 2016, a0.3 percent decline from last year. In 2017, global IT spending is projected to grow 2.9 percent and reach $3.5 trillion. Analysts said this growth will be driven by the software and IT services segments. Worldwide spending on software is projected to grow 7.2 percent, and IT services 4.8 percent. Software and IT services will be key to the development of the civilization infrastructure.
Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of Research, said that this civilization infrastructure will be the most important thing IT accomplishes in the next decade. “Civilization infrastructure will forever change the way people engage socially, digitally, and physically through connected sensors and digital intelligence”, Mr. Sondergaard said.
This civilization infrastructure will be a new digital platform that extends beyond traditional IT infrastructure using new technologies not familiar to the typical IT department. “Your new digital platform will allow you to participate in the evolving world of business, government, and consumer ecosystems because ecosystems are the next evolution for digital. It’s how you compete at scale”, Mr. Sondergaard said.

Australian IT spending to hit $85b in 2017: Gartner

Growth in the software and IT services market is driving up IT spending in Australia to a forecast total spend of almost $85 billion in 2017 on the back of organisations undertaking major digital platform transformations.
According to Gartner, the forecast figure of $85 billion (A$) represents a 2.8% increase in spending from this year.
Gartner revealed the forecasts for the Australian market at its Symposium/IT Expo on the Gold Coast on Tuesday, while reporting that global IT spending, also driven by growth in software and IT services revenue, is forecast to reach US$3.5 trillion in 2017, up 2.9%  from 2016 estimated spending of $3.4 trillion.

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