Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Monday, February 27, 2017

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 27th February, 2017.

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

Quite a lot happening with Telstra Health seemingly under close scrutiny and an ongoing lot of stuff around new apps and happenings with the ADHA. Lots to scan.
24 February, 2017

Disarray over cervical screening delay

The government’s surprise decision to postpone the roll-out of the National Cancer Screening Register has thrown pathology labs into chaos, and look set to delay test results further.
With many cytologists set to leave their jobs in the next few months, the announcement that the renewal of the cervical cancer screening program, which was set to start on May 1, will be delayed indefinitely has caught stakeholders out of the blue.
Despite being the director of the biggest cervical cancer screening laboratory in Australia, Adjunct Professor Annabelle Farnsworth said her team was only notified of the delay late on Tuesday.

Telstra-built national cancer register running months behind schedule

By Allie Coyne on Feb 24, 2017 3:24PM

Delays impact bowel cancer, cervical screens.

A complex data migration process has delayed the launch of Australia's Telstra-built national cancer register, stalling national screening programs for bowel and cervical cancer as a result.
The Commonwealth's chief medical officer Brendon Murphy yesterday revealed the national cancer screening register would not go live by its planned March 2017 commencement date. It is currently running at least two months behind schedule.
Murphy blamed the setback on the "complexity of assimilating and migrating data from eight state and territory cancer registers into one register".

National Cancer Screening Register - Statement by Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendon Murphy

Due to the complexity of assimilating and migrating data from eight state and territory cancer registers into one register, the start date for Australia’s first National Cancer Screening Register has been delayed.
Page last updated: 23 February 2017
23 February 2017
Due to the complexity of assimilating and migrating data from eight state and territory cancer registers into one register, the start date for Australia’s first National Cancer Screening Register has been delayed.
Since May 2016, the Federal Department of Health has been working closely with its program partners, including Telstra Health, the contracted Service Provider, states and territories, healthcare providers, the Department of Human Services and others to deliver the national register to begin operating from March 2017.

Privacy laws have just changed — here are 5 things doctors should know

20 February 2017


Last week, the Senate passed the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 which means organisations that determine they have been breached or have lost data will need to notify affected patients as soon as they become aware of a breach and report the incident to the Privacy Commissioner.
The legislation stipulates that each notification must include a description of the breach, the type of information involved, and how patients should respond to the data breach. Failing to notify may result in penalties including fines of $360,000 for individuals and $1.8 million for organisations.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is also empowered to require the entity to make a public apology or pay compensation to affected individuals.

Coming soon: federal boost for rural health and a new e-health plan

Stephen Easton / February 22, 2017
The Commonwealth will establish a new Rural Health Commissioner and “redesign” the federally funded network of independent rural health workforce agencies, as it puts the best part of $100 million towards the perennial challenge of getting doctors to work outside metropolitan areas.
The federal government has put aside $4.4 million to get the commissioner up and running, and $93 million for the seven rural health workforce agencies to run new programs designed to attract and retain clinicians and allied health professionals in rural, regional and remote areas.
Assistant Minister for Health Dr David Gillespie said the new programs had been developed in consultation with the rural workforce agencies, which are located in each jurisdiction bar the ACT, and would begin mid-year after “a targeted grants round” to allocate the funding. He said very little about the “redesign” except that “access to essential primary health care, quality of access, and future planning to build a sustainable workforce” would be the focus.

Qld Health starts work on major SAP installation

By Paris Cowan on Feb 23, 2017 6:26AM

Take two.

All eyes will be on Queensland Health over the next two years as it attempts a new round of SAP ERP upgrades with a striking resemblance to its catastrophic $1.2 billion payroll replacement.
By December 2019, the health department hopes to have decommissioned its heavily customised, 20-year-old SAP R/3 4.6B ERP suite, and moved to a new on-premise version of the SAP S/4HANA solution.
It will be its second attempt at the upgrade.
A cancelled endeavour to replace the legacy systems - aborted in 2014-15 - cost the state $36.6 million.

Australian health nonprofit partners with Telstra Health

By Eden Estopace | 2017-02-22
Australia’s not-for-profit private healthcare provider Epworth HealthCare has partnered with Telstra Health to improve the patient care experience.
Epworth Richmond Executive Director Nicole Waldron said that Telstra Health’s solution would help staff to have a complete view of patient flow information in near real-time, enabling them to plan patient movement and flow more efficiently across the organization.
“The current process for managing bed flow across the sites is manual and relies on a series of meetings and conversations between staff about planned or potential discharges. The flow of information can be time-consuming, reactive, subject to individual interpretation and sensitivity. As a result of the manual process, there is no real-time or accurate visibility of current bed status across the organization,” he said.

University of Canberra study looking to develop gait monitoring app to prevent falls

Georgina Connery
Published: February 24, 2017 - 9:46AM
Tens of thousands of elderly Australians are hospitalised each year for fall-related injuries but a new University of Canberra PhD study hopes to put prevention in the palm of people's hands.
University PhD candidate Hafsa Ismail has to firstly investigate whether video can replace the the need for expensive and cumbersome force plate walking assessments.
The project aims to create a computer program or a smartphone app which could be used by older people to capture changes to their walking, gait and balance through their smartphone camera.

Getting serious about cybersecurity standards

  • Anthony Wong
  • The Australian
  • 12:40PM February 24, 2017
The passage last week of the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 places greater onus on organisations and agencies to provide robust and effective personal information protection and cybersecurity environments to combat cyber threats and data breaches.
As organisations and agencies look to assess and enhance their capabilities, and those of their employees and contractors in complying with this legislation, the shadow of a global shortage in cybersecurity skills looms large. The skills shortage has been the subject of numerous studies, including the recent ACS report, Cybersecurity: Threats, Challenges, Opportunities.

How to avoid the legal pitfalls of clinical photos

20 February 2017
Images are part of the medical record and are subject to the same security protocols.
You have left your busy rural general practice on Friday afternoon and are some hours’ drive away when you get a text message from your registrar, with some photos attached. One of your patients has just arrived at the practice with a nasty steam burn to her arm. The registrar is concerned this could be a full thickness, circumferential burn and therefore the patient may require a higher level of care than can be provided at the local hospital. She wants your opinion before contacting the relevant burns unit in the city.
Second opinion
Using a clinical image to get a second opinion can be a very effective strategy. It happens frequently in hospitals, and is also increasingly being used in GP practices. Before you get out your smartphone though, it’s important to make sure you have appropriate processes and safeguards in place.

Professor John Mattick: Digital Economy of Precision Medicine - Wednesday 15 February 2017

Uploaded on Feb 14, 2017
It was a pleasure to welcome Professor John Mattick to our Agency today to deliver our first Grand Rounds: Lunch and Learn seminar. Professor Mattick is one of Australia’s leading lights in Health and Medical Research and internationally renowned for his pioneering work in the field of genomics. He takes us on a fascinating journey of genomics, and the possibilities that are being unlocked in our new era of precision medicine. His talk challenges us to look ahead and consider how we can build our digital health services and technologies to transform the practice of medicine and our health economy.

·         Category

·         License

    • Standard YouTube License

Orion Health migrating to AWS to boost data analytics capability

The move follows Orion Health last year ramping up its focus on data science
Orion Health has announced that it will migrate its Amadeus healthcare data management and analytics platform, which manages 110 million records globally, to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud, saying the move will enable Amadeus to offer better data management and analysis.
The move follows Orion Health last year ramping up its focus on data science. In September the company announced that it had appointed Peter McCallum, the former head of data and insights at Spark’s data solutions company Qrious to lead its analytics team and was investing significantly in new analytics and machine learning applications and looking to hire the best analytics talent in New Zealand.

Wearables earn their place in fitness therapy

Authored by  Sarah Colyer
WEARABLE activity monitors have earned a place in the “menu” of strategies to help patients become more active, experts agree.
Around 20% of Australian adults now own some form of wearable technology, and the devices are increasingly being incorporated into health research to provide more reliable, objective measures of physical activity than self-reports.

IBM’s Watson focuses on eye-care advances

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM February 21, 2017

Supratim Adhikari

IBM is putting the prowess of its cognitive computing champion Watson to further use in the healthcare space, with the tech giant shedding new light on the role it can play in the treatment of eye disease.
The research, which began in 2015, involved the US heavyweight’s Melbourne-based team of researchers training Watson to recognise irregularities in eye images, which in turn offers doctors greater confidence in the early identification of patients at risk of diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
The technology is applied to a dataset of 88,000 retina images to analyse the key anatomies of the eye. The granular examination of each image brings to light details that may often be missed by doctors. One example of Watson’s ability is the accuracy with which it measures the separation of the optic cup and disc, a symptom of increased eye pressure, with statistical performance as high as 95 per cent.

Mums-to-be warned of dangers of baby heartbeat smartphone apps

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM February 22, 2017

Victoria Laurie

Simon King

Pregnant women have been warned that relying on smartphone apps to monitor unborn ­babies’ heartbeats is dangerous.
Yesterday the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney issued an urgent warning on Facebook ­telling women to “not to rely on popular technology such as smartphone apps which claim to help users ‘keep track of each time your baby kicks’ and ‘monitor your baby’s health’.”
A range of baby heartbeat apps can be downloaded but acting head of maternal fetal medicine Lucy Bowyer said there was no clinical evidence they could properly monitor heartbeats. One of the key indicators of stillbirth risk is an unborn baby’s change in movement.
22 February, 2017

Patient apps: pipedream or reality?

Posted by Jeremy Knibbs
You could forgive your average GP for starting to tire of hearing about the promise of the cloud and connected patient medicine.
It’s a promise that this newspaper talks about a lot, which the government has spruiked, spent a fortune on, and not delivered, and which seems increasingly to look like that elusive pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
After the launch of Australia’s first true cloud architected patient-management system, MediRecords, late last year, and a brief response to that launch by MedicalDirector, promising their own cloud version, things have been eerily quiet.
MediRecords may have made a rookie start-up error. The company built a working cloud system, and what it thought were all the necessary components required for a stand-alone practice. The suite includes the core patient-management system, a booking and kiosk system, application programming interfaces to two of the approved secure-messaging systems and to the major payment systems, and what is probably the only currently working patient-connected mobile app. And, it all works.

5 things GPs hate about discharge summaries (and 7 ways to make them better)

22 February 2017
Hospital discharge summaries remain the bane of many GPs’ professional lives.
A survey of 118 Australian GPs reveals the top five frustrations with summaries - and seven items that GPs rate as most important to include.
According to the results, GPs are most dissatisfied with these five aspects:
  1. Timelines  (“you often don’t get one”);
  2. No information on patient’s condition on discharge;
  3. No reasons given for changes in medications;
  4. Pathology results not prioritised; and
  5. Format of summary (“overloaded with irrelevant stuff obscuring the really important bits”).

AMA develops online fatigue-assessment tool

By Australian Hospital + Healthcare Bulletin Staff
Tuesday, 21 February, 2017
“Australia has one of the best health systems in the world, yet dangerous workplace practices and arrangements can lead to doctors at significant risk of fatigue,” said AMA President Dr Michael Gannon.
Most doctors, at some stage in their career, will work while fatigued due to staff shortages and the demands and expectations of hospital culture. The plight of junior doctors in the public health system working on-call or long shifts is well documented but according to Avant Mutual Group, doctors working excessively long hours in private practice, such as those participating in operating lists exceeding 12 hours, are also exposed to fatigue-related risks.
Research has shown that fatigue in doctors can result in higher risks of medical error and put a doctor at greater risk of needlestick injury and being involved in motor vehicle accidents.1

Smartphones accurate for interpreting X-rays: study

Rachel Worsley | 20 February, 2017 | 
The growing trend for doctors to use their smartphone to review X-ray images has been backed by a study showing the practice is just as accurate for diagnosis as a computer screen.
A study of 21 neonatal specialists looking at chest X-rays found 81% were able to correctly diagnose a pneumothorax on an iPhone 5, compared to 80% on a computer screen.
The smartphone photos of X-rays were taken 30cm from the computer screen in a darkened room with no flash. 

Skype sessions with physios dramatically improve OA: study

23 February 2017
Skype sessions with physiotherapists can dramatically improve pain and function in knee osteoarthritis, Melbourne researchers have found.
They say their study, published Wednesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, shows the huge potential of online delivery of non-drug therapies for chronic pain.
The study randomised 148 patients with knee OA to either a control group or to seven Skype sessions over three months, during which a physiotherapist would demonstrate exercises and teach patients how to do them.

Wouldn’t it be great if GPs could see who else a patient was consulting?

24 February 2017
Practice software should allow GPs to see a patient's outside appointments, writes Dr Oliver Frank.


Coordination of patients’ care is a major task for GPs. It requires that GPs know who else is going to see the patient, and when.
Patients often fail to attend appointments in public hospital outpatient departments and with other health organisations.
This results in waste and in delays for other patients who could have been seen instead.

20 February 2017

Remote monitoring of medical devices in Australia

Authored by Bradley Wilsmore, James Leitch
This commentary was first published as a Perspective in the Medical Journal of Australia on 6 February, 2017. It is reprinted here with permission.
MORE patients, and therefore medical professionals at all levels, are encountering devices that are being remotely monitored. While all currently implanted pacemakers and defibrillators are now remote-monitoring capable, there has also been a substantial increase in the use of implantable loop monitors — from 987 in the 2013–14 financial year to 2269 in 2015–16 (Medicare Benefits Schedule item 38285) This increase has forced the health care system to engage with remote monitoring.
There is accumulating evidence supporting remote interrogation and monitoring for cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (here and here).  As a result, remote monitoring has become the standard of care and is reflected in a 2015 consensus statement developed in collaboration with, and endorsed by the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society and American, European and Latin American societies.

Digital Health - Towards 2022

Created on Friday, 24 February 2017
Five years ago we could not have imagined how much technology would change our lives. So what will five years from now look like when it comes to health and care?
Over the last few months the Australian Digital Health Agency has been asking just that – what are the opportunities for digital health and emerging technologies to transform health and care?
On Thursday 23 February, the Agency held forums with both industry and clinicians to get together to look at the opportunities and challenges in digital health.

New National Pathology Program Established

Created on Wednesday, 22 February 2017
The Australian Digital Health Agency is pleased to announce the establishment of a new national Pathology Program to deliver outcomes that improve interoperability, quality, safety and access to pathology results.
The first Steering Group meeting took place in Sydney on Monday 6 February 2017 with 18 members in attendance representing a range of healthcare peak bodies and consumer groups.
Steering group member Ms Melissa Cadzow is a consumer representative nominated by the Consumers Health Forum.
“As a parent, daughter and patient, I see digital health as a tool to help me care for the people I love and to strengthen further the partnerships with our healthcare professionals. I am looking forward to the discussions around shared access to pathology and diagnostic information and a better connected health system.”

Director Community Partnerships and Insights Australian Digital Health Agency

Director Community Partnerships and Insights Australian Digital Health Agency

  • Clinical background
  • Brisbane or Sydney based with a national remit
  • Understanding of the full spectrum of health consumers
The Clinical and Consumer Engagement and Clinical Governance Division provides clinical input to the strategy and design of the national digital health systems, driving system usability and clinical outcomes, based on extensive engagement with health providers and health consumers. As such this Division is the prime external face of the Agency.
Reporting to the General Manager Community, Clinical Partnerships and Insights, the Director Community Partnerships and Insights supports the development and delivery of the Agency's consumer engagement and consultation strategy, enabling a flow of critical data reflecting stakeholder needs to shape the Agency's strategy, design and delivery initiatives.

The age-old struggle of GP vs computer

20 February 2017
(As a service to Humanity, the next 450 words will be Trump-free.)
Regular readers will know that I am not enamoured with computers.
I admire folk who have skills in the pixel department of life. Far from being critical, I am envious. Their fingers fly across the keyboard; they open mysterious and scary templates hidden behind the desktop. They blend a gigabyte with an active matrix and out comes all manner of wondrous things. I am in awe of them.
I myself was reluctant to move from the fountain pen to the biro, so you can see the challenge I have faced accommodating a fully electric computer over the past few years.
I have never done well with my computer. I have tried. I named her Pearl in an attempt to improve our relationship. 
The problem with Pearl is that she hates me. 

Ramsay Health CIO wins Benchmark Awards gong

By Staff Writers on Feb 21, 2017 9:15PM

Recognised for handing time back to doctors.

Ramsay Health chief information officer John Sutherland has scooped the crown in the iTnews Benchmark Awards healthcare category for the MyPatient+ mobile app.
Sutherland and his team know time is a precious commodity in the healthcare sector and sought to provide clinical staff with a tool that gives them better ways to manage that time in a busy and unpredictable hospital environment.
MyPatient+ gives doctors to access to their daily schedule and all the information they need about a patient on their smartphone.

Digital marshmallow test examines impulse control

By Australian Hospital + Healthcare Bulletin Staff
Tuesday, 21 February, 2017
What has become known as the ‘marshmallow test’ began as an experiment in the 1960s at Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School. Children were given the choice between one reward (like a marshmallow, pretzel or mint) they could eat immediately and a larger reward (two marshmallows) for which they would have to wait alone, for up to 20 minutes.
This work by Walter Mischel and his team has become synonymous with temptation, willpower and impulse control. A ‘digital marshmallow test’ for adults to test impulsivity using smartphones has been launched by a group of researchers from the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Cornell Tech and Sage Bionetworks.
The team intends to develop additional apps using study data with the goal of providing support to those looking to change impulsive behaviours and better their ability to resist unhealthy temptations.

Doctor rating sites get a bad review

Geir O'Rourke | 23 February, 2017 | 
Online doctor rating sites are still a long way from being useful for patients appraising a GP, new US research has confirmed.
Most doctor rating sites are difficult to browse and have few or no reviews for most doctors, a review of 28 doctor rating websites found.
The analysis of reviews for 600 doctors, published in JAMA this week, found that while 60% of patients said online reviews were important when choosing a doctor, it was almost impossible to gain enough information from them to make an informed decision.

Medibank ready to move new SAP platform out of hypercare

‘Business as usual’ platform in sight for health insurer, CEO says
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 17 February, 2017 10:54
Medibank is on track to move its SAP-based core policy management system — implemented in an initiative dubbed Project DelPHI by the health insurer — out of hypercare in the next three to six months.
Addressing a briefing on Medibank’s first half results, CEO Craig Drummond said that the health insurer had been working to strengthen relationships with its key technology suppliers to expedite outstanding remediation work.
“As a result we have seen a 48 per cent reduction in the number of open Project DelPHI issues as well as a 75 per cent reduction in the number of DelPHI high priority incidents since we went into hypercare mode in mid-2016,” the CEO said. “Both metrics indicate significant project towards a stable, business as usual platform.”

Digital push by Veterans’ Affairs to avoid Centrelink-style missteps

Department of Veterans’ Affairs says its push to introduce computerised decision-making won’t include debt recovery
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 21 February, 2017 11:44
The Senate’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has given its blessing to measures that will allow the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to employ automated software systems to make decisions on veteran entitlements.
DVA says that a bill currently before parliament — Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Digital Readiness and Other Measures) Bill 2016 — will streamline the payment of entitlements under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004, and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988.
However, the department has claimed that it will not use an automated decision-making process for the purposes of debt recovery — saying it will not engage in a Centrelink-style ‘robodebt’ process.

Why robots will never take a doctor's job

23 February 2017
Could the art of diagnosing be bested by a fancy computer algorithm?
Is it just me, or do we keep hearing that doctors’ days are numbered?
I recently read about the supercomputer IBM Watson, which is reported to “know all the medical knowledge in the world, be accurate, consistent, have low-running costs and can be accessed anywhere in the world”.
But just how close is the reality of doctors’ roles being superseded by computers?
If you look at other industries, machines are already replacing employment tasks. 

Astronomers find TRAPPIST-1 star system with multiple Earth-like planets

Marcus Strom
Published: February 23, 2017 - 8:34AM
Seven planets with size and mass similar to Earth's have been discovered orbiting the same nearby star, prompting astronomers to dub the finding our "seven sisters".
"This is the first time we have found so many Earth-like planets orbiting the same star," said lead author of the study, Michael Gillon from the University of Liege in Belgium.
The planets are orbiting a dwarf star just 12 parsecs, or 39 light years, from Earth.


Anonymous said...

David you missed the ADHA announcement around deploys (sorry extension) to the Secure Messaging Interoperability. Wonder what is really going on after all it is simply exchanging static content, this level of exchange is little more than digital faxing. Surely Tim and Bettina can fix this little issue without to much fuss and ensure rush delivery of confomant content to the MyHR.

Anonymous said...

To ensure conformant documents to myHR, secure messaging will need CDA as the payload. It will need to be 3a at least for atomic data. ADHA will have to insist on this if myHR is indeed the solution of choice, if not then we will soon learn the fate of myHR and then look to alternatives. Personally I hope they allow the payload to be whatever standard or non standard, innovation is hard enough without the constraints of a proprietary platform such as the myHR.

I maybe wrong but to support the dream of big data the CDA use adopted by myHR would need something like a semantic transformation engine, sounds expensive. This of coarse is not a short coming of the CDA standard but of the procurement of the solution now in place and the lack of adoption investment by government to ensure developers and designers really understand CDA.

I do hope the secretary for health is not being mislead yet again.

Anonymous said...

I do hope the secretary for health is not being misled. You can bet your bottom dollar there is a lot of polishing going on.