Quote Of The Year

Quotes Of The Year - 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, April 17, 2017

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 17th April, 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

What a week, with little real news until The Daily Telegraph lobbed a bomb. Furious argument resulted and I am not sure where it ended – with no clear official statement from the ADHA as to the truth of not of the claims. Time will tell I guess.
  • Updated Apr 15 2017 at 11:18 AM

Data-driven 'signature medicine' to drive future treatment

The sheer scale of data will assist in everything from picking up early warning signs of an individual's illness to predicting an epidemic. 
In the modern era, medicine has been chopped up into bits. There is a different specialist for each bit of the body and often one expert doesn't quite know what's happening in other parts of the patient, and doesn't have the time to find out either.
However, this is predicted to change.  And it's not going to happen because doctors have more time or more capacity for care.
Rather, the prediction is that this change will be driven by big data, analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The IoT is the growing worldwide network of objects with sensors, software and built-in connectivity.

3 rules for using your computer ethically

12 April 2017
What counts as unethical computer use? Is it playing Candy Crush during work hours? Or is it allowing your computer to undermine the doctor-patient relationship?
Representatives from the American College of Physicians have written guidelines to ensure doctors of all stripes use their computers ethically.
Writing in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, they focus on the following three points.

5 tips for using Facebook in general practice

12 April, 2017 
If your practice intends to use social media, the RACGP recommends you put in place a social media policy for staff.
And to be extra safe, consider developing a code of conduct.
The RACGP has put together a social media policy template that you can adapt to your practice.
Meanwhile, here are some useful tips for using Facebook. Tomorrow we will provide some cool Twitter tactics:

7 tips for using Twitter in general practice

13 April, 2017
Do it right and you will reap the benefits of social media, which can be an excellent form of advertising for practices and individuals alike.
But bear in mind that it is subject to the Medical Board of Australia’s Guidelines for Advertising Regulated Health Services.
On Wednesday, we covered the main dos and don'ts for using Facebook. 
Today, the focus is on Twitter, thanks to guidance from the RACGP. 
  • Updated Apr 10 2017 at 8:00 PM

Analytics a key in dispensing change

Artificial intelligence may play a large role in healthcare data. Lyn Osborn/supplied pic
by Lydia Maguire
This content is produced by The Australian Financial Review in commercial partnership with the Commonwealth Bank.
The health sector offers a challenging dichotomy for companies looking to innovate with digital tools like data analytics. There is a clear recognition of the benefits of new technology yet, unlike consumers, corporate customers are shifting very slowly.
Take Sydney-based medical software and information provider MedicalDirector. The company's platforms facilitate over 70 million patient consultations a year, and it has data stretching back over 20 years. As it operates in a highly regulated market with huge inefficiencies – and opportunities – that is exactly the kind of huge data pool that attracts a digital innovator's interest.
According to CFO David Cooper, "MedicalDirector has a statistically relevant sample of de-identified data on general history of patient consultations. That's hugely valuable to industry. It's a wealth of information we can use to optimise healthcare."
  • Updated Apr 10 2017 at 8:00 PM

Better technology means better patient experience

Commonwealth Bank managing director of commerce and platforms Bronwyn Yam says technology in the US is linking the public and private systems with workers compensation. Supplied
by James Sherbon
This content is produced by The Australian Financial Review in commercial partnership with the Commonwealth Bank
Customers have an ever-growing sense of expectation from service providers. They take their best experience in any context, and apply it to every context. Meanwhile, the health sector is anchored in some very old practices, amid an ecosystem that can be both diffuse and opaque. In this context, a willingness to embrace new ways of doing things is vital. Technology can solve some problems, but only with the cooperation of all market participants.
The attendees at the Emerging Payment Technology CFO Roundtable, held at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, as part of the seventh Annual Australian Healthcare Week, represent a good cross-section of a healthcare industry committed to embracing such change.

Australia's ambitious action plan for open government

A new 'multi-stakeholder forum', to be established by July, will oversee Australia's open government work plan, with commitments already set through to 2018.
By Stilgherrian | April 12, 2017 -- 07:05 GMT (17:05 AEST) | Topic: Security
The Australian government will soon be launching a wide-ranging review of its laws and processes for data sharing and public release, with the timetable for setting up a forum to oversee this work and related projects expected to be announced within days.
Recent controversies have highlighted problems with how the government currently runs data sharing and publication, or at least aspects of those processes that citizens don't like.
Witness the public outcry over Centrelink's debt recovery program, and the widespread privacy concerns over plans to give the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) access to data from other government departments to cross-match it with its Census data.

NSW patients first to have direct access to pathology results through the My Health Record

This important milestone has been reached following a successful collaboration between the Australian Digital Health Agency, eHealth NSW and NSW Health Pathology

The Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) has announced that patients in NSW will now be able to view their pathology results through the My Health Record consumer portal and mobile applications.
The benefits of securely receiving, viewing and storing a patient's test results in one place are significant for both the patient and their treating healthcare professionals.
Having pathology results published in a single location means patients can share with any number of treating healthcare professionals their test results. Clinicians too will benefit from having access to their patient's results in circumstances where they did not initiate the requests.

Optometrists and dentists will know if you’ve had an abortion or mental illness in health record bungle

Sue Dunlevy, National Health Reporter, News Corp Australia Network
April 10, 2017 10:00pm
THE private health records of Australians can be accessed by more than half a million people under the latest bungle with the $2.2 billion electronic My Health Record.
News Corp Australia has learned that the privacy settings on the government’s computerised My Health Record, which lists every medicine a patient takes and records every medical visit and procedure, are automatically set on “universal access”.
This means every registered health practitioner in the nation — 650,000 people — can view them, not just the family GP, unless the patient specifically requested to opt out.

Editorial: Prognosis bad in medical record bungle

April 11, 2017 12:30am
Your medical records may be an open book to 650,000 registered medical practitioners.
THE privacy scandal unfolding in the troubled My Health Record electronic medical records system is ample proof why citizens should be vigilant and maintain a healthy scepticism about governments and Big Brother bureaucracies.
As revealed in today’s The Advertiser, your medical records may be an open book to 650,000 registered medical practitioners.
Had a mental illness? Your dentist can view details. A sexually transmitted disease? A bored pharmacist interstate might be curious. At risk of a hereditary disease? Your potential employer or insurance company might be very keen to know, via their in-house medical staff.

MyHealthRecord slammed in privacy uproar

Hang on, sharing records is kind of what it's for

11 Apr 2017 at 01:57, Richard Chirgwin
The Australian government has found itself embroiled in a privacy furore, this time for the privacy settings on its MyHealthRecord e-health system.
At issue is the system's default privacy setting, which is that any health professional treating an individual can access their whole health history.
On the upside, that means if you're being treated by multiple specialists for a complex condition, they should all see the same records, without resorting to getting blood test results by fax.
The downside is that people can view data that's arguably beyond their need or specialty – a dentist may not need to know someone is being treated for depression, for example.

Dr Tony Bartone – ABC Radio – My Health Record

11 Apr 2017
Transcript: AMA Vice President Dr Tony Bartone, Mornings with Ali Clarke, ABC Radio Adelaide, Tuesday 11 April 2017
Subjects: My Health Record
ALI CLARKE: How private are your medical records? And if you're using the My Health Record system, give me a ring - I'd love to hear from you. That's the Government’s computerised record that lists every medicine a patient takes, and records every time you have to head off for a medical appointment or visit.
I'd love to know your experiences of it, because it seems that reports today suggest that your private health records now may be accessed by over half a million people. To find out what has happened, I'd like to say good morning to Tony Bartone, the Vice President of the Australian Medical Association. Good morning, Tony.
TONY BARTONE: Good morning.

‘My Health’ privacy remains intact

11 April, 2017 
Claims that half a million health practitioners can rummage through a patient’s My Health Record without their consent has been dubbed “false and misleading” by the Federal Government.
Former AMA president Dr Mukesh Haikerwal says that unless a patient elects to opt out of the $2 billion My Health Record system, any of the 650,000 registered health practitioners can view the records.
“Potentially your employer’s occupational therapist can look at your record and get information they really shouldn’t be getting access to, it's confidential data,” he told the Adelaide Advertiser.
But the Department of Health denied Dr Haikerwal’s allegations, labelling the article “misleading and false”.

My Health Record privacy 'thoroughly enforced': department

11 April, 2017 Geir O'Rourke 
Claims that half a million health practitioners can rummage through a patient’s My Health Record without their consent has been dubbed “false and misleading” by the Federal Government.
Former AMA president Dr Mukesh Haikerwal says that unless a patient elects to opt out of the $2 billion My Health Record system, any of the 650,000 registered health practitioners can view the records.
“Potentially your employer’s occupational therapist can look at your record and get information they really shouldn’t be getting access to, it's confidential data,” he told the Adelaide Advertiser.
But the Department of Health denied Dr Haikerwal’s allegations, labelling the article “misleading and false”.

Government denies health record privacy risk

12 April, 2017 
Claims that half a million health practitioners can rummage through a patient’s My Health Record without their consent have been dubbed false and misleading by the federal government.
Former AMA president Dr Mukesh Haikerwal says that unless a patient elects to opt out of the $2 billion My Health Record system, any of the 650,000 registered health practitioners can view the records.
“Potentially your employer’s occupational therapist can look at your record and get information they really shouldn’t be getting access to, it's confidential data,” he told the Adelaide Advertiser.
But the department of health denied Dr Haikerwal’s allegations, labelling the article “misleading and false”.

Technology and innovation in Australia's aged care

By Sean Rooney
Monday, 10 April, 2017
Australia’s aged-care workforce needs to meet the challenges of increased demand, consumer choice, a rapidly changing marketplace and the integration of new technologies.
The existing workforce needs to be renewed as the latest statistics tell us that an estimated 60% of the existing workforce will reach retirement age over the next 15 years. These workers not only need to be replaced, but our aged-care workforce needs to rapidly increase to meet the growing demand for different types of services. By 2050 it is estimated that we will need up to 1.3 million workers in the industry.
The workforce will need to be responsive, knowing that we have a new cohort of older Australians with broader expectations of how, where and by whom their care is delivered.

Online tool aims to help elderly navigate aged care maze

A free online tool has been set up to help older Australians navigate the maze that is aged care in the country.
Named CarePilot, the site allows the aged to book trusted suppliers who provide a range of service and packages.
The online platform offers expert advice and user-friendly tools to select and book support services, stay organised, manage funds, and connect with family members.
It has been set up at a time when the federal government is looking to largely rid itself of the responsibility of providing such care to the elderly and ailing part of the population.

Scammers target My.Gov users in bid for personal data

Scammers are taking aim at users of the federal government's My.Gov website in a bid to dupe them into leaking their passwords and credit card details.
The email security firm MailGuard issued a warning about the scam, pointing out that the fake website looked highly convincing.
The company said the source code of the fake site was mostly a copy of the original.
On the bright side, the phishing email that sought to lure My.Gov users was distributed to a relatively small audience, MailGuard said.

Improving the quality of life for people in pain through novel, cost effective pain assessment tools

 ePAT introduces first version iOS App at Pain Society conference
·         ePAT to participate in leading pain specialist event
·         Demonstrating first version iOS App to potential end-users for feedback
·         Presenting clinical paper at symposium
 ePAT Technologies (ASX:EPT, ‘ePAT’ or the ’Company’) is pleased to announce the Company is continuing to increase its industry recognition within the Australian medical sector, demonstrating its revolutionary pain detection technology to a series of highly-qualified experts.
 The Company is taking an active role at the Australian Pain Society’s 37th annual scientific meeting, which will host 800 pain specialists during the 9-12th April 2017.
The conference attendees represent a prime target audience for end-users of the ePAT app.
The Australian Pain Society is a major industry body aiming to relieve pain through advancements in clinical practice, education and research. The conference is expected to be the only forum in Australia offering multidisciplinary insights into pain management from a variety of medical, nursing and allied health perspectives.

SA Health CIO defends EPAS following coroner's criticism

State electronic patient record system condemned by inquest into death of former Socceroo
George Nott (Computerworld) 10 April, 2017 08:41
The CIO of SA Health has spoken out in defence of the state’s Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS) after it was criticised in an inquest into the death of former Socceroo Stephen Herczeg.
South Australia State Coroner Mark Johns is currently inquiring into the death of Herczeg, who died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital last September. The 72-year-old died from respiratory failure caused by a ruptured bladder and collapsed lungs after an oxygen tube was connected to his catheter.
According to reports of the inquest, Johns criticised the electronic patient record system’s inability to produce intelligible paper copies of records.

Whole genome sequencing is medicine’s Snowy Scheme

  • John Mattick, Branwen Morgan
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM April 13, 2017
We are on the brink of a revolution in healthcare. Genomics soon will help us not just cure but also predict and even prevent diseases such as diabetes, dementia, cancer and heart disease.
And it’s just the start. With enough data on the population’s genetic make-up, breakthroughs in other diseases and mental illness will be almost unlimited.
The technology to gather this data is, for the first time, accessible and relatively cheap. A person’s entire DNA sequence — three billion letters of genetic code — now can be read in Australia in just a few days for about $1500.
The benefits of whole genome sequencing to patients are extraordinary. One recent example, testament to the power of precision medicine, is that of seven-year-old Sydney boy, Alan, whose rare auto-immune disease was found to be due to the combination of two mutations in a single gene. In 2015, just three months before Alan’s diagnosis, US medical researchers had shown that the drug abatacept, originally developed for organ transplant patients, compensates for deficits in this same gene. Without a doubt, abatacept has saved Alan’s life. This is a case where WGS led to an unexpected repurposing of a drug for a previously undiagnosed disease.

myGov no help in organ donation push

Cate Swannell
It is clear that we still need to do better, although there have marked been improvements in the way the Australian organ donation process works.
In bygone days, if you wanted to be an organ donor, you ticked the “yes” box on your driver’s licence application or renewal and that was that. I’ve always ticked that box, but when I had to renew the licence recently, that box was nowhere to be seen.
In all Australian states, except South Australia, if you want to register as a donor, you now have to do it via the Australian Organ Donor Register. It’s an opt-in system. SA is the only state that retains the driver’s licence system. And SA, just quietly, has the highest donors per million people (24.7) of any Australian state. Queensland, at 15.1 donors per million people, has the lowest.

Healthcare technology is surging ahead, but needs cohesive policy to boost Australia’s outcomes

By David Braue

Sponsored Content – Philips Health Systems
Systemic thinking needs to adapt if e-health is to truly deliver.
As the person leading the Australia-New Zealand business of one of the world’s leading health technology companies, Kevin Barrow spends his days thinking about ways to help healthcare providers use new technologies to improve patient care. Yet even the most innovative technology, he notes, can only drive systemic change when policy levers are adjusted to ensure adoption and long-term viability.
That’s often easier said than done, explains Barrow, who has been involved with the medical technology industry for 20 years – including nearly three years as Managing Director for Philips ANZ and General Manager of Philips Health Systems ANZ.
“If you reflect back on the last 50 to 60 years, there really has not been a change in the way healthcare is delivered,” Barrow explains.

Misuse of prescription medication should be monitored

ANNIKA SMETHURST, The Sunday Telegraph
April 9, 2017 12:00am
DRUG overdoses claim more lives than accidents on Australia’s roads.
It’s a confronting statistic made worse by the fact that twice as many overdoses are linked to prescription medication compared with illegal drugs.
But unlike the road toll, prescription drug abuse remains a taboo subject and has been sidelined by governments despite claiming more and more lives each year.
When Australia’s road toll peaked in 1970 it became the trigger point for action.
That year 3798 road users lost their lives and governments were forced to find a ­solution.

Ombudsman finds DHS 'deficient' in Centrelink data matching

By Allie Coyne on Apr 10, 2017 9:24AM

But underlying technology is working properly.

The Department of Human Services has failed to properly deliver and communicate its automated data matching program to citizens, the Commonwealth's ombudsman has found.
It said these usability and transparency issues have affected the quality of decisions made by the controversial online compliance intervention (OCI) system. 
The ombudsman's office has been investigating DHS' automated data matching process for Centrelink debt since January, after reports began to emerge about incorrect debt notices being sent out by the system.

'Not reasonable or fair' Ombudsman slams Centrelink's robo-debt scheme

Noel Towell and Amy Remeikis
Published: April 10, 2017 - 4:25PM
Centrelink's demands on former welfare recipients targeted by its "robo-debt" program were neither "reasonable" nor 'fair", the Commonwealth Ombudsman has found.
Now the public watchdog wants the government to conduct a "comprehensive evaluation" of the controversial "online compliance intervention" before it goes any further.
The Coalition welcomed the Ombudsman's report on Monday morning, saying it vindicated the basic approach of the debt recovery program and that many of the watchdog's recommendations were already in place.

My Health Record in General Practice

Monday, 10 April 2017
Dr Steve Hambleton, MBBS FAMA FRACGP (Hon) GAICD
Follow Dr Steve on Twitter @SteveJHambleton
Amongst my other roles, I've been a GP at the Kedron Park 7-Day Medical Centre in Brisbane for the past 29 years. Many of my patients have been in my care for a long time and I know them very well but I cannot be there for them every day. Like a lot of GPs who have been in the same practice for a long time, I mainly treat people with chronic and complex disease.
I believe one of the responsibilities of General Practitioners is to facilitate patients’ interactions with the health system as a whole, and it’s particularly important for those with chronic ailments. For this reason, I am an early adopter of My Health Record – the secure, online digital summary of a patient’s pertinent medical information, including diagnosis, outcomes, medications, reactions and allergies.
The benefits of the My Health Record cannot be understated. One of my patients with a list of chronic diseases – heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, peripheral vascular disease, kidney disease and chronic myeloid leukaemia – was recently taken to a Queensland public hospital with an acute deterioration in his heart condition. As a result of his various illnesses, the patient had several different specialist doctors attending him, and each of these doctors was able to consult his My Health Record for information on his latest treatments, medications and outcomes. These details informed their own treatment plans. Ultimately, everyone involved, and particularly the patient, benefited from having all of his crucial medical information stored in one accessible digital file avoiding duplicate testing and the inevitable phone calls needed to find bits of information from multiple sources.


Anonymous said...

TONY BARTONE: We certainly are encouraging that people look carefully at that because, in a matter of weeks, everyone will have an electronic health record, and any amount of information could be being placed there unaware. And so it’s about ensuring that you know that it exists, you know how to activate your privacy settings, and the access that you desire or wish to be sure of.

So in a matter of weeks everyone will have a record? I wonder what testing has been going on.

Anonymous said...

So it seems that the opt out is to go national, huge issues regarding online scammers mimicking myGov to coax us into handing over key information, obvious issues remain with privacy, poor communication and information available to the public, this looks a lot like the failed UK attempt of a few years back. And where is the ADHA CEO? No where to be seen or heard of, either this is a cunning ploy to move his drinks cabinet a few yards closer to Whitehall or a complete lack of foresight to be around at a rather predictable time in order to show leadership.

Poor very poor indeed.

Anonymous said...

Minister Hunt, stop the opt-out now, bring in some brain power and work out a new path forward. Australia has some great untapped and under utilised experts in eHealth, use them but away from the EHealth Branch and ADHA. We have at the helm a dangerous indervidual whose lack of real knowledge has long term consequences


Anonymous said...

Don't you love transcripts more reliable than the the MyHEALTH RECORD in a clinical setting

The VP of the AMA states we are going all get a government record. Must be true the AMA has made it quite clear.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised Mukesh is still so very positive regarding the MHR, and still a practicing advocate for its potential, that and forever the statesman! his comments are quite sensible as they were before he had no choice but to walk away.

Madden is your typical bureaucratic. What worries me the most with him and the ADHA leadership is that they believe in part what they are saying, this not because they are correct but simply they do not have the depth of knowledge to know what they are talking about.

It is clear the system is badly design and very cumbersome to use, but the ADHA and department have become such a clueless customer they don't really get it

And the problem of information quality isn't even touched on, this is of the greatest concern especially now the genomic grow dare being sucked into the fold and used to push forward something that is simply a collection of problems.

They say we are leading the world, however in all international material I find little reference to Australia, it's like we disappeared of the global eHealth sphere of interest.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

My guess is that there will be money in the budget in May to fund a project to move to opt-out. Opt-out itself won't actually happen for quite a while.

Andrew McIntyre said...

If someone knows how to "pre" opt out please let me know as thats what I will be doing. Its a disgrace that this is going opt out without major advertising of whats going on. I suspect the majority of people would be outraged if they knew what was happening to their personal medical information.

Anonymous said...

Andrew you are being press ganged no two ways about it, I am sure there is a 300 page document you will need to print, initial each page, sign in numerous places and scan and fax back to some understaffed office in the department. Once received you maybe able to check-out but you can never leave the My Health Record California.

tygrus said...

People in the opt-out trial areas were sent a letter a several months before the start date. I no longer have a copy but see the example at my-health-record-trial-letter. It doesn't provide a simple "tick-a-box". I never tried to opt out so I don't know the details of what information is required, time or process.