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, May 01, 2017

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 1st May, 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

A really quiet week with little actual apparent progress on any front I could see.
A real worry comes with the violations of data security we are seeing. Not good at all!
Reclaiming e-PIP cash will result in some annoyance I am sure!

Practices that missed targets asked to give back e-PIP cash

Antony Scholefield | 24 April, 2017 |  
The Department of Health is preparing to send in the debt collectors to practices that have failed to upload enough shared summaries to the My Health Record system.
Practices had until 31 January to make sure they were uploading shared health summaries for 0.5% of their patients every quarter, or face having to pay back thousands of dollars in eHealth Practice Incentive Program (e-PIP) payments.
This week, the department is sending compliance letters to practices that did not reach the targets.

‘Pay up or we destroy your patients’ health records’: Cyber criminals hit hospitals

ELECTRONIC health records have become a prime target for cyber criminals seeking to steal people’s identities, a new report has warned.
Sue Dunlevy News Corp Australia Network
April 27, 20172:13pm
CRIMINAL gangs are illegally accessing health records to steal people’s identity, a major new report on electronic data breaches reveals.
And cyber criminals have threatened to shut down busy hospitals by encrypting every patient’s electronic record so they can’t be accessed by doctors or nursing staff.
The cyberattacks create chaos when doctors can’t get hold of critical information in the middle of surgery and have brought every aspect of hospital operations to a halt.
Access to the medical records is only reinstated when the hospital agrees to pay a seven figure ransom.
April 21 2017

Mending broken hearts with 3D printer

Andrew Masterson
3D printing incorporating human stem cells might soon become a standard technique for treating heart attack victims, according to US researchers.
Scientists from universities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Alabama last week unveiled a way of incorporating cells into a bio-printed matrix that will potentially reduce the risk of a second heart attack.
During a heart attack, blood flow to the organ decreases, resulting in massive cell death. These dead cells do not regenerate and are replaced instead by scar tissue – which increases the risk of another adverse event.

Health confronts ghosts of failed govt IT projects in Medicare payments rebuild

By Marie Sansom on April 27, 2017
Can Health exorcise the ghosts of failed past government IT projects?
There is a graveyard bigger than Rookwood Cemetery filled with the cadavers of failed government IT projects and haunted by the ghosts of scope creep, budget blowouts, frustrating delays and second rate outcomes.
It is a fate the Department of Health (DOH) will be dearly hoping it can avoid as it pushes ahead to completely reimagine its 30-year-old IT payments system, a system which underpins Medicare, aged care and veterans’ payments and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
The project is still in its early stages. The Request for Information (RFI) went out in March this year as the government gathers as many ideas as it can from tech companies of varying sizes to design, deliver and integrate its digital payments platform, a project that will have multiple phases over the next five years, while keeping its procurement options open.

Police illegally obtained journalist's phone records under new metadata retention regime

Michael Koziol
Published: April 28 2017 - 5:06PM
The Australian Federal Police illegally obtained a journalist's phone records under the Turnbull government's new metadata retention regime, the agency announced on Friday.
The breach took place as part of an investigation into a leak of confidential police material - and the incident will now be investigated by the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
AFP commissioner Andrew Colvin said the police officers investigating the leak did not realise they were required to obtain a warrant to access the journalist's metadata.

Can Artificial Intelligence help close the indigenous healthcare gap?

  • Joanna Batstone
  • The Australian
  • 10:17AM April 24, 2017
Improving the health and welfare of indigenous Australians has been a longstanding challenge for our nation. Earlier this year, the government’s ninth annual Closing the Gap report showed only one of the seven targets will be met this year. And unless considerable strides are made to close the chasm, we are at a real risk of moving backward instead of forward.
The life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is approximately 10 years less than non-indigenous people. When you think about what you’ve experienced over the past decade in your life, it’s difficult to swallow this number as a mere statistic.
Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease are at the root of the health gap, with estimates indicating that 80 per cent of the mortality gap for indigenous Australian adults being due to chronic disease. And the burden of a chronic disease like diabetes goes beyond a shortened life expectancy and the strain on the health system, with some of the most debilitating complications including amputations and diabetes eye disease which causes irreversible blindness. One third of people with diabetes have the eye disease and are at risk of losing their sight, significantly impacting a person’s independence and capacity to work.

The humanity in health technology

By Dr Victoria Atkinson
Friday, 21 April, 2017
Innovative technology is integral to clinical medicine and yet healthcare has traditionally lagged in its adoption of technology into patient, operational and business intelligence spaces.
In some locations we have stubbornly continued to build 100-year-old hospitals with little in the way of technological nervous systems and we are left with staff and patients who use technology more effectively at home than they do in our hospitals. Inevitably then, healthcare workers are constrained in their ability to deliver safe, timely and consistent care and patients are unable to engage effectively with their own health journey.
One of our great strengths in healthcare is in our highly intelligent, educated and motivated workforce and so when the system fails to deliver technological solutions, our clinicians will initiate solutions of their own. The result is often a fragmented mix of non-integrated niche systems that dangerously complicate the patient journey.

Great health and wellbeing outcomes for Australian children made possible through patient-centred and clinician-friendly digital technologies

Created on Monday, 24 April 2017
NSW will lead a new national collaboration to define initiatives of benefit to children's health using digital technologies and platforms.
Accessing and sharing information about their children's health is important for all parents.
Parents can often feel frustrated when required to remember and repeat information about their child's health.

New South Wales to lead national collaboration for improving health outcomes for children using digital technologies and platforms

The Australian Digital Health Agency is partnering with eHealth NSW and the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network to establish the National Collaborative Network for Child Health Informatics.

The state of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia is leading a national collaboration initiative to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for children using digital technologies and platforms. The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) announced on April 24 that it is partnering with eHealth NSW and the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network to establish the National Collaborative Network for Child Health Informatics (the Network).
ADHA, which is a statutory authority responsible for improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy, will be funding the activities of the Network.

6 tips for becoming a ‘doctor blogger’

21 April, 2017  
There are many benefits for doctors in starting a blog, but there are also pitfalls to watch out for.
On the upside, a regular blog can help you to expand your network and reach other healthcare professionals. It can also educate and inspire your readers.
Recently, we covered the dos and don’ts of using Facebook and Twitter, so now it’s time to focus on blogging, thanks to guidance from the RACGP.

The astounding success of ingestible sensors

By Australian Hospital + Healthcare Bulletin Staff
Wednesday, 26 April, 2017
Researchers believe that ingestible capsules have the potential to revolutionise the prevention and diagnosis of gut disorders and diseases.
An RMIT University team has successfully completed phase one human trials of ingestible smart capsules (the size of a vitamin pill) that journey through and measure gas levels in the gastrointestinal tract.
One in five people will suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder in their lifetime, with 30% of patients remaining undiagnosed. RMIT is one of the leading universities in the world researching the development of ingestible sensors.
The ingestible technology has demonstrated several thousand times more sensitivity to gut gases than alternative techniques.
April 27 2017 - 12:15AM

Former NAB chief Cameron Clyne to chair Whitecoat

Clancy Yeates
Former National Australia Bank chief Cameron Clyne is returning to the business world as chair of health insurer-backed website Whitecoat, as it seeks to bring greater competition and transparency to the health care sector.
In his first post-NAB board role outside the not-for-profit sector and the Australian Rugby Union, Mr Clyne will lead the inaugural board of a start-up that aims to be "TripAdvisor for health care".
Mr Clyne, who led NAB while it attempted to chase market share by undercutting its big four rivals on mortgage interest rates, said Whitecoat's pro-consumer stance was a key attraction.

International speakers sign on for eHealth Queensland Expo 2017

Published: 27th of April 2017  

Health & Wellness Queensland Government
An inspiring line-up of nationally and internationally-renowned digital health experts has been confirmed for what will be an action packed eHealth Queensland Expo on 17 May at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane.
Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick will be joined by keynote speaker Amanda Stevens, one of the most dynamic and creative thought leaders in Australia, who has spoken at over 800 conferences in 14 countries about consumer behaviour and connecting in a digital world.
Last year’s keynote Chris Riddell, a futurist and award-winning speaker on digital, is returning as compere.

Why and how businesses should protect against data breaches from within

April 24, 2017 3.08pm AEST

Author Craig Horne

Strategic Information Security Consultant and PhD Researcher, University of Melbourne
Data breaches are on the rise and insiders are a big part of it.  
As we become more connected and companies hold more data, breaches are increasing, with more than 4,000 reported in 2016 alone. A statistical analysis of breaches in the United States found that 85% were conducted by someone known to the business, usually an employee or partner.
To protect both themselves and their customers, companies need to secure their data. This starts with critically evaluating what data they hold, and then securing, dumping and outsourcing it as necessary.
We can never be entirely protected from data breaches, but understanding data is the first step to minimising the risk.

Rebates for digital physiotherapy must be introduced in line with Medicare changes for digital psychology consults for rural Australians

 24 April 2017 - for immediate release
 The federal government’s announcement of a Medicare rebate for people living in rural and remote areas to access psychological services via telehealth, ie digitally enabled means, must also be replicated for physiotherapy consultations.
The APA welcomes the announcement made last week, which will allow the bulk of psychological sessions subsidised under the Better Access program to be conducted via telehealth. However, the question must be asked – why has this not also been made available for physiotherapy consultations?
Telehealth consultations improve outcomes for rural and remote Australians for a range of health conditions and reduce accessibility barriers as well as the burden on the health system by timely treatment interventions.

APS progress towards digital records deadline shows room for improvement

By Stephen Easton

The shift to digital-by-default records management is steaming ahead in the Australian Public Service but there is still a lot of ground to cover in digital maturity, including in some of the major departments. Most say it’s funding constraints holding them back.
At least three quarters of federal agencies have digital-by-default information management practices, but there’s still room for improvement according to a report card on progress towards the looming Digital Continuity 2020 policy deadline.
The National Archives of Australia delivered its first public report under the policy to Attorney-General George Brandis last August, but it wasn’t public until last Thursday. It shows the number of agencies reporting they “manage most records digitally” rose 44% between 2010 and 2015, and stood at 74% midway through last year.

National Archives report shows public sector embracing digital record keeping

Michael Gorey
Published: April 25, 2017 - 5:41PM
Federal agencies are embracing digital records management and upgrading storage systems while helping to achieve significant overall savings, according to the National Archives of Australia.
But some concern has been expressed at the overall level of "information maturity" in a report prepared for Attorney-General George Brandis.
A survey of all agencies found that in 2014-15 electronic storage across government totalled 29,410 terabytes while there were almost 102 million physical files occupying 1492km of shelf space.

How did 1500 letters for referring GPs end up in a unit block bin?

24 April 2017
Hundreds of specialist follow-up letters have been found dumped in the bin of a Sydney apartment block, months after they were supposed to have been delivered to referring GPs.
Disclosing the bungle on Friday, NSW Health said the letters related to the care of some 1500 patients from three public and six private clinics, mainly for attendances in December.
The letters, which included cancer progress reports, have been re-sent to treating doctors, and NSW Health does not believe patients have missed out on urgent care.
26 April 2017

Medical records found dumped in rubbish bin

More than 1600 medical letters were found dumped in a Sydney rubbish bin, breaching the privacy of, and potentially delaying the care for, at least 700 patients.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said a sub-contractor of Global Transcription Services, a company used to send medical letters from specialists to GPs, was to blame for the incident.
Minister Hazzard said the subcontractor was suffering from significant health problems which had led to her dumping the letters outside an apartment block instead of sending them to the recipients.

Qld govt forced to defend another payroll project

By Paris Cowan on Apr 24, 2017 4:24PM

As agencies wait even longer to move off LATTICE.

The Queensland government has found itself publicly defending yet another troubled payroll replacement.
The state is bracing for a round of IT buck-passing as attention returns to long-running efforts to migrate emergency services workers off the same ageing LATTICE solution that sat at the heart of the infamous Queensland Health bungle.
iTnews revealed in late 2015 that political fluctuations were blocking progress on what was set to be a $100 million effort to move all the state’s ambulance and prison officers, firies, and non-frontline support workers onto a modern payroll system.

This is how much Australia will spend on health by 2040

26 April 2017
Healthcare costs in Australia will increase from $5400 per person to $9000 in 25 years, researchers say.
A study in The Lancet predicts how much 184 countries will spend on healthcare in 2040, compared with 2014.
Australia spent about $5400 per person in 2014, or $4032 in US dollars.

Tanium chief admits to using private hospital data in sales demo

By Staff Writer on Apr 24, 2017 10:32AM

Accessed network without permission.

The CEO of IT security firm Tanium has been forced to apologise after it was discovered the firm used a hospital's live network in sales demonstrations and revealed private data from the same hospital in a video posted online.
The hospital had not given permission for its networks and data to be used for these purposes.
Tanium was a desktop management vendor for the El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California

Director Communication | EL2

  • Office of the CEO
  • Canberra location
Tasked with improving health outcomes for Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia, the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) is responsible for national digital health services and systems, with a focus on engagement, innovation and clinical quality and safety. Our focus is on putting data and technology safely to work for patients, consumers and the healthcare professionals who look after them.

The Agency is currently seeking people with a desire to make a difference to health outcomes, who are passionate about the use of digital health to meet these goals and have the relevant experience to deliver solutions in a highly complex stakeholder and technical environment.
Responsible for the reputation and brand management of the Australian Digital Health Agency the Director Communication ensures consistent and accurate messaging across the organisation with specific focus on the promotion of strategic priorities and programmes of work.

The Clinical Terminology v20170430 April 2017 Release is now available for download

Created on Friday, 28 April 2017
The Clinical Terminology v20170430 April 2017 Release is now available for download.


Anonymous said...

Great health and wellbeing outcomes for Australian children made possible through patient-centred and clinician-friendly digital technologies

I think that headline pretty much sums up what we can expect going forward from the ADHA and their twitter in Chief.

Dr David G More MB PhD said...

"Great health and wellbeing outcomes for Australian children made possible through patient-centred and clinician-friendly digital technologies"

And your evidence it will actually happen is?


Anonymous said...

My point exactly David, this is simply waffle but does explain the shift from HL7 and ISO standards to online editorial sun-standards.

I guess the concern for Government will be how the keep control of the ADHA news paper, something will go horribly wrong I am sure

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

For the record, that quote "Great health and wellbeing outcomes for Australian children made possible through patient-centred and clinician-friendly digital technologies"

is from the ADHA website:


There's an interesting quote

'Sydney-based mother of three, Kalita Corrigan, welcomed the announcement. "Technology is now an essential part of the modern world, so it would be great if healthcare could reflect this,” she said. “As a busy mum with young children there is a lot of information I need to keep on top of, so I'm all for using technology that will help me keep track of my children's health."'

I wonder if she (or even ADHA) realise that there is no way in this world that any technology can keep her or her children's health information complete and/or up to date?

Anonymous said...

I have children as well, what is this lady expecting? A lot of fuss about nothing IMHO just more soon to be forgotten fragmented data. I worry that this is headlined as better than sliced bread.

The link is in the Blog posting

Anonymous said...

I am guessing from the Mum is the articles language she has yet to adopt the My Child eHealth app from the Agency. The sloppy coding to one side, the policies and complexity of anything Government makes this far more time consuming and frustrating, it's easier to use outlook or even Excel, both I can use on all devices. For examples read the feedback on the App Store.