Monday, June 26, 2017

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 26th June, 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

It seems to be the budget week or two and e-Health seems to have done pretty well. Otherwise a big decision in the NT and a few other things – enjoy the browse!
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NT prepares for mammoth overhaul of health IT

$259 million to be delivered by InterSystems
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 23 June, 2017 14:24
InterSystems Australia has been chosen by the Northern Territory government to replace the NT’s key health IT systems.
The $259 million Core Clinical Systems Renewal Program (CCSRP) involves replacing four separate clinical IT systems used by the NT’s health service.
The program was originally expected to cost $185.9 million, but the territory’s government in this year’s budget upped funding for the CCSRP.
The project involves implementing a single end-to-end system for NT public health services as well as a territory-wide, real-time health electronic record system.
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GP support for mandatory 'paperless' prescriptions

Antony Scholefield | 23 June, 2017 |  
A call to phase out paper-based prescriptions has been backed by one of the RACGP's e-Health experts.
Integrated electronic prescriptions should become mandatory for “any prescriber of a PBS-listed medicine, any pharmacist wishing to dispense a PBS-listed medicine”, according to a Federal Government review of the pharmacy industry.
In its interim report, released on Thursday, the review says the current paper-based system is outdated and inconvenient, and increases the risk of adverse medical events.
Instead, paper prescriptions should no longer be the "version of record", and pharmacists should be able to retrieve the electronic prescription without sighting a paper version.
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NSW Budget: Dominello reveals AU$536m for health IT infrastructure

The newly appointed Minister for Finance, Services, and Property said citizens are expecting better government services in the digital age.
By Asha McLean | June 19, 2017 -- 03:11 GMT (13:11 AEST)
New South Wales Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello has offered a preview into the state government's 2017-18 Budget, due to be handed down on Tuesday.
Speaking at the opening of enterprise cloud company ServiceNow's new Australian headquarters in Sydney, Dominello said the state is pumping funding into eHealth initiatives as citizens are expecting better services in the digital age.
"We're spending money in relation to digital infrastructure," the minister explained on Monday.
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NSW government earmarks $1 billion for major IT projects

State government splashes out to boost eHealth records system
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 20 June, 2017 13:07
The New South Wales government plans to spend close to $1 billion on major ICT and digital projects, the 2017-18 budget reveals.
The budget, handed down today, earmarks $522.5 million for health-related technology projects.
The government plans to spend $236.2 million on its integrated digital patient records program, including the roll out of the electronic medication management system to more NSW public hospitals and linking NSW Ambulance and hospital electronic medical records in “real time”.
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NSW Government to invest AU$536 million over eight years in health IT infrastructure

Investment areas include a central repository for patients’ public hospital pathology results and rollout of the Electronic Medications Management System statewide.

21/06/2017
The NSW Government is going to invest AU$536 million over eight years in IT infrastructure and systems to support the healthcare sector, including:
  • digital infrastructure supporting the clinical and other health-related systems across NS 
  • digital patient records to ensure patient records are easy to read, accurate and instantly accessible whenever needed
  • a central repository for patients’ public hospital pathology results
  • rollout of the Electronic Medications Management System statewide
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said research showed electronic systems can reduce medication errors, which could result in significant patient harm, by over 50 percent.
“Notes might be illegible, errors can be made transcribing medication charts, or charts can be lost but this technology helps ensure patients get the right medication at the right time,” Mr Hazzard said.
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E-health gets $536m in NSW state budget

By Justin Hendry on Jun 20, 2017 2:32PM

While digital transformation remains big focus.

Digital health infrastructure in NSW has received a bumper investment in the state's 2017 budget, with more than $500 million flowing to digital patient records and a system-wide digital platform.
In state budget papers handed down today, the government revealed the full cost of two major NSW Health projects that were first detailed in last year’s budget.
Just over $286.3 million across nine years will "enhance the digital infrastructure that supports clinical and other health-related systems across the state", $16.4 million of which has been allocated in 2017-18.
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20 June 2017

Putting patient data at the centre of care

Posted by Andrew Wilson
Although private-health insurers don’t fund GP consultations, we do play an important role in sharing information with general practitioners, and ensuring we promote and support the important work GPs do in preventative care.
There’s a lot of talk, particularly in Canberra, about the spiralling cost of healthcare. It’s something Medibank has experienced first-hand. Since 2011, the number of hospital admissions per Medibank customer has increased 19%, and the average amount Medibank pays in benefits per admission has increased 10%. These increases have seen average hospital benefits paid per customer increase by 31% in just five years.
This goes to the heart of the challenge Australia’s health system faces. How can we make the best use of our healthcare resources? We know that much can be done, and is being done, to improve Australia’s health outside the hospital walls. Delivering care in an environment that is more comfortable for the patient, in their home or in their GPs’ rooms is a solution that can improve the patient’s experience of care, and help reduce the cost of care. However, we know that investment in, and support of, primary care is vital to allow this model to flourish.
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Coding errors cause 300,000-plus mismatches in South Australian medical imaging data

Brad Crouch, Medical Reporter, The Advertiser
June 20, 2017 7:47am
MORE than 300,000 medical images were wrongly labelled when SA Health moved them to a new computer system, raising the risk of “harm to patients through inaccurate diagnosis”.
The mix-ups include images of wrists being called feet, brains filed as chests and breasts classified as heads.
The Advertiser’s revelation of SA Health’s latest bungle comes amid a billion-dollar, pre-election spending spree on health by the State Government, with Labor MPs making announcements at Flinders Medical Centre, Modbury, Queen Elizabeth and Lyell McEwin hospitals.
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SA Health takes disaster recovery gamble to save money

By Allie Coyne on Jun 20, 2017 5:27PM

Pathology systems overhaul running over time, budget.

South Australia's Health department has decided not to implement a secondary site for disaster recovery with its new state-wide pathology system in an effort to save costs from a project that is running late and over budget.
In late 2015, the state's audit office looked into SA Health's enterprise pathology laboratory information system (EPLIS) overhaul and warned it was likely to run out of money before it was complete.
The project was funded from a 2012, $30.4 million investment to replace two ageing and incompatible Cirdan Ultra instances and as many as 30 smaller pathology systems across in labs and hospitals across the state.
SA Health in 2014 signed a contract with Cerner to introduce its Millennium suite of pathology lab information modules, signalling the start of the transformation.
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My Health Record Update - Release 8

22 Jun 2017


The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has recently released an update to the MyHealth Record that it says is designed to improve its usability.
According to the ADHA, in addition to a number of cybersecurity and back end system improvements, changes have been made to the front end portals for both clinicians and consumers as part of this release.
The next time clinicians access a My Health Record, among a number of changes, they will notice a new Medicines Information view, which will sort and display medicines information held in the patient’s My Health Record documents in date or alphabetical order. This view can also be found in most clinical information systems (CIS) under the OTHER DOCUMENTS LIST.
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Microsoft believes it can change how Australian GPs work

20 June 2017
Sixty Australian practices are about to test a video-based consultation process, writes Neil Bramwell.


A 1925 cover of Science and Invention magazine featured a drawing of an imaginary medical device, the teledactyl.
The magazine’s publisher, Hugo Gernsback, predicted the device would use the new medium of radio communication to allow a doctor to view their patients on a screen and touch them with spindly remote-controlled robotic arms by the year 1975.
Technology hasn’t quite caught up with Gernsback’s imagination, but the development of telemedicine or telehealth or virtual health — call it what you will — is in overdrive.
Couple this proliferation of technology with the political will to harness the apparent efficiencies and it’s clear that telemedicine will become an integral part of primary care.
To date, however, there has been little clarity on how to make commercial sense of the expansion of telemedicine services in primary care.
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NSW appoints full-time privacy commissioner

By Allie Coyne on Jun 22, 2017 2:02PM

Brings in health privacy executive.

The NSW government has made the role of state privacy commissioner a full-time position with the appointment of Samantha Gavel.
Gavel takes over from Elizabeth Coombs, who has been acting in the position part-time, or three days a week, for the past five years. Her term finished last November.
The state government indicated at the time that it intended to employ Coombs' replacement on a full-time basis following complaints by Coombs about resourcing.
Gavel is currently the national health practitioner ombudsman and privacy commissioner. She previously served as the private health insurance ombudsman for six years.
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Extension of EOI deadline to Friday 7 July, 5pm for diagnostic imaging and pathology services offers

The Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) has amended the diagnostic imaging and pathology services offers in response to recent feedback from industry representatives to ensure we can help as many organisations as possible to take advantage of the offer. We will therefore extend the deadline for lodging EOIs by two weeks to Friday 7 July at 5pm (AEST).
We expect to publish the updated offer documents on Monday 26th June. If you are planning to submit an EOI by the original deadline, please wait until we publish the updated offer, so that you can consider your response in light of the updates.
The Agency has contacted all organisations who have already submitted EOIs and advised them that they have until Friday 7 July to amend, withdraw, or keep unchanged their EOI in light of the updated offer. All EOIs received will be evaluated after the new offer close date of Friday 7 July.
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My Health Record System News

Pathology and Diagnostic imaging update
Recently some health services have started to use the capability to upload patient pathology and diagnostic imaging reports to the My Health Record system.
The Australian Digital Health Agency has taken another step towards having a more integrated health industry by announcing that more organisations, both public and private, have begun uploading pathology and diagnostic reports during June.
The benefits of receiving, viewing and storing a patient’s test results in the one place are significant for both the patient and their treating healthcare providers as it enables patients to share their test results with any number of treating providers. Clinicians will also benefit from having access to their patient’s results in circumstances where they did not initiate the requests.
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A new Medicines Information view in the My Health Record

New improvements to the My Health Record System

Over the past year, the Agency has worked with valued partners and the industry in order to deliver value in My Health Record and realise benefits of digital health in Australia. The Agency have incorporated public contributions in crafting the release by consulting over 140 Clinicians and 220 Consumer in order to deliver the best possible outcome.
1) New Medicines Information view
The next time you access a patient’s My Health Record, you may notice the new Medicines Information view.
The Medicines Information view can quickly sort and display medicines information held in a patient’s My Health Record documents in date or alphabetical order. The medicines information is gathered from:
  • the patient’s most recent (and up to two years’) Prescription and Dispense records and other PBS claims information
  • the patient’s most recent Shared Health Summary and Discharge Summary
  • recent Event summaries, Specialist Letters and e-Referral Notes uploaded to the patient’s record since their latest Shared Health Summary, and
  • the patient’s Personal Health Summary that may include any Allergies or Adverse Reactions and other key information
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Register to flag ADF suicide risk

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM June 19, 2017

Sean Parnell

Australian Defence Force personnel and veterans may be ­singled out in an electronic health record system being rolled out across Australia, as authorities look to reduce the number of military suicides.
With My Health Records set to go national next year on an opt-out basis, automatically registering people unless they say otherwise, the departments of health and defence are discussing how best to support ADF personnel and veterans.
In 2014, before the decision to make records opt-out, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs ­negotiated the inclusion of an ADF indicator on the My Health Record, allowing individuals to self-identify their military status.
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My Health Record registrations up

More than 20% of Australia’s population is now registered for a My Health Record, according to the Department of Health.
Over 4.91 million people (out of Australia’s 23.8 million) now have a My Health Record, with an average of one new registration being created every 38 seconds.
Of the registrants, 54% are female and 46% male, while there are 9,879 connected healthcare providers including GPs, hospitals, pharmacies, aged care residential services and allied health providers.
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Inquiry calls for Centrelink ‘robo-debt’ system to be put on hold

Report highlights ‘procedural fairness flaws’
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 22 June, 2017 06:30
The report of a Senate inquiry has recommended that Centrelink pause its automated data-matching program designed to claw back welfare overpayments.
The system has been criticised both for its accuracy and the impact on welfare recipients. The report of the Senate’s Community Affairs Reference Committee, tabled last night, recommended that the so-called Online Compliance Intervention (OCI) “should be put on hold until all procedural fairness flaws are addressed” and a range of other recommendations implemented.
The committee’s report said that Between November 2016 and March 2017, at least 200,000 people received notices under the OCI relating to potential welfare overpayments.
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Woolworths CTO quits for healthcare

By Allie Coyne on Jun 19, 2017 5:43PM

Change of scenery.

Woolworths chief technology officer Ryan Fahy has left the retailer for the healthcare sector, taking on the chief information officer role at Primary Health Care.
Fahy had spent around two-and-a-half years at Woolworths as its CTO, including a brief period as its acting chief information officer after Clive Whincup resigned this time last year.
Since November Fahy has been working under replacement Woolworths CIO John Hunt, who came over from Woolworths South Africa.
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Medical Must-See: Meet the colonoscopy worm-bot

Sophie Attwood | 23 June, 2017 |  
Although the prospect of a worm robot inching its way through your colon may be a touch disconcerting, it could actually be a safer and more comfortable alternative to traditional colonoscopies.
Scientists from the University of Colorado in the US have created a worm-like device that can cleverly navigate the human colon, collecting images along the way.
The latest in the field of robotic aides, the 13cm-long ‘worm’ is made up of three flexible sections and nine shape-memory alloy springs, which convulse in a peristaltic motion mimicking that of the gut.
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1ST Group Launches MyHealth1st TV & Health Guide

Provides the MyHealth1st community with comprehensive and trusted Australian online health content
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Signing of a powerful advertising and health content partnership between MyHealth1st and an Australian leading health advertising and content provider, Tonic Health Media
  • Supports MyHealth1st’s preventative care and health education strategy
  • Tonic Health Media sales, advertising expertise and content syndication platform to drive MyHealth1st advertising revenues
  • Enables consumer access to over 700 health videos and 1,000 articles through the MyHealth1st platform
  • Tonic’s content syndication platform will continue to grow with premium content partners such as Health& joining the network
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NBN withholds individual internet speeds

  • The Australian
  • 8:00PM June 20, 2017

Anthony Klan

The National Broadband Network has details of the achievable internet speeds for every home it has connected but refuses to release the information despite widespread confusion among consumers seeking to connect.
The fact NBN Co has both “theoretical” speeds — the speeds it expects homes not yet connected will achieve — and actual speeds post-connection also raises questions as to the necessity of a $7 million federal government program to monitor connection speeds in 4000 homes.
Industry experts interviewed by The Australian have raised concerns NBN Co has widespread detailed net speed information and is not releasing it publicly but only to retail telco providers, who may have financial incentives to suppress the information.

Govt goes ahead with broadband tax bill

By Ry Crozier on Jun 22, 2017 11:43AM

Reiterates assertion that NBN customers won’t pay more.

The federal government has made good on its promise to introduce broadband tax legislation before parliament wraps up for the winter.
Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher introduced a pair of telecommunications bills today that set NBN Co as the new default fixed-line operator in Australia, and paved the way for a broadband tax to cover future fixed wireless and satellite costs.
The broadband tax converts an “opaque” internal NBN cross-subsidy of regional and rural connections into a “transparent” monthly charge of $7.10 per premises served by FTTx and HFC technologies.
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Three charts on: the NBN and Australia’s digital divide

Editor: Melissa Sweet Author: Ashley Schram, Fran Baum, Matt Fisher, Patrick Harris, Sharon Friel and Toby Freeman on: June 21, 2017
Let’s spend billions of dollars widening the social, economic and health gap between people who are already quite privileged and those who are not so well off.
Is that what we’re doing with the National Broadband Network (NBN)?
OK, that may be a touch hyperbolic but the article below suggests there is mounting evidence that the NBN rollout is more likely to exacerbate than alleviate health inequities.
And there are other reports of variable access to the NBN within regions (see the tweet below from former MP Tony Windsor about differential access in regional NSW, responding to these concerns about inequitable access in Bendigo, relative to other regional centres in Victoria).
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ACCC seeks volunteers for NBN speed tests

The competition regulator has invited Australians to join a new programme that will measure and compare broadband speeds across the country.
Under the programme, which aims to find out if issues relating to poor speeds at peak times are caused by the NBN Co's performance or network management decisions made by ISPs, hardware devices will be installed in about 4000 homes for four years.
The ACCC said the aim was to get about 2000 volunteers in the first year. The devices will carry out remote tests to determine typical speeds on fixed-line NBN services throughout the day.
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Enjoy!
David.

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