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, July 03, 2017

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 3rd July, 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 very quiet week with the most news about large Government mess ups in IT and ransomware running loose all over the world…
Enjoy the browse!

Who botched Oz cancer registry rollout? Pretty much everybody

Another day, another botched government contract

By Richard Chirgwin 29 Jun 2017 at 23:56
Australia's derailed outsourcing of its National Cancer Registry is the latest project red-flagged by the Australian National Audit Office.
The audit, released yesterday, reaches the seemingly-contradictory conclusions that the Department of Health's management of the tender was effective and achieved value for money; but that the “objectives sought by the Government have not been achieved in the agreed timeframe and additional costs have been incurred as a result.”
In May 2016, during the pre-election caretaker mode, the government pushed through a contract that gave Telstra the job to consolidate the country's cancer registries, ousting the nonprofits that used to handle the job.
At the time, one of those nonprofits, the Victorian Cytology Service (which also bid on the register), complained that Telstra had no experience in such a project in spite of the carrier splashing a couple of hundred million buying health startups.

Australia's Telstra-run cancer register has no security, privacy plan

By Allie Coyne on Jun 29, 2017 11:38AM

Audit finds problems with Health procurement.

The federal Health department has no plan outlining how its supplier Telstra will manage the privacy and security of the new national cancer screening register, one year on from the contract being signed, the national auditor has found.
The Australian National Audit Office undertook an audit into Health's procurement of services for the operation of the register, which was last May awarded to Telstra for $220 million over five years.
It found that while Health had broadly complied with its obligations under Commonwealth and internal department procurement rules, additional costs as well as security and privacy concerns have resulted from key objectives not being met.
The department revealed in February that the register would not go live as planned in March, and was more likely to become operational in December due to a complex data migration process.

Telstra's cancer register receives damning assessment

Antony Scholefield | 30 June, 2017 |  
Audit officials have given a damning assessment of Telstra’s botched handling of the new National Cancer Screening Register, which has been plagued by delays.
With the shift from Pap smears to HPV screening, the new register listing the health details of 11 million Australian women was meant to go live in May, but it has been shelved until the end of the year.
The telecommunications giant won the $180 million contract to operate the scheme, controversially beating a rival bid from the not-for-profit Victorian Cytology Service.
It has now emerged that, from the 36 'deliverables' set by the Department of Health for the rollout, Telstra has only successfully delivered two by the original deadline, according to the Australian National Audit Office.

Plan for privacy and security absent from national cancer-screening database: ANAO

The ANAO concluded that no official documentation has been found that outlines how Telstra would manage the privacy and security of the national cancer screening register.
By Tas Bindi | June 30, 2017 -- 06:25 GMT (16:25 AEST) | Topic: Telcos
The Australian federal Health department has no plan around how privacy and security of the new national cancer screening register (NCSR) will be handled by Telstra, and "inadequate" planning has led to the incurrence of additional costs, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has found.
A year on from the AU$220 million contract being awarded to Telstra to create a database of cancer records for those who have been screened for bowel and cervical cancer, the national auditor has concluded that the effectiveness of the procurement has been negatively impacted, with key objectives not being met in the agreed timeline due to limited consideration of privacy, security, and conflicts of interest.
The Health department does not have any official documents outlining how Telstra would manage privacy and security, and it rejected the telco's proposed data protection plan in December on the grounds that it did not comply with the requirements of the contract, the ANAO stated in its audit report.
Under the terms of the five-year contract, Telstra was required submit a data protection plan within 40 days of signing the contract, as well as a privacy policy or security risk management plan following that.

Health staff slammed over cancer contract

- on June 29, 2017, 5:45 pm
A scathing audit of the Turnbull government's bungled cancer screening register has found glaring conflicts of interest among federal Health Department officials who awarded the $220 million contract to Telstra.
The Australian National Audit Office has slammed the way health officials went about procuring the register, finding there was inadequate consideration of risk and poor management of conflicts of interest.
After scouring the Telstra share registry, auditors discovered nine officers involved in the procurement owned Telstra shares but didn't disclose this at the time, Thursday's report reveals.
One of those officers voted for Telstra as the preferred tenderer.
29 June 2017

Support for move to electronic prescriptions

Posted byTMR Staff
The King Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation has recommended Australia move to replace paper-based prescriptions with an electronic-based system.
The review said the first step in this process would be the recognition of an electronic prescription as a valid legal record, something that is not currently the case.
Although there already was an e-script system in Australia, with around 35% of scripts uploaded to it, that barcode-based system had its limitations. This, combined with the “lack of a universal, consistent record of dispensed medicines (linked into patients’ electronic health records) is concerning”, the review said.
An integrated electronic prescription system would greatly reduce the risk of transcription errors and create time and workflow efficiencies for pharmacists, according to the review.

Amcal pathology screening gets thumbs up

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia has backed the pathology health screenings rolled out through Sigma’s Amcal Pharmacy network this week

Sigma Healthcare has partnered with SmartHealth to roll-out the service, which began on Monday 26 June, utilising their network of 1,500 accredited participating collection centres and laboratories throughout Australia.
Allowing people to access valid pathology testing through pharmacies will allow those not visiting their doctors to be screened for common chronic health issues, says Dr Michael Harrison, President of the RCPA.
“These are limited mainstream tests, mainly for detecting cholesterol, diabetes, kidney disease, for people who – for whatever reason – are not getting testing done through the usual system.
The results will be placed on the patient’s My Health Record for healthcare practitioners to access.

Teens with food allergies get new website

June 26, 20173:21pm
Sarah Wiedersehn Australian Associated Press
Having a severe food allergy can have a huge impact on a teen's social life, even kissing can be fatal, yet many are reluctant to talk about it .
A new government funded website has now been launched to encourage teenagers and young adults with food allergies to start a conversation without embarrassment.
It's a conversation that could save a life, says Federal Assistant Minister for Health, Dr David Gillespie.
Immunologist Associate Professor Richard Loh said young adults, not toddlers, were the mostly likely to die from food-triggered anaphylactic reactions.

Doctors urged to promote new patient-help website

Staff writers | 30 June, 2017 |  
Doctors are being urged to promote a new website helping patients to manage their private life while they are incapacitated.
The site, Gather My Crew, was set up by volunteers with a $200,000 grant from the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund.
It is designed to help friends and family co-ordinate tasks such as meals, child care, pet care and dealing with utility providers.
“It’s for short-term crises where something happens and people don’t know how they are going to get through the next few months,” said Dr Susan Palmer (PhD), the psychologist who developed idea.

DHS gets auditor's tick for myGov

By Allie Coyne on Jun 27, 2017 12:57PM

Good implementation despite user complaints.

Australia's national auditor has given the stamp of approval to the Department of Human Services' implementation of the myGov online service portal, despite a handful of smaller criticisms.
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has been reviewing the platform for the last year, looking into how well it was delivered and how it has performed.
The platform currently has 9.5 million users - largely thanks to a requirement that taxpayers use the platform for online tax return lodgment since 2014 - but has received complaints about its reliability and usability.
Since last year the DHS - with help from the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) - has been on a concerted campaign to address some of these problems.

Audit gives myGov a tick, despite budget blowout

Benefits of service are hard to quantify however, audit finds
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 27 June, 2017 13:38
The government’s myGov digital service portal has been the subject of a largely positive audit, despite the project costing more than estimated and its benefits being difficult to quantify.
myGov launched in May 2013 and can be linked to a range of online services offered by government agencies, including the Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink, Medicare, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the government’s My Health Record system.
The Australian National Audit Office today released its report on the service.
The system is operated and hosted by the Department of Human Services (DHS), while the government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) oversees service strategy, policy and user experience.

Hospital moves to ban snapchat videos of live surgery and doctors want a national ban

Sue Dunlevy, National Health Reporter, News Corp Australia Network
July 1, 2017 12:30am
EXCLUSIVE: Doctors are calling for a national ban on Snapchat videos of live surgery claiming they present an infection and privacy risk and could jeopardise surgical outcomes.
One major private hospital’s clinical committee has already moved to ban the videos and Facebook has taken down at least one live surgery video because it was too graphic.
Westmead Private Hospital has confirmed its Medical Advisory Committee banned snapchatting of live surgery last month.
Plastic surgeon Dr Laith Barnouti is calling for Westmead Private Hospital’s ban to become nationwide claiming the filming of surgery carries an infection risk and distracts doctors and nurses from patient care.
28 June 2017

NSW throws some serious money at digital health

Posted byJulie Lambert
NSW will inject more than half a billion dollars in digital systems to bring patient health records, medications management and the sharing of pathology results into the 21st century.
NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the $536 million outlay over eight years reflected the position of e-health as the “most important revolution in healthcare”, adding the investment would lift efficiency.
Specific spending items include $236 million for digital patient records, to ensure patient records are easy to read, instantly accessible and accurate, and to extend the state’s electronic medications management (eMeds) program. The full roll-out of eMeds would bring a significant advance in medications management to assure patient safety, eHealth NSW CEO and CIO Zoran Bolevich told The Medical Republic.
“We’ll move from 13 hospitals with 4,500 beds now live with eMeds to 178 hospitals with almost 22,000 beds,” he said.

Balancing the ledger: accounting for the year in privacy

June 28, 2017, Anna Johnston
This Friday it will be the end-of-financial-year here in Australia, which means it’s time for a stock-take: see where we are at, count the positives and negatives, and determine our net position.  Are we in the red or the black?
So today, rather than reconcile the Salinger Privacy petty cash receipts, I thought I would do a stock-take of the year in privacy, reviewing both positives and negatives.
Herewith I present to you the Privacy Ledger for the Australian Government, FY 2016-17.
First, the privacy-positive side of the ledger:
But then there’s also the privacy-negative side of the ledger:

Innovators step up as clients drive aged care

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM June 29, 2017

Sarah-Jane Tasker

A structural change in Australia’s aged-care sector, which is allowing consumers to control their choices, is driving tech entrepreneurs to tap into the industry to fill service gaps left by the old establishment.
Lydia Paterson, chief executive of start-up Care Guidance, said there were two trends fuelling innovation in aged care and the first was the deregulation of the industry. The sector is moving from a government-driven system to a market-based one where consumers have greater choice and control over the services that affect them.
“Baby boomers entering the aged-care market in significant numbers over the coming decade is the second trend,” Ms Paterson said.
“Their consumer preferences are going to accelerate the transformation of the industry and provide the incentive for innovators.

NT picks supplier for massive $259m health IT overhaul

By Allie Coyne on Jun 23, 2017 1:48PM

One digital health record for all territorians.

The Northern Territory government has signed a contract with global clinical systems provider InterSystems to undertake the "largest-ever" transformation of the territory's healthcare IT environment.
The five-year core clinical systems renewal program (CCSRP) was given an extra $73 million in the territory's annual budget last month, upping the price tag to $259 million.
It will replace four obsolete critical clinical systems with a single patient database, accessible from anywhere and in real time.
The platform will provide doctors and clinicians a single view of a patient, and will allow territorians to access their personal data and manage their appointments through an online portal.

Northern Territory Selects InterSystems to Implement Single Digital Medical Record for All Territorians

Implementation will make NT first Australian state or territory with a unified ICT solution across public health

SYDNEY, June 26, 2017InterSystems, a global leader in health information technology, today announced that the Northern Territory Government (NTG) has chosen to implement InterSystems TrakCare® for its Core Clinical Systems Renewal Program (CCSRP).  
The selection of the InterSystems solution is the outcome of an open, competitive tender that was managed by the NTG Department of Corporate and Information Services.  InterSystems TrakCare unified clinical information system will be implemented at every point of care across all public health facilities, including the five existing public hospitals, the new Palmerston Regional Hospital (to be completed in 2018), 54 remote health centres and all community-based health services, including the most remote locations of the 1.3-million-sq.-km. territory.
Through this agreement, the Northern Territory will become the first Australian state or territory with a single system for all of its public healthcare sites.  CCSRP is the “largest ever” IT reform in the Territory, according to health minister Natasha Fyles, and is designed to improve health outcomes for all Territorians by promoting efficiency, effectiveness and integration throughout the public healthcare system.
29 June 2017

NT to upgrade and integrate medical records

Posted byTMR Staff
In a significant nod to the future, the Northern Territory has followed the lead of the NSW government and announced a substantial investment in digital health systems.
The Territory will spend $259 million to replace the four separate clinical IT systems used by the health service with the aim of delivering a single digital medical record for all Territorians.
The project, called the Core Clinical Systems Renewal Program, will see the Territory become the first Australian state or Territory to have a single IT system for all its public healthcare sites.
NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles said the program was designed to improve health outcomes by promoting efficiency, effectiveness and integration throughout the public healthcare system.

'They're getting in through our computers': Predators using games to groom kids

Timna Jacks
Published: June 26 2017 - 12:59PM
Six-year-old Phoebe was building a virtual hospital online when an image of a naked woman flashed across her screen.
She yelled to her parents that she was being "hacked" and tried to remove the explicit photo.
Her father, Wayne, promptly reported the incident to police, but weeks later, he remains furious that his daughter was exposed to the image.
"We lock our doors and our windows to protect our children, but these predators are getting in through our computer screens. It's very alarming."

NSW passes digital transformation bill

By Justin Hendry on Jun 26, 2017 9:00AM

Amends outdated, paper-based processes.

The NSW parliament has passed a digital transformation bill that amends legislation that was preventing the government from implementing some digital services.
The bill – officially known as the Electronic Transactions Legislation Amendment (Government Transactions) Bill 2017 – was introduced following the release of state’s latest digital transformation strategy last month.
It passed through both houses of parliament late last week unopposed.
The bill modernises 53 acts and five regulations that “contain requirements for traditional, outdated, or paper-based processes” to allow the government to serve certain documents electronically, such as via email.

Overview of National Clinical Terminology Service (NCTS)

The National Clinical Terminology Service (NCTS) delivers state of the art terminology services that promote adoption of national clinical terminologies in electronic health and medical records in Australia.
This short animation was created as part of a submission to the Australian Information Industry Association 2017 iAwards to provide a simple overview of the solution developed.

How the new PSA president aims to revamp pharmacy

29 June, 2017 Heather Saxena
Shane Jackson sounds like one of those enviable people who can tick off a monumental to-do list without breaking a sweat.
So when the new PSA president reels off a list of things he wants to achieve for community pharmacy you feel it just might be do-able.
The Tasmanian pharmacist managed to work 20 to 30 hours a week in community pharmacy while completing a full-time PhD that included three studies on warfarin.
Fast-forward 13 years and he co-owns two rural, independent pharmacies near Hobart and is a clinical lead with the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Microsoft to release security-focused Win10 update

By Juha Saarinen on Jun 28, 2017 8:25AM

EMET comes to flagship OS.

The next major update for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system will contain advanced security enhancements to protect against new cyber threats released in the wild at a rapid pace, the company said.
For the upcoming Windows 10 creators update, Microsoft intends to integrate new features into the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) security tool.
It will resurrect parts of its Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET), which aims to protect customers against new bugs before they're exploited.
EMET was deemed unnecessary on Windows 10 but customer feedback forced Microsoft to make it native to the operating system.

Microsoft to help users guard against ransomware

Microsoft will introduce a feature in its next build of Windows 10 to allow users to protect folders in order to prevent their contents being encrypted in the case of a ransomware attack.
The feature is in Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16232 for PCs which is being released to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring today (Australian time).
The build is expected to be released to all Windows 10 users later this year.
Called controlled folder access, the feature is part of Windows Defender, Microsoft's own anti-malware application.

Telstra withdraws support for broadband tax

By Ry Crozier on Jun 26, 2017 10:08AM

Corporate service scope creep alarms industry.

Telstra has withdrawn its support for the broadband tax as concerns mount that the charge has morphed into an “industry tax” on the telecommunications sector.
Australia’s number one telco stopped short of saying it had been blindsided by the government on the tax – known as the regional broadband scheme (RBS) – but said it could no longer support its introduction.
“Our support for a levy was predicated on it being introduced to create a level playing field and targeting the problem being addressed, i.e. revenue-leakage from networks competing with NBN Co,” Telstra said.
“Under that approach the levy would only be payable by those networks that had infrastructure competing with NBN infrastructure.

Broadband tax bill sent to senate inquiry

By Ry Crozier on Jun 26, 2017 10:34AM

One more opportunity to raise objections.

The government could face a hurdle in its attempt to introduce a broadband tax after the senate referred the proposed law to a committee for scrutiny.
The proposed laws – which would institute a $7.10 per service per month charge on all fixed-line telecommunications services in Australia – have been under fire since they were revealed in December last year.
In particular, the government has faced criticism for trying to introduce the laws to parliament before a consultation by the Department of Communications had even been completed.
iTnews revealed this morning the results of that consultation which show vast industry opposition to the tax, including from telcos such as Telstra that had previously supported it.

TPG savages broadband tax as band-aid for 'broken' NBN

By Ry Crozier on Jun 26, 2017 9:03AM

Even NBN Co is worried about mobile competitors.

TPG has launched a withering attack on NBN Co’s “already broken” business model, warning it will continue to be eroded despite government attempts to patch it up with new laws.
After finally introducing a package of new telecommunications laws to parliament – including the controversial broadband tax - late last week, the Department of Communications was forced to reveal details of those who object to the bills.
TPG’s bid to compete with NBN Co for high-value fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) services is a key reason the broadband tax exists.
The tax will add $7.10 a month to the cost of services, making TPG less able to undercut NBN fixed-line prices. TPG will also have to structurally or functionally separate.


Trevor3130 said...

Re the Telstra-Health NCSR it's evident that, beside difficulties in transference of data, Health jacked up because of
a requirement that Telstra submit a draft Commonwealth Data Protection Plan within 40 days of the contract being signed. The plan is a key document to manage issues relating to privacy of data. Telstra’s initial plan was submitted in the required timeframe and was subsequently revised in response to feedback from Health. The draft plan was formally rejected by Health on 9 December 2016 on the grounds that it did not comply with the requirements of the Contract. As at March 2017, the Commonwealth Data Protection Plan has not been accepted by Health.

I'd like to think Health had a good long think about their previous glib "We own the data".

Anonymous said...

Its hard to believe Telstra has any effective Project Management skills, getting something done on time, meeting requirements and within budget. Remember the privacy aspect is only one of the project's requirements...