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, October 23, 2017

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 23rd October, 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

Another quiet week with gradual progress happening on a number of fronts – none of which seem to have anything to do with the ADHA.
Browse the headlines to get a feel for what is happening and do vote on the latest poll. Something needs to bring the myHR  juggernaut to a more constructive direction!

Pharmacy welcomes real-time monitoring

News that Victoria passed legislation to establish real-time prescription monitoring has been welcomed by pharmacists

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement of a statewide roll-out of a real-time prescription monitoring system – called SafeScript – in 2018, following the passing of new laws in Melbourne on Thursday.
SHPA Victorian Branch Chair Glenn Valoppi says the new legislation, which will see Victoria become the second state after Tasmania to roll out a mandatory prescription monitoring system from late 2018, is an important protective measure.

Telstra maintains unprofitable Health business has had success under the covers

The Telstra chair has said that if the company wasn't confident it was the right business to be in, it would cut it.
By Chris Duckett | October 17, 2017 -- 03:53 GMT (14:53 AEDT) | Topic: Innovation
It might take longer than some people would like for Telstra Health to become a profitable arm of the company, but chair John Mullen has said that Telstra is confident that it will be.
"Telstra Health hasn't hit everything we expected it to do, but it's a startup business ... in a new area, we're bound to make some mistakes, we have made some mistakes, but we have also made a lot of successes," Mullen told the company AGM on Tuesday.
The chair said the telco's health business has had success "under the covers", and handles 260 million prescriptions annually, has 22,000 GPs and 35,000 pharmacists on its systems, as well as 10 public hospitals using its patient flow and queue management software.

Vic DHHS searches for e-health, data chiefs

By Justin Hendry on Oct 16, 2017 12:12PM

New leadership roles for IT branch.

Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services will bring in two new technology leaders to take point on the domains of e-health and data management.
It is currently looking for a chief digital health officer and chief data officer to join CIO Steve Hodgkinson in the department’s business technology and information management branch.
The chief digital health officer will oversee e-health initiatives across the entire Victorian health system, and will be responsible for implementing the state’s digitising health strategy and policies and programs under the national digital health strategy.

Mental health support for mums goes mobile

The government launched a new website and mobile app on Saturday aiming to promote the mental health of new mums and mums-to-be.
Source: AAP
21 October, 2017
New mums and mums-to-be in Australia will receive a boost in mental health support with the launch of an online resource to help people deal with depression.
On Saturday, the government launched its MumSpace website, an online mental health resource offering tools, apps and helplines to help reach mums in rural and regional areas.
  • Updated Oct 16 2017 at 4:00 PM

Peter Moon: When could a data breach be toxic?

There's nothing like a juicy tale of data hacking to fuel my indignation. How dare those guys not patch their software? What kind of dolt leaves access accounts with default user names like "admin" and default passwords like "password"? And how can a serious data breach go unreported for months?
They're all good questions and from February 2018 it's a safe bet we'll be asking them more often. Businesses that are regulated by the Privacy Act will be required to self-report data breaches, at least where information about individuals is compromised and someone is likely to suffer serious harm as a result.
More than just filing an incident report, the new privacy rules call on enterprises to notify individuals at risk, including information about what kind of information has been lost or leaked and what they might to do protect their backs.

OAIC received 114 voluntary data breach notifications in 2016-17

The office led by Information and Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim received 114 voluntary data breach notifications, 35 mandatory digital health data notifications, and 2,494 privacy-related complaints during the 12-month period.
By Asha McLean | October 19, 2017 -- 01:47 GMT (12:47 AEDT) | Topic: Security
During the 2016-17 financial year, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) received a total of 114 voluntary data beach notifications, with a further 35 mandatory digital health data breach notifications also reported, the agency's 2016-17 Annual Report [PDF] has revealed.
With the number of breach notifications made voluntarily increasing by 29 percent over last year, the OAIC said its hand in increasing awareness on the existence of the scheme -- as well as the publication of resources -- helped encourage entities to come forward.
The top five sectors that were the source of the reported breaches were the Australian government, finance and superannuation, retail, health service providers, and telecommunications providers.

Australian government details Govpass digital ID

The government's digital identification system will match a user's photograph, as well as Medicare, driver's licence, and birth certificate details, with information already held by various departments.
By Asha McLean | October 17, 2017 -- 00:08 GMT (11:08 AEDT) | Topic: Security
The federal government has detailed what its digital identification solution will look like, outlining how citizens can apply for an optional Govpass in a video posted on YouTube.
The Govpass platform is currently in testing phase, with a beta version "soon" available for opt-in.
To register for a Govpass, citizens will need to enter a handful of personal details, starting with their email address. Once an address is entered, the user will receive a code via email, with the second step requiring that code to be entered into the account creation screen.

New app makes surgery set-ups a breeze

By Kristy Platt
Tuesday, 17 October, 2017
Hospital executives and nursing unit managers are constantly seeking to improve surgical efficiency and reduce costs in operating theatres; however, inefficiencies in the surgical set-up process have been overlooked — until now.
Mid-surgery, nurse Beth Wozniak was repeatedly astounded to find herself rushing out of the operating theatre to gather equipment that should have been there already. Equipment was missing in action, set-up was frequently incorrect; it just wasn’t good enough.
“These errors can cost hospitals thousands in wasted theatre time and unnecessary disposal of unused sterile equipment, as well as adding risk to patient safety,” said Wozniak. There had to be a better way. Certain she could improve on the old preference card system, the NSW-based nurse set about finding a solution.

The impacts of eHealth upon hospital practice: synthesis of the current literature

17 Oct 2017
The aim of this brief is to provide policy-makers with an analysis of current literature relating to the effects to be expected from hospital implementation of eHealth technologies.


To increase value from health-care expenditures, governments worldwide are increasingly adopting (or planning to adopt) eHealth technologies (e.g. Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Computer Provider Order Entry (CPOE), ePrescribing, and Computerised Decision Support Systems (CDSS)). The US government devoted $34 billion to this effort, and as a result, over 75% of US hospitals have now implemented EMRs. Alternatively, the UK National Health Service suspended their digitization efforts in 2011 after spending approximately £12 billion, but in 2016 dedicated a further £4.2 billion to digitise healthcare. The Queensland Government has budgeted $1.26 billion in an ambitious attempt to digitally transform the state’s public hospitals and similar initiatives have also been undertaken by other Australian states. Investing in eHealth is largely viewed as a means for the healthcare industry to improve financial and clinical outcomes. However, some of these outcomes are yet to be fully realised7 and effects of digitisation reported in the literature are often conflicting.
While many US hospitals have implemented eHealth technologies, their early experiences are not necessarily generalizable to today’s environments because digital systems are rapidly evolving. Because of this, and the heterogeneity of effects reported in past literature, it is important to provide up-to-date assessments of the currently available evidence. The aim of this brief is to provide, for policy-makers, an analysis of current literature relating to the effects to be expected from hospital implementation of eHealth technologies.

Jupl takes its aged care monitoring smart watch to Australia

Partners with aged care community operator Illawarra Retirement Trust
Auckland based Jupl, which specialises in wearable devices for healthcare monitoring of people in their homes, has partnered with Australian aged care community operator the Illawarra Retirement Trust (IRT) to bring its latest product, based on the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier smart watch, into Australia.
Central to the trial is Jupl’s application running on the watch. The Gear S3 is the first smart watch to ship with an embedded SIM. The Jupl application integrates with the Samsung watch and Cisco’s Jasper cloud service to deliver wearable healthcare technology that provides 24/7 monitoring and support for the wearer.
This service was developed through collaboration between Jupl, Spark NZ, Samsung and Cisco Jasper.

My Health Record empowers carers and their loved ones

Created on Wednesday, 18 October 2017
To celebrate the launch of National Carers Week 2017, the Australian Digital Heath Agency (the Agency) is partnering with Carers Australia to raise awareness of the practical tools that My Health Record offers to support carers and the broader community.
The Agency has launched a video to inform carers of these tools, featuring case studies that demonstrate the benefit of My Health Record in the lives of real-life carers.
Almost 2.7 million Australians care for someone with a disability, a medical condition, mental illness or someone who is frail due to age. This contribution equates to 1.9 billion hours of unpaid care per year 1.

Where did our health data go?

Data is like garbage, you’d better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it ~ Mark Twain
It took a while, but the Department of Health is now inviting submissions about the various ways digital health information in the national My Health Record (MyHR) should, and could, be used.
By law information in the MyHR can be collected, used and disclosed ‘for any purpose.’ This ‘secondary use’ of health data includes purposes other than the primary use of delivering healthcare to patients.
The consultation paper is not an easy-read and I wonder how many people will be able to make heads or tails of the document – but then again it is a complex subject.

Pharmacists partner with the Federal Government to increase My Health Record information sharing

Lynne Minion | 20 Oct 2017
The Federal Government has announced a partnership with the peak body representing pharmacists designed to increase their access to clinical records and the sharing of drug-dispensing information through My Health Record.
According to Health Minister Greg Hunt, the partnership with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, which represents Australia’s 29,000 pharmacists, will drive the healthcare cohort’s My Health Record uptake.
“This partnership will help PSA to increase the number of pharmacists working in all practice settings registered, able to view and automatically upload medicines information to My Health Record,” Hunt said.

Labor: 'Real action' needed after defence contractor hack

Government response 'flippant' say Labor MPs Gai Brodtmann and Amanda Rishworth
George Nott (Computerworld) 13 October, 2017 09:12
Labor has called for the Government to take “real action” in response to the hacking of an Australian defence contractor, which resulted in the theft of 30 gigabytes of data.
The hacker stole technical information on smart bombs, the Joint Strike Fighter, the Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and several naval vessels over five months last year.
“This is a serious breach with the potential for serious consequences,” shadow assistant minister for cyber security and defence, Gai Brodtmann, and shadow minister for veterans' affairs and defence personnel, Amanda Rishworth, said in a joint statement.

Shergold: Medicare ID should stay, despite numbers for sale on the darknet

The Mandarin / October 16, 2017
The revelation in July this year that Medicare card numbers were for sale on the so-called ‘darknet’  — left some in government in a panic. Presumed at the time to be a wholesale leak from too loose controls of health providers’ access to the 14.1 million card records, an expert panel was tasked with reviewing that access.
But the response to this breach of privacy and security needs to be proportionate says the expert panel in its final report, made public on Saturday:
“On the one hand, it is important to ensure access to treatment by all individuals entitled to subsidised Medicare care and to reduce the administrative burden placed on health professionals; on the other, it is imperative to maintain the privacy of personal information and to reduce the potential for fraud or identity theft.”

Review urges tighter controls for Medicare data access

Phase out PKI certificate system, report recommends
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 17 October, 2017 07:00
The government-commissioned independent review into the Health Professionals Online Service (HPOS) has recommended tighter security for the system.
HPOS is used by doctors, dentists and other health professionals to access a range of government services, including looking up the Medicare details of an individual.
HPOS is understood the be the source of an illicit service offered through the now-defunct AlphaBay Tor-concealed online market. The service offered to reveal the Medicare card number of any Australian individual by using their name and date of birth — the same details required for the HPOS Find a Patient service.

Inquiry into Medicare numbers for sale on the dark web calls for changes to health worker access

Lynne Minion | 17 Oct 2017
An inquiry into the sale of Medicare card details on the dark web has called for the tightening of healthcare provider access to Medicare numbers, with recommendations for widespread changes.
In July, a dark web vendor was reported by The Guardian to be illegally selling Medicare card numbers by request, exploiting a vulnerability in the Department of Human Services system that allows health professionals to obtain the details when patients are unable to provide them.
The independent review chaired by Professor Peter Shergold was commissioned by the government to look at improved security for the system without unnecessarily adding to healthcare workers’ administrative workloads.

Ditch PKI certs in Medicare look-up system: review

By Allie Coyne on Oct 16, 2017 5:57PM

But keep using cards as ID.

A government-ordered review into how health providers access Medicare numbers has recommended the cards continue to be used as a form of identification despite security and privacy concerns with the system.
The federal government ordered the review - led by professor Peter Shergold - after The Guardian revealed Medicare details were being sold on the dark web for around A$29 per file.
The Department of Human Services has said the individual selling the card numbers exploited legitimate access to obtain the data.

Dementia care: ePAT, DSA roll out pain-detection app

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM October 18, 2017

Sarah-Jane Tasker

Australians with dementia will now be able to communicate pain levels thanks to a new app being rolled out nationally.
Listed pain detection app developer ePAT has teamed up with Dementia Support Australia to provide the technology to 150 consultants across Australia that could benefit up to 5000 people suffering with dementia each year.
The app, PainChek, which has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, uses artificial intelligence and smartphone technology to visually analyse facial expressions, assess pain levels in real time and update medical records in the cloud.

Big leap forward as the cloud transforms GP technology

Susan Muldowney | 13 Oct 2017
Cloud-based technology is transforming healthcare by placing clinical and practice management at the fingertips of medical professionals. It represents a big leap forward for an industry often apprehensive about the changes technology presents.
While these platforms can improve the experience of patients and enhance the performance of healthcare organisations, their true success is measured by the security of their infrastructure.
This is where MedicalDirector’s cloud-based platform Helix is making a significant difference.

NEC Artificial Intelligence to be used in Aussie medical research

The Australian arm of ICT services giant NEC has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Telethon Kids Institute for child health research to explore opportunities to apply NEC’s artificial intelligence technologies in medical research.
Under the agreement, the Telethon Kids Institute will now explore whether NEC’s artificial intelligence algorithms for eye tracking and facial recognition can be used to develop new diagnostic tools for detecting autism at a young age.
The aim of the partnership is to improve the institute’s research into autism and diagnosis through access to NEC’s engineers, technology and services.   
17 October 2017

Wild Health’s top 10 weird and light moments

Posted by Jeremy Knibbs
Monday’s Wild Health Summit took a close look at healthcare interoperability, the My Health Record, the rise of AI and the Medical Cloud, and the rise of the “connected patient” via the magic that is the Q&A format. Here are some of the lighter takeaways from the day.
 1. Tim Ferguson, a Doug Anthony All Star, and Wild Health Summit host (with the most) had this to say on homeopathy 
“ As a celebrity with MS I sometimes get tweeted at by homeopaths who invariably tell me that I should try homeopathy to get rid of it. I always tweet back that homeopathy is what gave me MS in the first place. To which always comes the indignant reply, ‘That can’t be true’, and my reply to that is ‘Prove it then’.”

This app is a must-have for mum (and GPs)

18 October 2017


App: Baby Centre pregnancy tracker & baby development countdown
Price: Free
Pros: Fun, trustworthy information, regularly updated 
Cons: Contains some advertising
Verdict: ★★★★☆

AMA issues new healthcare communication standards

Lynne Minion | 18 Oct 2017
The AMA has issued a guide to minimum standards for communication between health services and GPs, including electronic patient records interfacing between hospitals and general practices, and transparent specialist appointment systems.  
The guide, 10 Minimum Standards for Communicating between Health Services and General Practitioners and other Treating Doctors, provides key criteria for clinician communication to improve quality of care for patients and reduce duplication in the health system.
The AMA has urged all state and territory health departments, and the major private hospital operators to adopt the new standards.
  • Updated Oct 15 2017 at 11:00 PM

Calls for patient records to be protected from life insurers

The healthcare sector says customers of life insurance companies need more protection from the government.
Members of the healthcare sector have called on the government to require that patients get an alert when an insurer requests to access their medical records, as the number of life insurance companies asking doctors to provide full files spikes.
In documents provided to the parliamentary committee investigating the under-siege $44 billion life insurance industry, medical defence organisation MDA National said it gets calls "every week" from general practitioners about requests from insurance companies for patient records.
Dianne Browning, general counsel for MDA National, said in a "questions on notice" document the requests can be "fraught", as the consent a patient has given is "often historical and given as part of the insurance arrangement prior to any specific claim".

DXC Care Coordination: a new era in digital healthcare

By Australian Hospital + Healthcare Bulletin Staff
Wednesday, 18 October, 2017
In a more competitive marketplace, most healthcare organisations are looking to improve the care experience, improve the health of the population, and reduce the costs of delivering optimal healthcare services to customers.
To do this effectively, healthcare organisations need to engage and impact the health of one person at a time. This can only be achieved with the right people, processes, and information systems in place.
In the past, this has been difficult. Now, DXC Eclipse and Tribridge Health360 have combined to deliver DXC Care Coordination, which lets healthcare providers respond to the challenges of providing quality, personalised care.
  • Updated Oct 16 2017 at 11:45 PM

Privacy paramount in shift towards digital IDs

Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor is giving assurances over privacy safeguards as the government moves towards introducing a "digital identity" for Australians to access public services online.
Mr Taylor will on Tuesday unveil the next step in the rollout of "GovPass", outlining the process and identity requirements people will need to use to apply for their digital ID.
Under the proposed system, a person will have to submit online copies of identity documents, such as driver's licence, Medicare card or passport, to complete an 100-point ID check.

Prove your ID once as government online tool enters beta testing

Tom McIlroy
Published: October 17 2017 - 12:00AM
Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor says the federal government's new identification tool will see Australians avoid more than 30 different login systems for online services.
The new opt-in digital ID tool Govpass has entered the beta testing phase, with a new video released on Tuesday to demonstrate how to sign up.
Mr Taylor said consultation for further development of the tool's framework was continuing.

Privacy concerns about My Health Record system

By Eliza Borrello on AM
You might not be aware, but from next year the Federal Government will have created an electronic file, holding the medical records of every Australian.
Proponents say it will give emergency department doctors anywhere in Australia access to information that could save your life.
But critics warn it could also see sensitive information - such as whether you've had an abortion - fall into the wrong hands.

2nd edition of the practitioner’s guide released

Authored by David Rowlands, a leading heath informatician with 30 years’ experience in the health industry and published by HISA, the Certified Health Informatician Australasia, A Practitioner’s Guide to Health Informatics in Australia includes orientation for professionals such as clinicians or informaticians new to health informatics and updates for health informaticians wishing to maintain the currency of their knowledge irrespective of certification.
The 2nd edition of the Practitioner’s Guide focuses explicitly on the needs of practitioners in the field of health informatics in Australia and is the result of a  comprehensive review and update, with major changes in particular to Chapter 9, Health Administration and Health Services Research, resulting from significant changes to the organisation of Australia’s health system and the governance of digital health.

National Pharmacies uses in-store facial recognition

By Sholto Macpherson on Oct 16, 2017 6:35AM

Authenticates members to self-serve via kiosks.

National Pharmacies, which has branded chemists in three states, has introduced facial recognition technology to allow customers to perform a range of transactions using in-store kiosks.
The kiosks can be found in the approximately 100 branded pharmacies in South Australia, Victoria and NSW. They are physically Samsung tablets running Oracle's mobile cloud service (MCS).
When one of National Pharmacies' 350,000 registered customers approaches a kiosk, they can now authenticate using facial recognition.

Federal government agencies could use facial recognition platform

Finbar O'Mallon
Published: October 15 2017 - 12:00AM
Government agencies could get approved access to part of the Commonwealth's newly proposed facial recognition program.
The Facial Verification Service, part of the federal government's new 'Capability' program, would be accessible by departments such as the Department of Human Services or the Australian Taxation Office.
The system would be used to provide a one-for-one match from a person's existing photo with any other government issued identities they may hold, rather than returning multiple potential matches.

Taxpayers to ‘lose billions on NBN’

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM October 18, 2017

Adam Creighton

Two doyens of economic reform say taxpayers are set to lose billions of dollars on the National Broadband Network.
Inaugural Productivity Commission chairman Gary Banks and top Keating government competition adviser Fred Hilmer said the $49 billion government-funded NBN was likely to be sold at a loss. “Like the Collins class and the new French subs, essentially, we’re seeing taxpayers just throwing away tens of billions … it will be interesting to see how many are wasted on the NBN,” Professor Banks said.
Professor Hilmer added: “It will probably be sold at a bargain price with the commonwealth taking a hit and blaming its predecessors. What matters is whether government protects it from competition with regulation; they shouldn’t. It might be a natural monopoly in Bourke, it’s certainly not in Sydney or Melbourne.”

NBN complaints more than double in a year

By Ry Crozier on Oct 18, 2017 6:26AM

As telcos undo four years of gains.

Complaints about the NBN lodged with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman more than doubled in the past year.
The TIO’s annual report, released this morning, shows NBN complaints leapt from 10,487 in 2015/16 to 27,195 in the financial year ended June 30 - an increase of almost 160 percent.
Complaints were mostly about connection delays and services being degraded or “unusable”.

5G will bring benefits to Australian digital economy: report

A new report has painted a glowing picture of the benefits that are likely to push growth in the Australian digital economy to new heights from the rollout of 5G mobile telecommunications.
The report, from professional services firm Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, says facilitation and roll out of 5th generation mobile telecommunications (5G) is expected to further drive Australia’s digital economy and add to the already significant — and growing — $34 billion in long-term productivity benefits from mobile.
And, annual network spend from mobile providers would reach up to $5.7 billion and likely to grow in FY2017-18, the report forecasts.

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