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, January 22, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 22nd January, 2018.

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 the occasional highlights. Enjoy!

Taxpayers spent $1.7 billion on a health record doctors don’t use

Sue Dunlevy, National Health Reporter, News Corp Australia Network
January 18, 2018 10:44pm
Taxpayers have spent nearly $1.7 billion on an internet based My Health Record that doctors are refusing to use and which can’t be emailed or shared with digital health apps.
Every Australian will get a My Health Record in 2018 unless they opt out of the system but doctors are warning of major issues with its ease of use and fear patients don’t understand the privacy implications.
Five years after it was launched five million Australians have opted to set up a My Health Record.
However, fewer than one in twelve of Australia’s 31,000 medical specialists are registered to use the My Health Record and they still rely on GPs faxing them referral letters and patient information.

My Health Record system Release 9.2

Created on Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Release 9.2 of the My Health Record system is a technology release which will improve some functionality for both individuals and healthcare providers. There will be minor visible changes to the user experience, mainly to improve access on mobile devices.
Release 9.2 is scheduled to go live on Monday 22nd January 2018.
There will be a planned outage from 8pm Friday 19th January to 6am Saturday 20th January.
There is some notable user experience improvements for individuals (consumers) including an improved experience using mobile devices and streamlined information for clarity of understanding when navigating.

Leading Learning 4 All website questioned by peak disability groups

Emily Baker
Published: January 13 2018 - 12:00AM
Disability organisations have hit out at a $646,000 project funded and endorsed by the federal government that one expert says shows "quite horrifying" examples of how to include children with disability in the classroom.
More than 100 peak bodies, experts, teachers and parents have signed an unanswered open letter to federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham calling for a review of the Leading Learning 4 All website.
The page - described by Senator Birmingham as "fantastic" at its launch at Melrose High School last year - offers resources aimed at promoting the inclusion of children with disability in schools, including video clips filmed by teachers throughout Australia.

SA election: Liberals reveal policy to reduce prescription drug abuse through real-time monitoring

Posted 7:25pm Jan 19, 2018
Prescription drug abuse in SA would be targeted under a $7 million State Liberal election policy to combat the scourge of so-called "prescription shopping".
Announcing the policy today, the party said the current drug monitoring system in the state was too relaxed, citing figures from a national drugs report that showed almost 5 per cent of Australians misused pharmaceuticals.
Prescription shopping involves patients going to multiple doctors or pharmacists to get more drugs than they need in order to satisfy an addiction or make money by selling the drugs.

From a physio to an IT gun

By Allie Coyne on Jan 16, 2018 4:00PM

Qld health worker makes big career change.

When Josh Simmons joined the Queensland health system as a physiotherapist in 2000, he had no idea about the drastic turn his career would take.
With 17 years experience in this vocation under his belt, Simmons was given the opportunity to wear a new hat: his official job title is now team leader of adoption services for the Metro South Hospital & Health Service.
The path to this new career was entirely accidental: Metro South was rolling out its integrated electronic medical record (ieMR) system at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, when the IT team charged with the rollout approached Simmons to help it get users on board.
Jan 17, 2018 @ 05:00 AM 4,529

Australia's Electronic Health Record Program Already Showing Benefits

OracleVoice Simplify IT, Drive Innovation
In what may be the most comprehensive national effort of its kind, the Australian government has created more than 5.4 million electronic medical records and plans to offer EMRs to the country’s 24 million citizens by the end of 2018.
The records contain information about each individual’s serious illnesses, surgeries, prescribed medications, and family medical histories—information that can be critical to making correct diagnoses.
ADHA CEO Tim Kelsey says that the ability to share a patient’s health information with doctors already has improved care in Australia.
The ultimate objective of Australia’s “My Health Record” program, begun in 2015 and run by the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA), is to speed life-saving treatment to citizens anytime and anywhere they need it.

My Health Record – a critical tool in improving patient care

The power of My Health Record was driven home to Adelaide-based GP Dr Chris Moy in an incident where he had to review an unwell patient who had been discharged early from hospital from another state without any information about his condition or follow up.
I was able to find a discharge letter immediately on My Health Record which summarised his admission and required follow up. This was bonus information which I would not otherwise have had access to and it made a significant difference in improving his care.
My Health Record will not be an overnight sensation.
At present, it is very much in its infancy in terms of its benefit. People need to look at My Health Record with a long term view. This is when it will really bloom as a critical tool in improving patient care. It will only be in the future, as it evolves with increasing functions and usability, and more importantly, as the amount of health information about each patient and their history accrues over the years, that we will be able to look with hindsight at the value of My Health Record as an indispensable tool in the everyday care of patients.

Groundbreaking telehealth platform brings dermatology to far-flung Australia

Thea Cowie | 17 Jan 2018
An Australian telehealth dermatology service has been described as “five years in front of” anything else in its field at a recent global conference.
The Teledermatologist smartphone platform, developed by the team behind Newcastle Dermatology, offers same-day consultations for patients in rural and regional areas.
“At the World Congress of Teledermatology last year, the feedback from committee members was that our service is five years in front of anyone else in terms of the way we've done it and the platform we've used,” said Murray Corbett, who is CEO at Newcastle Dermatology and has dedicated much of the last two and a half years to developing Teledermatologist. 
Launched a year ago, Microsoft HealthVault Insights applications are being discontinued. But Microsoft continues to work on the intersection of AI and healthcare.
By Mary Jo Foley for All About Microsoft | January 18, 2018 -- 15:20 GMT (02:20 AEDT) | Topic: Artificial Intelligence
While Microsoft is continuing to focus on the intersection of health technology and artificial intelligence, it is discontinuing one of its projects in this space.
Microsoft is removing its HealthVault Insights application from the iOS, Android and Windows stores before the end of January 2018, according to an update on the HealthVault site.
In the note about the discontinuation, Microsoft officials described HealthVault Insights as "a research project... with the goal of helping patients generate new insights about their health." Sounds like that is right in Microsoft's analytics/health/machine learning wheelhouse.

Administration of Medicare electronic claiming arrangements

19 Dec 2017
Electronic claiming for Medicare benefits was first introduced in 1992. Channels to facilitate electronic claiming were progressively introduced for use by medical practitioners, members of the public and private health insurers over the intervening decades. In 2016–17, claims for just over 97 per cent of the approximately $22 billion of Medicare benefits paid were lodged electronically.
The Department of Human Services (Human Services or the department) currently administers eight electronic claiming channels: six provider channels for point of service claiming1 and two channels for claiming by patients at their convenience. In addition Human Services provides a number of manual claiming options (in-person, dropbox, post and phone). Most of the electronic claiming channels were introduced ten or more years ago—prior to Medicare’s integration into the Department of Human Services in July 2011.2 The provider channels are:
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (1999);
Medicare Online (2002);
Electronic Claim Lodgement and Information Processing Service Environment (2004);
Easyclaim (2007);
Bulk Bill Webclaim (2015); and
Patient Claim Webclaim (2016);

10 keys to good, patient-centred record keeping

15 January 2018


The conversation with my new registrar goes something like this: I deliver a lecture about the importance of good record-keeping and put on my medicolegal hat to tell her that the primary purpose of this is to ensure patient safety and continuity of care.
I explain that keeping adequate records is also critical to avoiding claims and complaints, and enabling her to justify her Medicare billings.
And she responds: “But you just told me I need to be focused on the patient and that communicating clearly with the patient is the key. So which is it?” 
It is a fair question and one I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about.
I stand by both pieces of advice.
However, I recognise the challenges inherent in balancing the need to keep good records, without allowing the process of record-keeping to get in the way of the patient interaction.

Business must tone down its lust for big data

Privacy is a human right, and businesses need to remember that. So do governments.
By for The Full Tilt | | Topic: Security
It should come as no surprise that when key industry bodies write submissions to government consultations they're self-serving. That's what such lobby groups are for, right?
But in its submission to the current consultation on developing a national Digital Economy Strategy, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has gone beyond the usual bleatings about tax breaks, more "flexible" employment conditions, and a call for the the government to pay for the vocational training that businesses have long since stopped doing for themselves.
The ACCI wants more access to government data.
"Other governments, such as the United Kingdom and Canada, are ahead of the Australian government in terms of open data," the ACCI writes in its submission [PDF]

2018 is the year of AI

  • Steve Worrall
  • The Australian
  • 10:57AM January 16, 2018
If the history of human advancement has taught us one thing it is that genuine step-change does not occur because of a single technology breakthrough, but a combination of complimentary factors coming together at the same time.
This couldn’t be truer than when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), the oft hyped technology of 2017 which is set to become the reality of 2018 and beyond.
While AI has been around for more than 65 years, it is only with the convergence of three important factors that we will see AI move from concept to an increasingly ubiquitous reality in the year ahead.

How AI could revolutionise project management

Estimation, resource management and KPIs are just a few of the key areas where machine learning and predictive analytics can have a positive impact on project outcomes.
Mary Branscombe (CIO (US)) 12 January, 2018 22:00
From software development to construction to logistics and finance, every company has projects that need planning, managing and monitoring. But the tools we use to do that are often complex, designed for specialists and don’t do as much as they could to warn about potential problems. Could AI-powered decision support systems and automation make more of your projects successful by reducing costs and mistakes, analyzing risks, making things more efficient or keeping things on time and on budget?
Here is an early look at how artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics could affect project outcomes in the years to come.

AI's grades are improving but computers still can't read between the lines

Drew Harwell
Published: January 17 2018 - 3:39PM
When computer models designed by tech giants Alibaba and Microsoft this month surpassed humans for the first time in a reading and comprehension test, both companies celebrated the success as a historic milestone.
Luo Si, the chief scientist for natural-language processing at Alibaba's artificial intelligence research unit, struck a poetic note, saying, "Objective questions such as 'what causes rain' can now be answered with high accuracy by machines."
Teaching a computer to read has for decades been one of artificial intelligence's holiest grails, and the feat seemed to signal a coming future in which AI could understand words and process meaning with the same fluidity humans take for granted every day.
Thursday 18 January 2018

Rewards App Helps Keep Patients Healthy

With up to 50 per cent of people with chronic medical conditions failing to take their medication regularly, the NSW Government is backing new technology that aims to encourage people to stick to their medication plan using games and rewards.
Sydney startup Perx received a $25,000 Minimum Viable Product grant from Jobs for NSW to develop its technology and the company is now trialling commercially with a $100,000 Building Partnerships grant.
Perx co-founder Hugo Rourke said the World Health Organisation estimates that 1 in 3 people in OECD countries have a chronic condition and up to half don't take medication as prescribed.

Australian hospital sees big potential in app for expectant mothers

Staff writer | 15 Jan 2018
A Melbourne private hospital is trialling software developed in-house aimed at improving the pregnancy and birthing experience of expectant mothers, by offering a single, all-inclusive pregnancy resource.
Cabrini Health is currently piloting Eve at its Malvern campus and Andrea Rindt, Nurse Director Women and Children, said the goal was to ensure that mothers-to-be had seamless communication with the maternity unit and a single source of evidence-based information.
“Eve addresses the issue of information overload faced by many first-time mums and provides them with a means of contacting the birth suite at their hospital with the click of a button,” she said.

Notifiable Data Breaches scheme: Getting ready to disclose a data breach in Australia

Australia's Notifiable Data Breaches scheme will come into force next month. Here is what it means and how it will affect organisations, and individuals, in Australia.
By | | Topic: Security


Australia's Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme comes into effect on February 22, 2018, and as the legislative direction is aimed at protecting the individual, there's a lot of responsibility on each organisation to secure the data it holds.
The NDB scheme falls under Part IIIC of the Australian Privacy Act 1988 and establishes requirements for entities in responding to data breaches.
What that means is all agencies and organisations in Australia that are covered by the Privacy Act will be required to notify individuals whose personal information is involved in a data breach that is likely to result in "serious harm", as soon as practicable after becoming aware of a breach.

Truth about NBN is that Australians do not want to pay for internet speed they do not need

Mitch Fifield
Published: January 17 2018 - 5:03PM
When Australians are given the choice between the fastest broadband speeds available or more affordable broadband that meets their needs, what are they choosing?
Overwhelmingly, they are voting with their wallets and choosing more affordable internet plans that deliver the services they are after.
But if you listen to Labor's hyperbole on the NBN, you could be mistaken for thinking that Australians are being left wanting for faster broadband speeds – when the evidence clearly shows that when such speeds are available, the vast majority of Australians are not prepared to pay for them.

NBN admits three in four FTTN customers won't get top speeds

Jennifer Duke
Published: January 17 2018 - 9:24AM
The National Broadband Network has admitted only one in four customers connecting through the most controversial technology in the mix will access its much-touted top speeds.
The disclosure, to a parliamentary committee, comes as pressure is mounting for the government to write down the value of the multi-billion dollar project as it struggles to deliver the service that would underpin its financial worth and the taxpayer investment in it.
What the NBN response shows is that when the rollout concludes in 2020, three out of four fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) customers are not expected to be able to access its fastest download speeds, of 100 Mbps.

Government says no: Rejects call to mandate NBN switch to FTTC

Releases predictable response to NBN inquiry report
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 16 January, 2018 14:52
The government has rejected a parliamentary inquiry’s recommendation that NBN be directed to complete as much as possible of the remaining fixed-line portion of the National Broadband Network using fibre to the curb (FTTC) or fibre to the premises (FTTP).
This government today released its response to the first report of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network, which was published in September.
The government’s said that it “remains committed to the Multi Technology Mix” which it said “well see the roll out of fast broadband as soon as possible, at affordable prices and at least cost to tax payers”.

NBN ready to disconnect landlines to one million homes and businesses

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM January 15, 2018

Anthony Klan

Landline phone networks servicing almost one million homes and businesses will be permanently decommissioned in the next six months, with 313,000 formal disconnections next month as the National Broadband Network ­enters its peak switchover phase.
According to the NBN, 926,235 premises will face “formal disconnections” in the six months to June, with the average rate of formal disconnections continuing to grow, to average about 50,000 a week from mid-year.
Under the terms of the NBN, existing phone networks are to be disconnected 18 months after the NBN is made available in an area, with the approaching surge reflecting the beginning of “peak rollout” of the NBN between 12 and 18 months ago.

Write-down of NBN firmly on the cards: Budde

A write-down of the national broadband network is now firmly on the cards after the competition watchdog joined the chorus supporting it, according to telecommunications analyst Paul Budde.
In a blog post published on Sunday, he said that since Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had not introduced essential structural changes after the 2016 election, it had become obvious that the value of the network would have to be cut by half.
While the government did not welcome this reality, many others, including the ACCC, had now joined the call for a write-down, Budde said.

Blood tests deliver cancer breakthrough

  • The Australian
  • 6:00AM January 19, 2018

John Ross

Scientists have created a blood test that can detect eight of the most common cancers long before they turn lethal, in a breakthrough that could save millions of people from premature death.
The “liquid biopsy” identifies early-stage tumours from proteins and genetic mutations circulating in the blood.
Trials have found that it can uncover fledgling cancers in about 70 per cent of cases, and up to 98 per cent for some types, long before they become detectable by other means. They include deadly conditions such as pancreatic cancer, which usually goes unnoticed until it has spread. The goal is to spot tumours before that happens, when survival rates are still high.
Dubbed CancerSEEK, the test delivers almost no false positives, sparing patients needless heartache and unnecessary medical procedures for non-existent diseases. It can also pinpoint ­tumours’ locations in about five cases out of six, paving the way for rapid treatment.

Astronomers probe source of mysterious, powerful radio signal from beyond our galaxy

Liam Mannix
Published: January 12 2018 - 5:04PM
Fast radio bursts beaming from beyond our galaxy, are astonishingly powerful, and nobody knows what – or who – is making them.
Now an international team of astronomers, including Australian scientists, have made a discovery that could start to unravel the mystery.
In a cover story published in Nature on Thursday, they report the bursts are coming from one of the most extreme and unusual objects ever seen – possibly a tiny but powerful star trapped in a field of ionised gas that has been spun off by a nebula, or been ejected from a supernova.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

Sue Dunlevy did exaggerate one aspect of MyHR.

She said "For the records to be useful, GPs have to upload a summary of a patient’s health condition, but this has happened in fewer than one in four cases."

She's obviously based this on 1,380,911 summaries uploaded over the life of the system and 5,476,996 registrations (14 January statistics)

In reality, there have been 220,830 summaries uploaded since 15 October, which is about 4% of registrations - one in twenty five. Anything much older is likely to be of very little use and could be dangerous.

Relating this to all Australians, that is less than 0.9% or fewer than about one in one hundred and ten.

Trevor3130 said...

This tweet from @AuDigitalHealth intrigues me.

Samantha is a pharmacist at @TerryWhiteChem. She recommends that her customers register for a #MyHealthRecord to ensure better health outcomes.

The pharmacy I attend is typical, I think, with a "serving area" where conversations between pharmacists and clients are held within earshot of those waiting their turn. (There is a separate consulting booth that's used for pharmacotherapy.)
So, I imagine that a pharmacist would be gaining access to MyHR and discussing the client's needs over the common counter, in serious breach of confidentiality standards. Maybe Terry White plans to go to the expense of private booths for interactions with pharmacy clients.