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, February 12, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 12th February, 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

A week that started slow and built. All sorts of problems everywhere it would seem. Read on!
I have to say the confected guff about the myHR and its great qualities is betting a bit tiring!

Qld picks supplier for state-wide pathology system overhaul

By Justin Hendry on Feb 8, 2018 12:10PM  
Gets to work on seven-year project.
Queensland Health has handed Sunquest Information Systems a $68.5 million deal to replace the state's laboratory information system (LIS) over the next ten years.
The government went looking for a new system in early 2016 with a budget of $91 million. It had first flagged its intention to replace the system in its 20-year, $1.26 billion IT investment blueprint.
The current AUSLAB pathology system will reach end-of-life in 2020, but the department has said it will need at least seven years to replace it.

SA-Best wants EPAS investigated as Xenophon releases health policies

Nick Xenophon is calling for an immediate pause and investigation into the controversial electronic health records system EPAS, among a series of brief SA-Best health policy proposals released this morning.
Bension Siebert @Bension1
The Enterprise Patient Administration System was designed to replace paper with electronic records in public hospitals and health care settings across South Australia, and has been credited with reducing the frequency of medication errors.
However, doctors have repeatedly warned that the system slows down emergency carethreatens patient safety and blows out waiting lists.
Xenophon says he believes e-health records system had caused “too many near-misses” and needed to be investigated.

Paul Lau died at Sydney hospital after wrongly being prescribed fentanyl: inquest

Georgina Mitchell
Published: February 5 2018 - 4:58PM
A patient who went to a north-west Sydney hospital for an "uneventful" day surgery died within hours after an anaesthetist accidentally prescribed him a potent opioid meant for someone else, an inquest has heard.
Paul Lau, 54, was a keen skier who went to Macquarie University Hospital on June 18, 2015, for a reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament on his left knee.
Mr Lau, a father of two, had a successful surgery and was taken to recovery. He rarely took painkillers, so he was meant to receive tablets of oxycodone and paracetamol to manage his pain.

NSW man dies after wrong medication is mistakenly entered into hospital’s new electronic system, inquest hears

Lynne Minion | 07 Feb 2018
Six hours after knee reconstruction surgery, a healthy 54-year-old NSW man died after he was given medication meant for another patient, an inquest has heard, with accidental misuse of the hospital’s recently implemented electronic system to blame.
Paul Lau had entered Macquarie University Hospital for the routine operation on his left knee, but died from "multiple drug toxicity" in June 2015.
At the inquest in the NSW Coroners Court into the medication mistake, counsel assisting the inquest Kirsten Edwards said Lau died after anaesthetist Dr Orison Kim entered the details for a much stronger pain medication into the month-old InterSystems TrakCare electronic medical record system.

Two separate glitches blacked out Royal Adelaide hospital

  • The Australian
  • 10:08PM February 8, 2018

Andrew Burrell

Parts of the Royal Adelaide Hospital lost power for almost 20 minutes because of two separate software glitches, it has been revealed, as the body that runs the facility admitted it gave inaccurate advice to the state government.
It also emerged today that a technician testing the back-up generators at the $2.4 billion hospital failed to stop the test despite an alarm showing insufficient ­levels in a fuel tank — and this mistake may have contributed to Wednesday’s’s blackout.
South Australian Health Minister Peter Malinauskas said he was “incredibly disappointed” that Celsus, the body responsible for the RAH, had initially given him inaccurate information about the causes of the blackout.

Power outage at RAH unacceptable: AMA

A power failure at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital disrupted surgeries and is being blamed on a computer software glitch.
A power failure blamed on a software malfunction at the Royal Adelaide Hospital is a wake-up call and must be investigated, the state's peak medical association says.
Australian Medical Association SA President William Tam was mid-surgery during the 10 minute power outage on Wednesday morning, and says the incident is unacceptable.

Software glitch takes out power in Adelaide hospital surgeries

By Allie Coyne on Feb 8, 2018 11:57AM  
Transfer from generator back to mains power failed.
Surgeons at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital were forced to stop operating on patients yesterday morning after a software glitch took out power to parts of the building for 20 minutes.
Operating theatres were among several sections of the hospital that were forced to go without electricity at 11am ACDT on Wednesday as a result of the glitch.
SA Health said maintenance workers were testing a generator when a software failure prevented parts of the hospital from being switched back from the generator to mains power.

New health records out for young and old

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has held its first community information session for older Australians on the My Health Record project.
Chief Executive of ADHA, Tim Kelsey joined with Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt to encourage all Australians to embrace the rollout of the My Health Record for secure, safe and more convenient care.
Mr Wyatt said the patient-centred digital system would help health professionals deliver the best care.
My Health Record empowers Australians to take better control of their health and provides secure access to patients’ health information at the point of care,” Mr Wyatt said.

Wide Bay residents urged to embrace My Health Record for simpler, safer care

Published: 5th of February 2018
Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien is urging people, especially seniors and "grey nomads", to register online for My Health Record for secure, safer health care.
Mr O'Brien said the simple system gives patients control over their personal health information and can help health professionals do their job faster.
"My Health Record puts local patients at the forefront, and is particularly useful for our many so-called 'grey nomads' who travel from Wide Bay around our nation," Mr O'Brien said.

My Health Record Expansion

Victorian PHNs are working with the Australian Digital Health Agency to support 1) provider readiness and 2) communications and community engagement for the My Health Record Expansion across local catchments.
Eastern Melbourne PHN (EMPHN) is also the lead site for the My Health Record Expansion Program in Victoria and Tasmania. EMPHN retains a jurisdictional function to support the development and implementation of consumer engagement strategies across Victoria and Tasmania. This involves community engagement events and awareness campaigns. PHNs are committed to providing information about My Health Record for all consumers and creating awareness of the benefits of My Health Record.
My Health Record is a secure repository of healthcare information uploaded by practitioners that contains information about your patients. This may include information that you do not already have about your patients such as medication history (prescribing as well as dispensing), allergy information, adverse drug reactions, and discharge summaries.

Ditch paper records, transition to integrated EHRs, improve patient data and embrace MyHR, study into Victorian hospitals says

Lynne Minion | 06 Feb 2018
The use of paper records, a lack of uniformity in electronic medical records and the wildly varying quality of medical data collected poses risks to patient care, according to a Monash University study into medical records in Melbourne hospitals.
In an audit of medical records at five major university teaching hospitals, including one private hospital, the researchers found “discordance” in the medical information in the different hospitals’ systems, risking medication mistakes.
“In Victoria, there exists a wide range of electronic health records used to varying degrees, with some hospitals still relying on paper-based records and many using scanned medical records. This causes inefficiencies in the recall of patient information and can potentially lead to incidences of adverse drug events,” the authors wrote.

WA mum of six creates 'one stop shop' for childrens' health records

David Allan-Petale
Published: February 7 2018 - 11:17AM
  A WA psychotherapist and mother to six has launched an app that allows parents to slash the huge paper trails that come with tracking their child's health, education and social wellbeing.
Babies born in WA have doctors appointments and development notes recorded in a 'purple book' issued to parents, who then continue collecting information as the child grows in whichever method they use best, including a range of government apps.
However, for Perth mother Cath Resnick the reams of information she had collected in multiple formats for the six children in her blended family became too much to track, and she wanted a simpler solution that placed it all together.

Patients to drive rise in tech-connected healthcare

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM February 5, 2018

Sarah-Jane Tasker

Australia’s healthcare sector has lagged behind other industries in using technology to enhance consumer experience but that is tipped to change as patients demand personalised, connected care.
In a paper to be released today, KPMG’s health experts look at the gap between consumer expectations and patient experience, plus emerging technologies and treatment innovation. Sarah Abbott, KPMG health, ageing and human services director, said healthcare in Australia had lagged behind other sectors that had harnessed technology to drive a more consumer-centred service.
She said the structure of Australia’s payment system had added to that slow progress.

New data breach rules kick in this month. Here's what they mean for GPs

6 February 2018


GPs regularly contact MDA National for advice about breaches of privacy and confidentiality. The Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme that comes into force on 22 February means that the management of these breaches will be more complex.
The types of cases involving privacy breaches include the loss of laptops, USBs and other electronic devices that contain medical records and other patient information. They also include texting, emailing or faxing patient information to an incorrect number or address and inadvertently giving a patient another patient’s test results. 
The key issue with the NDB scheme is that not every data breach will meet the criteria of an ‘eligible data breach’ under the Privacy Act. And only eligible data breaches must be reported to the scheme through its specified notification process.

SMBs have much to do to be ready for data breach laws

A survey of small and medium businesses in Australia with an annual turnover of more than $3 million has found that almost half do not consider themselves ready to cope with a new data breach law that comes into force on 22 February.
The survey, titled HP Australia IT Security Study, covered 528 SMBs with between 10 and 99 employees across the services, production, retail and hospitality, health and education, and distribution industries.
Key findings:
  • almost half of all Australian SMBs with an annual turnover of more than $3 million do not consider themselves to be prepared for the mandatory data breach disclosure laws that will come into operation from 22 February;
  • only 18% have a compliance policy in place while 33% are developing a policy;

Data breach law: primary concern is information security, says expert

The primary concern for businesses after the Australian data breach law takes effect on 22 February will be information security, as without that in place, it will not be possible to protect personal information, an expert in cyber security and law says.
Helaine Leggat, director of Melbourne firm Information Legal, told iTWire during an interview that cyber security was, by far, the greatest threat to smaller Australian businesses, "and while big business generally responds well, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, with the result that vulnerabilities in smaller businesses impact upon the entire Australian economy. Smaller businesses must do their part".
Leggat is one of the few people globally to hold a law degree along with with CISSP, CISM, CIPP/US and CIPT credentials.

Media release: GPs and software vendors enter new dialog for better health systems

Created on Monday, 5 February 2018
In Australian general practice, clinical information systems (CISs) have become a vital tool in the delivery of safe and high-quality healthcare and good practice management.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has announced a new project that will see the college working closely with GPs and software developers to ensure CISs are useable, secure, interoperable, and ultimately fit-for-purpose.
RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel said the project is aimed at opening a dialogue between the medical community and software vendors.
“GPs and clinical software developers both share a vision for high-functioning and usable clinical software systems which will help general practices deliver efficient and high-quality care.
7 February 2018

The ADHA/RACGP’s brain fart on clinical information systems

Posted by Jeremy Knibbs
One poorly worded press release and years of building a trust relationship between the software industry and the ADHA and RACGP is headed for the rocks
Most media releases we get from the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) are reasonably tame and sensible, usually announcing a new stage ticked off in the timeline of their ambitious and detailed National Digital Health Strategy. It is doing OK with it.
But when yesterday’s release came in simultaneously to several of our journos, there was a collective murmur of angst, followed by a heated argument between two over what was going on.  What had the agency said?
Although you suspect it was not anyone’s intention, the release essentially announced that the RACGP had joined forces with the ADHA to help the clinical information software vendors (folks like Best Practice, MedicalDirector, MediRecords and MedTech), communicate much better with their clients. Apparently they need help.

Researchers look to open source to tackle deadly infection

New initiative inspired by open source to seek treatment for mycetoma
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 07 February, 2018 09:30
An approach to pharmaceutical research inspired by open source software development could help find a treatment for mycetoma, a fungal infection that in a significant number of cases can require amputation.
Mycetoma, which can be fatal if left untreated, is endemic in tropical and subtropical regions, according to the Geneva-based Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), which is backing the Mycetoma Open Source project along with Erasmus MC and the University of Sydney.
Supporters have already released a manuscript for review, “Addressing the Most Neglected Diseases through an Open Research Model: the Discovery of Fenarimols as Novel Drug Candidates for Eumycetoma”, which will help provide a starting point for the project.

Guild calls on doctors to help push for real-time monitoring

Quilty says lack of surgery system is a concern
7th February 2018
It’s time doctors’ groups became active champions for a national real-time prescription drug monitoring system, the Pharmacy Guild says.
It wants the AMA and RACGP to join its push for a mandatory system.
“With the upscheduling of codeine, the need for mandatory real-time prescription monitoring of drugs of dependence is more urgent than ever before,” writes executive director David Quilty in Forefront.

Victoria to link public health patient data across the state with new tech investment

Lynne Minion | 09 Feb 2018
The health records of all Victorians will be consolidated and accessible throughout the state’s public health system in 2020, with the announcement that an Orion Health/NextGate partnership has signed on to help transform the statewide ICT systems.
As part of its Health ICT strategic framework, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has signed up the technology companies to implement the Enterprise Master Patient Index technology throughout the public health sector, including an EMPI specifically deployed for the Parkville Precinct.
The significant project will form a core component of the state’s health infrastructure, according to Dr David Dembo, General Manager of Orion Health Australia.
“As the foundational component for enabling statewide information exchange across DHHS, our EMPI will serve as a catalyst for improved care collaboration, healthier communities, and a better patient experience,” Dembo told Healthcare IT News Australia.

Govt seeks to enshrine national facial recognition system in law

By Justin Hendry on Feb 7, 2018 12:30PM
Enters bills into parliament.
The federal government has introduced legislation that will underpin the exchange of identity information through the new national facial biometrics matching scheme.
The Identity-matching Services Bill was introduced into parliament by home affairs minister Peter Dutton this morning.
It would formalise into law an agreement signed last October between federal, state and territory leaders to establish a capability for law enforcement agencies to share and access identity information in real time [pdf].

Facial recognition bill introduced into parliament

·      07 February 2018
·      Written by  Sam Varghese
·      Published in Government Tech Policy
Legislation has been introduced into parliament to set up a national facial recognition database, as agreed upon by the Coalition Government and the states in October last year.
The Identity-matching Services Bill 2018 was introduced on Wednesday morning by Peter Dutton, in his new portfolio of home affairs minister.
According to the draft bill, there will be five ways of identifying people:
·      face identification service which is used to compare an individual against an existing image in the database; this is to be used by law enforcement, intelligence and anti-corruption agencies;
·      face verification service which is usable by government and businesses and is to be used for comparing an image on a submitted document against one that is the database;
·      one person one licence service which allows states and territories to verify that an Australian citizen does not hold multiple driving licences or IDs;
·      identity data sharing service which is aimed at allowing biometric data to be shared between the federal government and the states through an electronic hub which is to be under the control of the Home Affairs ministry; and
·      facial recognition analysis utility service which will allow the testing of biometric data quality on images provided by the various governments.

DHS set to become govt's exclusive digital identity provider

By Justin Hendry on Feb 8, 2018 6:30AM
Currently building "myGov IdP" for Govpass
The Department of Human Services looks set to become the federal government's exclusive manager of digital identities after being selected to build the identity provider solution that will be used for the Govpass platform.
The Govpass framework is a decentralised identity model that allows individuals to choose their identity provider - an organisation that issues identity documents, like Australia Post or the ATO - and access a range of public and private sector services through a single digital identity credential.
There is no limit on the number of identity providers outside of the Commonwealth that can be accredited for Govpass; Australia Post has already indicated it will seek to become the first non-government identity provider, using its Digital iD platform.

Apple's iOS push could change healthcare data sharing, still won't kill the fax

Apple may have finally found a way to enable the large-scale sharing of electronic medical record information on mobile devices. But its tools won't replace the old tried-and-true fax for data-sharing in healthcare.
Lucas Mearian  (Computerworld (US)) 06 February, 2018 07:55
Apple's Health Records feature in the upcoming iOS 11.3 rollout may be the most high-profile attempt at sharing healthcare data between caregiver and patient, but it won't succeed without industry's cooperation.
What is new is the mass market Apple commands with its iPhone and iPad and the company's efforts to take advantage of new industry standards and collaborative alliances for aggregating and sharing patient data from disparate healthcare systems.
Even with all the electrification of healthcare data and advances in networks for sharing that data, however, one industry stalwart is unlikely to be replaced: the fax.
Virtually all US healthcare organizations continue to use the facsimile, even as the industry has been forced to adopt modern electronic medical records (EMRs) and online data-sharing methods. The fax protocol is used to transmit laboratory reports, send prescriptions and authorizations and transmit payment information between hospitals and insurance companies.
5 February 2018

What we don’t know really can hurt us

Posted by Julie Lambert
Under-reporting of hospital complication rates hides wide discrepancies in care, with the worst hospitals posing four times the risk of the top performers, a report from the Grattan Institute says.
The lack of transparency means patients and GPs cannot make informed choices, and even hospital clinicians are denied information on how their outcomes compare with the rest.
The new Grattan report says one in nine hospital patients in 2012-15 developed a complication in hospital on top of the condition for which they were admitted, affecting about 900,000 people a year. Among those who stayed overnight, the rate went up to one in four, or 725,00 patients annually.

All complications should count: using our data to make hospitals safer

4 Feb 2018
One in every nine patients who go into hospital in Australia suffers a complication – about 900,000 patients each year. If they stay in overnight, the figure rises to one in four – about 725,000 patients each year. A patient’s risk of developing a complication varies dramatically depending on which hospital they go to: in some cases, the additional risk of a complication at the worst-performing hospitals can be four times higher than at the best performers. If all hospitals lifted their safety performance to the level of the best 10 per cent of Australian hospitals, the complication rate across the nation would fall by more than a quarter.
This report exposes the flaws in Australian hospitals’ safety and quality monitoring regime, and recommends reforms that could result in an extra 250,000 patients leaving hospital each year free of complications.
At the moment, a veil of secrecy hangs over which hospitals and clinicians have higher rates of complications and which are safety leaders. Hospital safety statistics are collected, but they are kept secret, not just from patients but from doctors and hospitals. This has to change. Patients have a right to know the data on complication rates in different hospitals and for different procedures, so they – and their GPs – can make better-informed decisions about how and where they are treated. Doctors and hospitals need to know how they are performing compared to their peers, so that they can learn from the best-performing hospitals and clinicians.

Bega's South East Regional Hospital first hospital in Southern NSW LHD to provide free Wi-Fi

Patients, visitors and staff are benefiting from a new Wi-Fi service introduced just before Christmas at South East Regional Hospital, thanks to a partnership with eHealth NSW.
Bega was the first site in Southern NSW local health district to receive patient and guest Wi-Fi and the eighth site to go live in the state.
The Wi-Fi system allows patients and visitors to stay connected with friends and family, access entertainment, and manage their everyday lives, wherever they are in the hospital.
  • Updated Feb 5 2018 at 12:00 PM

Oracle hunts government work with new Canberra office deal

US tech giant Oracle will upgrade its presence in Canberra with a move into one of the capital's prime office buildings and a hiring push as tech companies look to take advantage of the government's appetite for digital transformation.
The company will move into the award-winning Nishi building in the NewActon cultural precinct, in a facility it said would increase its abilities to attract in-demand developers and cloud computing experts and give it higher clearance to work with classified government data.
Oracle's Australia and New Zealand managing director, Rob Willis, told The Australian Financial Review the move was part of a concerted push by the company to expand its reach in Canberra, where it already has many long-term engagements, including with the Australian Digital Health Agency and Department of Veteran Affairs.

G Medical gets green light in China

Medical device company G Medical Innovations (ASX: GMV) has announced it received an interim regulatory approval for its Prizma medical smartphone case and will now be admitted into the “Green Channel” of the Guangdong Provincial CFDA regulatory approval process.
The news effectively validates G Medical’s proprietary product and moves it closes to final regulatory approval in the near future. Once G Medical secures final approval from the CFDA, it will have the opportunity to commercialise the Prizma Medical Smartphone Case across China.
G Medical’s Chinese subsidiary, Guangzhou Yimei Innovative Medical S&T, is the first company to receive such approval by the Guangdong Provincial CFDA in 2018, with only 21 medical devices being approved by the agency in the entirety of 2016.
5th February 2018

Find-me appoints Rachel Boden as new CEO

Find-me Technologies, the creator of the Find-me Carers Watch, a wearable device to assist the elderly and those diagnosed with dementia, is preparing for rapid growth with the appointment of Rachel Boden as Chief Executive Officer.
With a career in health spanning over three decades, Ms Boden brings extensive experience in healthcare product commercialisation, having worked in start-up to large corporate pharmaceutical companies servicing Asia Pacific.
Find-me technologies Chair Anne-Marie Birkill said the company was delighted to welcome an individual of Rachel’s calibre to the role of Find-me CEO.

NBN cuts deal to deliver business-grade satellite services

NBN Co, the company rolling out Australia's national broadband network, has signed a deal worth $184 million over 10 years with Speedcast International to deliver wholesale business satellite services to regional and remote Australia.
The services are expected to be available by the early part of next year.
A statement from the company said it had enlisted Speedcast's subsidiary Speedcast Managed Services to develop the services using NBN Co's Sky Muster satellites.

NBN users opt for slower speeds as ‘bandwidth’ buying soars: ACCC report

  • The Australian
  • 10:48AM February 8, 2018

Anthony Klan

Consumers are continuing to vote with their wallets with the vast majority of people buying the two slowest speeds packages available on the National Broadband Network.
Latest figures released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission also show homes with expensive and super-fast all fibre connections are more likely to buy the lowest available speed package than those with fibre to the “node” connections, which cost the government half as much install.
The latest figures further disprove the federal opposition’s repeated claims the public was opposed to the federal government’s cheaper “mixed-technology” delivery and giving “copper a thumbs down”.
The ACCC figures also show the amount of “bandwidth” or CVC telcos are buying from NBN Co, a wholesaler, surged 38 per cent in the three months to December, meaning speeds are less likely to crash during peak times, such as after 7pm on weekdays.


Anonymous said...

David as one of the few sources of balanced views your readers may find this useful - http://operational.humanservices.gov.au/public/Pages/your-health/011-04150000-01.html

Anonymous said...

6:45 AM thank you for sharing the link very informative.

Anonymous said...


Individuals who currently have a record will not be able to opt out. They must follow the existing cancellation procedure. See Cancel an individual’s My Health Record.

Cancel an individual's My Health Record 011-04090010


Anonymous said...

Have you noticed - it's all now Department of Human Services. Nothing to do anymore with Department of Health - they have withdrawn completely.

Anonymous said...

DHS simply run the support desks and administer stuff. If you look at the ADHA plans they intend to transfer those DHS functions to ADHA. ADHA will become solely a MyHR operations function of the government. Those looking for secure messaging and other non-MyHR support should probably look elsewhere