Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Monday, February 19, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 19th 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

Seems to have been a pretty quiet week other than the to-ing and fro-ing between the ADHA and the MSIA.
Elsewhere we learn a little more about opt-out and watch the Barnaby saga!

Doctor-shopper reforms all but compel GPs to join script exchanges

12 February 2018


More than 6000 GPs in Victoria will have to join script exchanges in order to prescribe S8 drugs and benzodiazepines under the state government's real-time prescribing reforms.
The $30 million system — Safe Script — is designed to allow doctors to identify doctor-shoppers and cut deaths from prescription drug misuse.
But it will mean that GPs in the state will be expected to join Medisecure or eRx, a consultation paper released last week confirmed.

Opt-out for My Health Record 011-04150000

This document outlines key information on the My Health Record opt-out record.

On this Page:

Opt-out My Health Records

From mid 2018 every Australian will receive a My Health Record.
The date has not been announced.
Until then, the My Health Record is currently an opt-in system for both individuals and healthcare providers.

How to opt-out

An online opt-out portal will be available for individuals and families when the opt-out period commences. It is not available now.
The My Health Record enquiry line will offer an opt-out service as well.
The Resources page contains a link to the My Health Record enquiry line.

How to opt out of Australia's e-health record scheme

By Allie Coyne on Feb 12, 2018 4:45PM

Get in within three months.

The federal government has released guidance on how Australians will be able opt out of having a personal electronic health record created under the country's My Health Record scheme.
It ends a period of uncertainty for those who have expressed concern about privacy and data sharing in the scheme.
A policy change from opt-in to opt-out e-health records was first mulled in 2015 when the government starting trialling the automatic creation of electronic health records for individuals.
The trials stemmed from poor adoption of e-health records under the formerly-named PCEHR voluntary scheme.

Govt backs Medicare card safety changes

The federal government has accepted 14 recommendations following a review into the reported sale of Medicare card details on the dark web.
Australian Associated Press February 16, 2018 12:41pm
A public awareness campaign to encourage Australians to better protect their Medicare cards is one of 14 recommendations accepted by the federal government.
An independent review found Medicare cards should be retained as a secondary form of proof of ID despite reports last year some numbers were being sold on the dark web.
But it was suggested the Human Services Department undertake a public awareness campaign encouraging people and organisations to better protect their details.

Government to crack down on access to patients’ Medicare numbers

Accelerates shift away from PKI for HPOS
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 16 February, 2018 12:44
The government has endorsed the recommendations of a review into health providers’ access to Medicare card numbers.
The government commissioned the review of the Health Professionals Online Services (HPOS) system after revelations that a Tor-protected service was offering to retrieve the Medicare numbers of individuals.
The ‘Medicare Machine’ service on the now-defunct AlphaBay marketplace site offered access to the data in return for a small fee.

'Anything to save them': Medics reveal human cost of our denial

Emma Young
Published: February 15 2018 - 11:48AM
One day in an Australian hospital ward, two men were dying. Both lay in rooms off the same corridor. But their stories unfolded very differently.
The first was 95 years old. He had end-stage diabetes and heart disease. He had collapsed during a heart attack and was taken to hospital unconscious. There was no advanced care directive to indicate how he felt about treatments. His daughter arrived, shocked and distraught, and insisted on all possible treatment.
Doctors did CPR for 45 minutes, "jumping on his chest," breaking his ribs and sternum – as was standard for resuscitation, said Merran Cooper, the junior doctor who was on the wards that day.
"We could not bring him back to life," she said. "After a certain number of times the head physician had to call it – there was no oxygen left in his brain. By that time there were nurses crying."

Major component of Australia's cancer register still without go-live

By Justin Hendry on Feb 14, 2018 1:37PM

Planning will recommence after delivery of first phase.

The replacement of Australia’s outdated bowel screening register remains without a go-live date almost a year after a complex data migration process stalled the original launch.
Australia’s new Telstra-built cancer screening register is a single platform that will replace the paper-based national bowel screening register as well as the eight separate cervical cancer screening registers operated by the states and territories.
Telstra won a $220 million contract to implement and maintain the single national record for the screening of cervical and bowel cancers in May 2016.
The register was first intended to go live in time to support both the national bowel cancer screening program in March 2017 and national cervical screening program in May 2017.

Backlash continues to reverberate following ADHA announcement

Lynne Minion | 13 Feb 2018
It was meant to be another dispatch designed to promote the Australian Digital Health Agency’s collaborative style. But when it dropped a media release last week announcing a new project with the RACGP and the healthcare software industry, the furious fall-out caught the agency by surprise and still shows little sign of abating.

The ADHA-backed project, according to the announcement, was aimed at opening a dialogue between the medical community and software vendors to ensure GP clinical information systems were ultimately fit-for-purpose.

“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,” the ADHA’s media release said.

RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel, who was quoted in the communique, said the project would lead to the development of minimum clinical software functionality requirements.

We are at a fork in the digital health road

Emma Hossack | 13 Feb 2018

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
                                 — Robert Frost

Rarely has there been a better reason for optimism in our field of digital health. We have a solid, sophisticated health industry sector, the start of professional courses to assist individuals with health literacy and, significantly, I believe with Greg Hunt we have the first Health Minister who properly understands digital health, together with a commitment to realising the value of data.

So where are we now? Why don’t we lead the world in digital health the way we have in med tech? What can we do to capitalise on this perfect opportunity?

Health is byzantine in its complexity: payment policies don’t match desired outcomes, the open data policies promoted by the Productivity Commission’s recent report have yet to become reality and the equilibrium between government and the health software industry is fragile, as recent media suggests.

Is the medical software industry holding us back?

There’s a Dutch theory called ‘De wet van de remmende voorsprong’ which, according to Wikipedia, translates as ‘The law of the handicap of a head start’. The theory suggests that an initial head start by an individual, group or company often results in stagnation due to lack of competition or growth stimuli. This may eventually lead to losing pole position.

General practice was one of the first fully digitalised, more or less paperless, medical disciplines in Australia. The question is, are GP software packages keeping up with the times or is the profession at risk of falling behind and being overtaking by others?

Good job

Overall I am satisfied with the desktop software I use to look after my patients. It does the basics very well such as recording patient demographics and medical history, medication management, printing scripts and investigation referrals.

Blog: Sydney North PHN facilitates a smooth transition to My Health Record

Created on Monday, 12 February 2018
The thought of signing her pharmacy up to My Health Record was ‘a bit daunting’ for Berowra pharmacist Carrie Leung, but with assistance from the Sydney North Primary Healthcare Network (PHN) the process was completed smoothly and successfully.
I was surprised that many elderly people have a My Health Record and at the other end of the spectrum – the children.
We service a fair number of elderly people with dose administration aids and some of them go in and out of hospital quite often. Generally hospitals are quite good at letting us know they are going home, but knowing there is verified information we can get from the hospital is great.
16 February 2018

Cloud patient management systems come of age

Posted by Matthew Galetto
Across our country, thousands of practices, including GPs, specialist and allied health, own and maintain a practice server. The practice server is the powerhouse of the clinic, the primary function of which is to host the clinical and practice management software.
Other critical functions include the hosting of a myriad of add-ons and plugins that connect to, and extract from, the practice management software.
As a secondary function, the practice server often operates as a file server to store business documents, or often as a file repository for incoming faxes. It can also have accounting software installed or be used as an email service for programs such as Microsoft Exchange.

Australia Moves Closer to Nationwide Electronic Health Record as Nation’s Leading Pathology Laboratories Join Initiative

February 12, 2018 By Jude
Doctors’ advocacy organization praises potential of ‘My Health Record’ but voices concerns about functionality, interoperability, and added burden placed on providers
Australia’s goal of implementing a nationwide electronic health record (EHR) system received a major boost when the country’s largest pathology laboratories signed agreements with the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) to join the project. But the My Health Record system has yet to fully win over providers as the Australian Medical Association (AMA) raises concerns over functionality, interoperability, and the added burden placed on healthcare providers.
ADHA Chief Executive Tim Kelsey praised the addition of pathology and diagnostic organizations to the My Health Record platform. In Australia, pathology laboratory is the term to describe what are called clinical laboratories in the United States.
The largest diagnostic organizations in Australia have now agreed to share their test reports with Australian consumers,” Kelsey said in an ADHA news release. “We are working to deliver a My Health Record for all Australians next year, unless they choose not to have one. Health consumers will benefit from this significant commitment by the pathology industry and their software partners.”

When it comes to patient information, less is sometimes best

12 February 2018
Too much knowledge can harmful, writes Antony Scholefield.
One of the buzz phrases of recent years has been ‘empowering patients’. It’s presumably based on the old chestnut that ‘knowledge is power’ because, at its essence, it gives patients access to health information so they can make informed decisions.
But according to another old adage, ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ — a wise warning that a small amount of knowledge can mislead people into thinking they are more expert than they really are.
It’s a dilemma that researchers, led by Professor Jane Halliday from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, are focusing on.
The team looked at the quantity of information mothers-to-be should be given about antenatal genetic testing in the context that it’s a field that’s set to become cheaper, more precise and more common in the coming years.

Amazon explores medical supplies for US hospitals

Amazon is keen to expand its medical supplies business.
  • Melanie Evans,Laura Stevens
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • 12:32PM February 14, 2018
Amazon.com is pushing to turn its nascent medical-products business into a major supplier to US hospitals and outpatient clinics that could compete with distributors of items ranging from gauze to hip implants.
Amazon has invited hospital executives to its Seattle headquarters on several occasions, most recently late last month, to sound out ideas for expanding its business-to-business marketplace, Amazon Business, into one where hospitals could shop to stock outpatient locations, ­operating suites and emergency rooms, according to hospital ­executives who attended the meetings.
Amazon Business already sells a limited selection of medical supplies, as well as industrial and office goods.
16 February 2018

The insidious cost of old technology

Posted by Jeremy Knibbs
When I first became CEO of a big publishing company, I used to take pride in hanging on to our IT infrastructure for far longer than we depreciated that equipment in our accounts.
I thought at the time: “They’re computers right … what’s the use in updating just to get ones with new chips and smarter screens?” It was a rookie management error. Saving pennies in capital costs, but throwing away pounds in productivity, and in our potential for innovation.
By the time I left this big company to start a small one of my own, I was a technology convert. Not a nut. Just a convert. You have to be careful. You can’t go blindly at it. But if you do your homework, understand what you need and make sensible investment, the pay-off is generally very good.

Virtual cancer cells aid the quest for a cure

Academics from the University of Newcastle and the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) have developed the world’s first virtual platform to host 3D copies of human cancer tissues, revolutionising the way researchers access critical information needed to advance cancer treatment. The Virtual Biobank will digitise and help speed up the process of accessing vital tissue samples donated by patients, which up until now could only be requested through physical biobanks. Each digital cancer sample in the Virtual Biobank is made up of high resolution microscopy images in both 2D and 3D, plus important clinical and molecular information that provides the foundation for virtual research into cancer. “We’ve taken a tiny sample from tumour biopsies stored at the Hunter Cancer Biobank and converted them into a virtual copy, enabling anyone around the world with an internet connection to carry out research from their computers or easily request access to the physical sample they need,” the researchers said. “This process ensures the physical sample remains intact, but a 3D, digital copy with clinical and experimental information is kept online for future use. This is particularly critical for rare cancers, which are hard to study due to a limited number of samples.” The addition of 3D images was made possible by the innovative 3D Tissue Clearing and Lightsheet Microscope Facility (established by the same team in 2016) based at HMRI, which specialises in making tissue samples see-through for cutting-edge 3D microscopy.

Tech to change your 2018 world

From taxi drones to wearables, tech revolution shows no signs of slowing. Here are the top 100 gadgets to impact 2018.
  • From The Deal
  • February 16th, 2018
77 Paper v privacy
My Health Record is a central repository of patient information able to be controlled by the consumer and used by stakeholders. Pathology labs signed up last year, diagnostic imaging providers will link up this year, and governments are working to maximise the connectivity with public hospitals. This year, Australians will be given a three-month period to opt out before their data and records are centralised permanently. With privacy concerns hopefully resolved, governments are banking on savings from less duplication of tests and scans, while health groups expect fewer medication mishaps. In the long term, My Health Record might harness, or be harnessed by, other technological advances to improve patient access. SP

Data breach reporting laws hit Australia with serious implications for businesses

  • Bede Hackney
  • The Australian
  • 1:38PM February 16, 2018
Australia has finally reached a point of maturity when it comes to lawfully disclosing serious breaches of personal and business data, with the long-awaited data breach notification laws coming into effect on February 22.
Under the new laws, all organisations covered by the Australian Privacy Act will be accountable to the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme.
The news is likely to come as a relief to consumers who have been left in the dark for too long. Companies have swept data breaches under the carpet without significant consequence. These very businesses will now be lawfully obliged to instantly report cases of compromised data.

Mining firm Downer EDI Mining avoids court after agreeing to sanction

NT News
  • A mining firm has avoided court after NT WorkSafe accepted an enforceable undertaking after two workers loss consciousness after allegedly being exposed to a toxic environment in 2015.
Downer EDI Mining was charged under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act in February 2017 and faced one charge contrary to Section 32, failure to comply with a health and safety duty, and one charge contrary to Section 39, failing to preserve an incident site.
The enforceable undertaking is a legally-binding agreement between NT Worksafe and Downer EDI Mining as an alternative to prosecution, and the charges against Downer EDI Mining have been withdrawn.
NT WorkSafe may apply for a court order to enforce compliance and impose financial penalties, as well as commence prosecution for the original alleged contravention, if Downer EDI Mining does not comply with an accepted enforceable undertaking.

Network expert says NBN Co's business model is broken

A prominent network expert and frequent commentator on the national broadband network has described NBN Co's half-yearly results as a "train wreck" and said that there is nothing that can be done to get the company back on the rails.
Writing in InnovationsAus.com, Mark Gregory, associate professor in network engineering at RMIT, said that, increasingly, statements that were made by NBN Co "about performance and progress are little more than fodder for the joke of the day".
Gregory has been a critic of the NBN's multi-technology mix rollout which was adopted after the Coalition Government, under Tony Abbott, came to power in 2013. The plan has been kept in place after Malcolm Turnbull shafted Abbott in late 2015 and took over as prime minister.
  • Updated Feb 12 2018 at 2:40 PM

5G feeds wireless optimism as NBN struggles

A growing number of Australians are looking to faster mobile networks and upcoming 5G to provide their internet service. Shutterstock.com
As NBN talks up its expectations for getting more customers on to faster 50 Mbps plans, a growing number of Australians are fed up waiting for the national network to deliver on their expectations and are looking to faster mobile networks and upcoming 5G to provide their internet service.  
New figures from research firm Telsyte showed that, in the past year, 20 per cent of Australians had decreased the amount of fixed broadband usage, in favour of using their mobile data plan quotas, and almost 30 per cent had needed to tether mobile devices at home to cover for slow or non-working fixed broadband connection either at home or at work.
The figures appear in Telsyte's 2018 digital consumer study and come shortly after another research firm, Venture Insights concluded a co-funded study with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which found that 30 per cent of Australian households that are currently on fixed broadband, could switch to wireless.

NBN Co posts record $2.4 billion loss for first half

NBN Co, the company rolling out Australia's national broadband network, has reported a record loss for both a quarter and a half-year,  with the company losing $1.13 billion for the three months October to December 2017 and running up a $2.4 billion loss for the first six months of financial year 2018.
The latest accounts for the six months to the end of December 2017 were announced on Monday, with the company's chief executive, Bill Morrow, saying that the company was on track for a scheduled end to the rollout by 2020 as laid out earlier.
According to NBN Co, 6.1 million premises are now ready to connect, and there are 3.4 million active services.

No changes to HFC in NBN rollout plan, says Morrow

Despite the fact that a number of suburbs which were marked down to get the national broadband network via HFC cable have had a quiet change of technology, NBN Co head honcho Bill Morrow says that there is no change in the HFC rollout.
At the half-yearly results announcement on Monday, Morrow said the issues with the HFC rollout, which led to the company putting such connections on hold in December last year, were technology-related and would be sorted.
He stressed that HFC was a vital component of the technology mix and it would proceed as indicated after the problems were sorted out.

Up to 40pc of homes may not use the NBN with 5G mobile on way

If it fails to deliver a minimum commercial return, NBN Co will be required to add the project’s tens of billions of debt to the government’s deficit.
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM February 10, 2018

Anthony Klan

As many as 40 per cent of households may not use the $49 billion National Broadband Network given the looming arrival of 5G mobile broadband technology and the fact that 10 per cent of homes are not expected to connect to the internet.
A survey of 1500 broadband internet users by analyst Venture Insights found that of the 85 per cent who were plugged-in by fibre or copper wire connections, 30 per cent said they would be willing to switch to a wireless service in the next two years.
What we saw was people had doubts over the quality of NBN services and consumers generally are becoming more comfortable with wireless services to access the internet,” said Nigel Pugh, head of consulting at Venture Insights.


Anonymous said...

Nice article from Emma Hosssck. I appreciate the sentiments but I think the old foot-in-the-door technique has been used rather well and the path is that of the oxygen blood sucking MyHR and many are now owned by ADHA.

Anonymous said...

There is always people being played, even those thinking they are the player are usually being played. That is half the problem and why ADHA is neither trusted or entrusted.

Anonymous said...

The other half of the problem for the ADHA sits with a couple of inderviduals, neither are important to the ADHA or digital health, they bully and plant friends across the place so we no longer feel safe to express an option or take a chance. Why they are allowed to remain is a puzzlement to all