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, March 12, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 12th March, 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

Again a quiet week with various things going on and the ADHA releasing a Framework for Action which will need a close read. Enjoy the browse!

Calls for an end to ‘manels’ and conference gender imbalance, as research shows depth of discrimination against women in STEM

Lynne Minion | 08 Mar 2018
Senior women in STEM have appealed for gender equality on conference programs and an end to all-male panels, as anger grows after an Australian neuroscientist was dropped from a Sydney speaking event for being pregnant.
Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre, Dr Muireann Irish, was due to speak about her dementia research and experience of working in STEM at a women’s lunch later this year, but organisers removed her from the bill in January when they discovered she would be more than eight months pregnant at the time.
For Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea, a global leader in the field of gene therapies at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, and co-founder and CEO of Women in STEMM (which adds medicine to the list), it’s “sad” that this can happen in this day and age.

Looming workload headache? Fears over national script-monitoring system

It will be less than seamless compared with Victoria's system, say pharmacists
8th March 2018
The Federal Government’s real-time script-monitoring system to tackle opioid misuse will not be integrated with GP software, raising fears it will become a workload headache.
The system is being rolled out this year and aims to give all doctors access to information on S8 drugs prescribed and dispensed.
However, it will be based on the Tasmania system — known as DORA — where doctors have to log in to a state government website and view a record of what a patient has been prescribed.
Concerns about the proposals were raised in a TGA consultation on curbing opioid misuse.

New initiative aims to enable establishment of lifelong digital health records for all Australian children

By: Priyankar Bhunia
Published: 8 Mar 2018
The Collaborative, established through a partnership between the Australian Digital Health Agency, eHealth NSW and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, is exploring how every child in Australia can have the option of a comprehensive digital health record from the time they are conceived, through the critical first years and adolescence.
The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has entered into a partnership with eHealth NSW, the lead agency in the New South Wales (NSW) Government for ICT-led healthcare and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN) to establish the National Children’s Digital Health Collaborative.
The Collaborative is one of the first initiatives of Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure, released in August last year. The initiatives identified in the Collaborative align with the National Digital Health Strategy’s models of care to improve accessibility, quality, safety, and efficiency in improving child health.

Media Release: A new national digital collaborative to improve child health

Australia’s states and territories have joined forces in a unique and transformative partnership that harnesses technology to improve the health and wellbeing of Australian children.
In one of the first initiatives of Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure, the Australian Digital Health Agency is partnering with eHealth NSW and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN) to establish the National Children’s Digital Health Collaborative.
SCHN Chief Executive Dr Michael Brydon said that records on a child’s health and development are currently captured in multiple paper and digital systems, meaning they are not always available when they are needed.

Labor pledges to review EPAS

Bension Siebert @Bension1
Friday March 09, 2018
The Labor Party would undertake a review of its controversial electronic health records system, EPAS, if it is returned to Government at next week’s election.
The review would seek input from medical staff in SA Health on how to improve the Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS).
Doctors have repeatedly warned that EPAS slows down emergency carethreatens patient safety and blows out waiting lists.
Meanwhile, Labor intends to bring the program up to full functionality at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and install it at Flinders Medical Centre and Mount Gambier Hospital in 2018.

ADHA Claims My Health Record Expected To Improve Delivery Of Care For GPs

08 Mar 2018
The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has provided an update on progress of the My Health Record and the benefits it will bring to Australian patients.
Dr Michael Crampton has highlighted how it has led to improved delivery of care for his patients, noting the importance of having easy access to allergy information for the patient, hospital discharge summaries, and other important information that a patient may not remember all the relevant details of their healthcare history.
“When we have one clear, accessible, current and accurate medicines list for every patient it will overcome a lot that goes on,” Dr Crampton said.

Organisations invited to contribute to the implementation plan for Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy

In 2017, Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy Safe, Seamless and Secure was approved by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council putting the consumer at the centre of their healthcare and providing choice, control and transparency. The Agency, in consultation with the states and territories, has drafted a Framework for Action to support the strategy’s implementation and we are now running a consultation phase to gain wider feedback on the draft framework.
The next step is getting collaboration on co-producing its implementation plan – the Framework for Action. A consultation draft is available for comment. It reflects what consumers, healthcare providers and a range of organisations told us during last year’s consultation on the development of the National Digital Health Strategy, and has been developed with assistance from all the governments of Australia.
The draft Framework for Action and consultation form is available at https://frameworkforaction.digitalhealth.gov.au/. You will be able to provide your organisation’s submission in the feedback form until Friday 6 April 2018.

A new study illustrates why the MBS bean-counters aren't keen on telehealth

9 March 2018


Telehealth has been put through its paces in various studies over the past few years. Some say it’s more efficient than face-to-face consultations. Some say it’s not as good. Some say it’s suitable for certain patients but not others.
In Australia, however, all of these views end up falling at the same final hurdle — a lack of MBS funding. Without reimbursement, very few doctors will use the technology.
It’s up to the bean counters at the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) to decide what’s funded under the MBS. Next time the MSAC runs the numbers, it might look at an Australian study in Nutrition & Dietetics.
The research compares the costs of a 12-month, face-to-face dietitian-led weight-loss program against the same program conducted via telehealth.

Blockchain in Heathcare – are standards needed?

Posted on March 8, 2018 by Grahame Grieve
Last weekend, in the lead in to HIMSS in Las Vegas, several of the FHIR team met with a number of block chain specialists, most particularly including David Huseby from the Hyperledger project at the Linux Foundation. We discussed various use cases for use of blockchain, with the intent of understanding what – if anything – HL7 should do to support blockchain adoption through the standards process. During an open and wide-ranging discussion, several of us came to the following consensus about the use of blockchain in healthcare (and we thank David greatly for his assistance).
Legal Assurance on Audit Trail
The first use case we recognised where blockchain has an obvious and appropriate usage is to provide strong legal assurance that an audit trail has not be tampered with. There’s all sorts of functions that a healthcare provider carries out where they may eventually be asked to provide evidence concerning past actions, and where there is a need to demonstrate that the audit trail has not been tampered with – and that includes against tampering by the system administrators themselves (that’s a very real concern – highly authorised insiders are the most likely attackers on the audit trail). If the audit trail is kept in electronic form, the only IT resource I know of that is proof against this level of attack is a distributed block chain where the system administrators don’t have total control of all the nodes.

Queensland opposition blasts premier over AU$250m IT blowouts

State LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has called out the Queensland government for spending an additional AU$250 million on IT than budgeted for.
By Asha McLean | March 6, 2018 -- 04:17 GMT (15:17 AEDT) | Topic: Enterprise Software
Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington has accused Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of overseeing "IT blowouts" totalling to more than a quarter of a billion dollars.
In a brief statement following her appearance in state parliament on Tuesday morning, Frecklington said the AU$250 million could have instead funded more than 2,300 nurses, 2,400 new police officers, or 3,620 fire-fighters.
"We could have built eight new schools, delivered more than 5,400 ice rehab beds, or funded swimming lessons at all Queensland schools for a generation of kids," she continued. "I won't let these budget blowouts happen on my watch."
In a video shared via social media, the Liberal National party leader said instead of properly managing projects, Palaszczuk is "taking money out of your pocket".

Sharing the stories of the CIO50 2017: #1 Bill Le Blanc, SA Health

Why Bill Le Blanc was our number one CIO this year
George Nott (CIO) 05 March, 2018 10:10
The new Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) opened in September. At a cost of $2.3 billion, it is one of the most expensive buildings in the world
It is “without question” the most technologically advanced hospital in the country, says SA Health chief information officer and executive director of eHealth systems Bill Le Blanc.
The RAH is home to a huge robotic pharmacy distribution system (one of the biggest in Australia); more than 100 automated dispensing cabinets in patient wings to support the accurate and timely distribution of medicines; telehealth facilities for staff to consult with patients across the state, digital imaging technology which allows clinical images to be streamed live from operating theatres and procedural rooms for diagnostic and training purposes; and the largest automated microbiology system in the southern hemisphere.
The 800-bed facility will eventually provide care to an estimated 85,000 inpatients and 400,000 outpatients each year, is also the state’s only public hospital to roll out a digital instrument tracking system to manage its vast collection of medical equipment.

Researcher behind emergency department software tool heralded by Queensland Health

Lynne Minion | 07 Mar 2018
Queensland Health is celebrating the achievements of women this week, including a researcher behind the software tool that is cutting emergency department waiting times and saving healthcare dollars.
Female researchers in the state are making new discoveries, creating new technologies and improving patient care, and to mark Queensland Women’s Week the government has acknowledged and thanked them in a statement, singling out Professor Julia Crilly for her work to develop the Emergency Department Patient Admission Prediction Tool.
Developed in a collaboration between Gold Coast Health, Griffith University and the CSIRO’s Australian eHealth Research Centre, ED PAPT allows hospitals to forecast how many patients will arrive seeking emergency care at any given time, their medical urgency and how many will need to be admitted to hospital.


Victoria is much further progressed with implementation than any other mainland state and has thoroughly investigated what is required to implement a high performing system on a Victorian and national scale. A feasibility study commission by the Victorian Government revealed a better alternative to address the limitations of the Commonwealth software which in its current state will not meet the needs of clinicians, nor will its interface with clinical systems encourage high uptake. As a result, Victoria has made the decision to develop SafeScript, based on contemporary technology. It will source data from Prescription Exchange Services (PES) - technology that is already used in the majority of pharmacies and medical clinics to facilitate electronic transfer of prescriptions. This approach will have significant advantages. SafeScript will be high performing from the outset, and as it will be developed using modern cloud-based architecture, it will be scalable to an increasing volume of prescriptions.
By comparison, significant redevelopment work would have been necessary before the Tasmanian software could have supported Victoria's prescription volume, let alone at a national level. Most importantly, SafeScript will be designed around clinicians' needs and will offer a better user experience and cause minimal disruption to clinical workflow. Clinicians will receive pop - up notifications from their desktops within seconds after a prescription has been issued or dispensed which will prompt clinicians if a review of the records in SafeScript is necessary. The notification will also provide a direct link to the patient's record. The Commonwealth software does not provide these workflow features for clinicians.

Journal Review: Watson for Oncology in Breast Cancer

March 9, 2018 – Enrico Coiera
How should we interpret research reporting the performance of #AI in clinical practice?
[This blog collects together in one place a twitter review published 9 March 2018 at https://twitter.com/EnricoCoiera/status/971886744101515265 ]
Today we are reading “Watson for Oncology and breast cancer treatment recommendations: agreement with an expert multidisciplinary tumor board” that has just appeared in the Annals of Oncology.
This paper studies the degree of agreement or “concordance” between Watson for Oncology (WFO) and an expert panel of clinicians on a ’tumor board’. It reports an impressive 93% concordance between human experts and WFO when recommending treatment for breast cancer.
Unfortunately the paper is not open access but you can read the abstract. I’d suggest reading the paper before you read further into this thread. My question to you: Do the paper’s methods allow us to have confidence in the impressive headline result?

A new study illustrates why the MBS bean-counters aren't keen on telehealth

9 March 2018


Telehealth has been put through its paces in various studies over the past few years. Some say it’s more efficient than face-to-face consultations. Some say it’s not as good. Some say it’s suitable for certain patients but not others.
In Australia, however, all of these views end up falling at the same final hurdle — a lack of MBS funding. Without reimbursement, very few doctors will use the technology.
It’s up to the bean counters at the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) to decide what’s funded under the MBS. Next time the MSAC runs the numbers, it might look at an Australian study in Nutrition & Dietetics.
The research compares the costs of a 12-month, face-to-face dietitian-led weight-loss program against the same program conducted via telehealth.

Orion Health launches New Predictive Intelligence Using Machine Learning

Orion Health has launched a new machine learning service designed help the health sector reduce operating costs and improve patient care.
Led by research by Precision Driven Health (PDH), a New Zealand partnership between Orion Health, Auckland University and Waitemata District Health Board, the New Zealand-based Orion says it is exploring meaningful ways to minimise wastage in the healthcare sector and help clinicians make more accurate decisions at the point of care.
According to Orion, more than $6.5 trillion is spent on healthcare each year globally, yet typically between 20-40% of spend is wasted on unnecessary services and excess administration.

Online exams: are the colleges doing it right?

Authored by Hugo Wilcken
FEBRUARY 19, 2018, was indeed a black day for hundreds of junior doctors taking the make-or-break Written Divisional Exam of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). After months of study, while generally holding down demanding full-time jobs, and after stumping up the $1900 for the pleasure of sitting the exam, the candidates found themselves locked out of the computer-based testing system halfway through. The decision was taken to abort the exam, leaving many distraught and in tears.
The RACP has rescheduled the exam for two different dates and will be reimbursing candidates the full amount they paid to sit the exam. The computer system’s provider, Pearson VUE, is yet to report to the RACP on the reasons for the failure, except to say that it was due to human error.
The fiasco has put the spotlight on the rapid computerisation of assessment and examination by medical schools and colleges that has taken place over the past few years. What are the benefits and, more importantly in this case, what are the risks?

'Creepy companions': What COPD patients make of carer robots

5 March 2018


How would you feel about a robot following you around all day? Would you think it’s cute, a pet you don’t have to feed? Or would you worry that it’s going to turn on you in your sleep and start the anti-human revolution?
The i-Robi robot, a Korean invention, is basically a face, a TV screen and a robot vacuum bolted together, trundling around a bit like R2D2 from Star Wars.
Researchers from New Zealand have been testing the robots as an intervention for patients with COPD in a bid to increase adherence to medication and home rehabilitation, and to improve quality of life and reduce hospital readmissions.

Seniors travel cards 'breach' privacy laws

Seniors travel cards in NSW have been found in breach of personal privacy laws after one passenger objected to having his identity and travel data linked.
Perry Duffin
Australian Associated Press March 7, 2018 7:00am
Travel cards issued to seniors, pensioners and war widows in NSW are breaching privacy laws by allowing travellers' movements to be tracked, a tribunal has ruled.
But Transport for NSW has not changed how it signs up seniors, arguing personal details are needed "to ensure only those entitled to the substantial benefits of concession fares can access the heavily reduced rate".
The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled Gold Opal cards breached privacy laws after an unidentified senior argued the system could be used to link his identity to his travel on trains, light rail, buses and ferries.

G Medical To Demonstrate Innovative Medical Monitoring Solutions At Himss 2018

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) – Las Vegas - Mobile and e-Health company G Medical Innovations Holdings Ltd (ASX: GMV) has announced it will be demonstrating its innovative medical monitoring solutions for the first time in North American at HIMSS 2018, which commences on March 5, 2018.  Demonstration of their integrated consumer and hospital grade monitoring devices marks an important milestone in the company’s planned expansion into the region throughout 2018.

Hi-tech hearing aid can be adjusted online

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM March 6, 2018

David Swan

A new piece of technology developed in Melbourne is being hailed as a breakthrough in hearing technology, allowing users to test their hearing and manage their personalised settings via a computer or smartphone with online technical and audiology support.
The Facett hearing aid is the result of collaboration between Blamey Saunders Hears, Extel Technologies, and RMIT and Swinburne Universities.
It allows users to upgrade old hardware without having to buy an entire new hearing aid.

Lack of guarantees with NBN services puts consumers at risk: ACCAN

Australia’s peak advocacy group for communications consumers, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, has raised concerns that consumers currently do not have guarantees in relation to connection, reliability and repair timeframes for broadband with services through their retail service provider and the National Broadband Network (NBN).
According to ACCAN, consumers may have no choice in the network that services them as NBN is, in effect, a monopoly, and without guarantees their services are put at risk.
ACCAN’s concerns are raised in its submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiry into NBN wholesale service standards.

5G sensor revolution is coming

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM March 8, 2018

Chris Griffith

Welcome to the age of 5G cellular networks and sensors. It’s the magic combination that will change farming practices, transform infrastructure maintenance, enhance traffic-flow monitoring on highways, and more readily detect bushfires in national parks.
With high-speed 5G cellular phone networks rolling out next year, the biggest news is the parallel rollout of billions of small, affordable, connected sensors that will transform so many aspects of life.
These sensors typically are specialised: each gathers and reports just small amounts of information. The low-energy variety of these sensors use tiny amounts of energy and report their contents only intermittently, so their batteries can last five to 10 years. Yet their signals can penetrate asphalt in the road and increasingly buildings such as shopping centres.

Major breakthrough in quantum computing quest

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM March 8, 2018

Sian Powell

Scientists led by Australian of the Year Michelle Simmons have made a major breakthrough in the field of quantum computing: making two single-atom quantum bits, or “qubits”, talk to each other.
Published in the journal Nature Communications, the advance marks yet more progress by Professor Simmons’ team in the long march of quantum computing.
Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology director and Scientia Professor at the Univer­sity of NSW, Professor Simmons said the development was an ­important advance in the quest to develop a quantum computer.

No comments: