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."

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 12th June, 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

All sorts seem to be going on with most States having some news. Interestingly we are seeing more and more negative commentary regarding the consistency and credibility of the ADHA and the opt-out. They seem to have more than one answer to a lot of questions – not sure why?

Patients are digitally demanding

  • The Australian
  • 11:36AM June 6, 2018

Supratim Adhikari

The Australian healthcare sector is scrambling to meet the digital demands of patients, with a new survey from medical software and information provider MedicalDirector highlighting that more patients want healthcare providers to better use digital tools, mobile technology and the internet to improve their experience.
According to MedicalDirector’s Patient Engagement Survey 2018, conducted in partnership with online appointment and e-health platform, HotDoc, patients are particularly focused on technologies that helps them better manage their appointments, connect with their General Practitioners (GPs) and obtain test results and diagnoses.
Medical Director CEO Matt Bardsley said that building meaningful relationships with their GP is crucial to good patient outcomes.

Bid to give police access to real-time S8 script data

Patient information would help them identify 'criminal entrepreneurs'
6th June 2018
Patient information contained in the upcoming national real-time script monitoring system would be handed to police investigators under a proposal from the criminal intelligence agency.
The system, which will alert doctors about to prescribe S8 drugs of previous scripts, has long been seen as the key to stopping doctor-shoppers and reducing the misuse of addictive medicines. 
The Federal Government announced funding for a national system in July last year.

A third of poll respondents don’t want a My Health Record

More than a third of pharmacies are now registered for My Health Record, according to AJP’s latest poll

A significant minority of AJP readers have enough concerns that they have decided not to have a My Health Record themselves, a small AJP poll shows.
Between 16 July and 15 October 2018, Australians will be able to “opt out” of having a My Health Record.
More than a quarter – 26% at the time of writing (18 votes) – of AJP readers say they will opt out due to privacy concerns.
For article and poll go here:

Australia to create a connected health service through the National Health Interoperability Roadmap

By: Teresa Umali
Published: 4 Jun 2018
Interoperability is an ongoing issue in an individual’s health record information. With the information fragmented across providers, some even stored as hard copies or scanned copies, retrieval of which becomes difficult especially during critical times. With the development of a National Health Interoperability Roadmap by December 2018, this can be solved.
An announcement from the Australian Digital Health Agency highlighted the government’s plan to connect health services all over the country through the National Health Interoperability Roadmap.
The process of easier access to health service records is about to become a reality. The National Health Interoperability Roadmap is on its way.

Health withholds Telstra payments for $220m cancer register

By Justin Hendry on Jun 5, 2018 11:12AM

As go-live milestones missed.

The Department of Health is withholding payment from Telstra for the development of Australia’s national cancer register due to ongoing project delays.
Telstra won the $220 million contract to build and maintain the single national record for the screening of cervical and bowel cancers in May 2016.
The register was meant to replace eight separate cervical cancer screening registers operated by the states and territories and the paper-based national bowel screening register by March 2017.

Queensland digital hospitals boosting outcomes

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 07 June, 2018
The Queensland Government has announced that the first of the state’s digital hospitals are improving patient outcomes and reducing complications.
The government has so far gone live with eight digital hospitals and plans to roll out 27 across the state by 2020.
These hospitals allow clinicians to monitor a patient’s vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature and heart rate in real time through advanced technology, and to access medical records by scanning a unique barcode on the patient’s identity wristband with a handheld device.

Digital health: it’s in our DNA. Queensland Health Minister on the state’s high-tech revolution

Lynne Minion | 08 Jun 2018
As eHealth Queensland celebrated the annual showcase of its nation-leading, state-wide tech transformation, the state’s Minister for Health said, “Digital is no longer seen as a ‘nice to have’, it is now part of Queensland Health’s DNA”.
With eight digital hospitals and 19 more going live over the next three years, and advances in 3D-printed body parts, nanotechnology, robotics and genomics, the Brisbane eHealth Expo gave a capacity crowd in Brisbane a view of the state’s pioneering plans.
“Our goal is to improve the health of all Queenslanders and technology advancements in healthcare is a big part how we will achieve this,” Health and Ambulance Services Minister Steven Miles told Healthcare IT News Australia.

ACT Health lands $40m for core IT upgrades

By Justin Hendry on Jun 5, 2018 6:27PM

All the tech in the ACT Budget.

The ACT government has earmarked more than $40 million in this year’s budget to replace several core IT systems at ACT Health.
The government will provide $18 million, including $6.7 million in capital, to replace the existing ACT pathology laboratory information system over four years.
It will be replaced with a new end-to-end cloud-based system that “will support the entire process of pathology services, from ordering and specimen collection through to testing, validation, reporting and billing”, in a bid to improve efficiency and the patient experience.

Troubled hospital spends $2.3m on paper deliveries

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM June 4, 2018

Michael Owen

About 2000 medical records are being delivered daily to the new $2.4 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital from a storage site because the “paper-light” design means the hospital’s floors cannot withstand the weight of patient files.
The Australian can reveal the cost of storing and delivering paper records to the new hospital is more than $2.3 million a year.
The former South Australian Labor government designed the hospital, once ranked the third most expensive building in the world, to be run without old-­fashioned patient records and instead to use its computerised Enterprise Patient Administration System, which has been dogged by cost blowouts and time delays.
Adelaide Thursday June 07, 2018

"Cumulative errors" in EPAS procurement, Ombudsman finds

SA Health failed to use proper procurement processes when it acquired controversial electronic health records program EPAS, the State Ombudsman has found.
Bension Siebert
Ombudsman Wayne Lines’ investigation has found “cumulative procedural errors” in SA Health’s original procurement of the Enterprise Patient Administration System, including insufficient detail to justify not going to tender on the project.
But Lines cleared the department and its executives of maladministration and misconduct, according to a two-page summary final report, released on the Ombudsman’s website.
EPAS has come under fire for repeated cost blowouts – its budget is now $472 million – and persistent claims by medical staff that it poses threats to patient safety, despite SA Health data showing a drop in medication errors at sites using the software.

SA Ombudsman finds deficiencies with EPAS procurement

By Justin Hendry on Jun 8, 2018 11:41AM

Did not observe proper practices.

SA Health failed to follow proper procurement processes for the state’s much maligned electronic patient administration system (EPAS), the state’s Ombudsman has found.
Ombudsman Wayne Lines’ probe into the procurement of EPAS implementation lead ZED Business Management identified “cumulative procedural errors in relation to contract execution” by the department.
While noting the department’s attempts to address the “deficiencies”, his “final view was that the failure to observe proper procurement processes was wrong”.

SA Government describes EPAS as a "failure" that is impairing hospital operations

Lynne Minion | 05 Jun 2018
South Australia’s EPAS system has been described as a “failure” by the state government, with Health Minister Stephen Wade claiming the operation of the flagship Royal Adelaide Hospital and other hospitals are being impaired by the long-troubled electronic health record.
The partial EPAS implementation at RAH has led to the latest embarrassing revelation, with The Australian reporting that it is costing the state $192,000 a month to store paper patient records off-site and deliver thousands to the hospital each day.
According to a SA Health spokesperson, the new $2.4 billion hospital’s floors can’t withstand the weight of the paper.

NSW Health rostering system $37m over budget

By Justin Hendry on Jun 7, 2018 3:20PM

But starting to deliver benefits.

NSW Health has spent an extra $37 million on its new state-wide rostering system HealthRoster, putting the project more than 40 percent over budget.
The state’s audit office today released its report on the benefits of the system, which is also “taking six years longer ... to fully implement than originally planned”.
The auditor found that while the system is starting to deliver some benefits to local health districts (LHDs) where it has been implemented, the journey has not been without its problems.
The state government approved $88.6 million back in 2009 to replace NSW Health’s legacy rostering systems, including an out-of-support Kronos system, with a single system that more effectively rosters staff.
  • Updated Jun 6 2018 at 11:00 PM

Big pharma wants to invest more in Australian biotech says Greg Hunt

by Ben Potter
Big US pharmaceuticals companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck, AbbVie and Eli Lilly want to invest more in Australia as a result of the Turnbull government's efforts to stimulate the medical tech and biotech sectors, Health Minister Greg Hunt has said.
Mr Hunt said the increased interest was the result of the government's cumulative efforts over several years to turn more of Australia's world-leading medical and pharmaceuticals research into commercial products, starting with the establishment of the $20 billion Medical Research Future fund in the 2014 budget.
The 2018-19 budget's change to the research and development tax incentive to reward greater R&D "intensity" – spend as a share of sales – and carve out clinical trials from new payment caps had added to Big Pharma's interest, as had the $1.3 billion medical industry growth plan which included $248 million to expand clinical trials.

Third of 416 robo-debt claims found to be wrong

One-third of the appeals made by those who were slugged with debts by Centrelink, over what has come to be known as the Federal Government's robo-debt scheme, have been upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Statistics provided during Senate Estimates showed that since the program was launched by the government in mid-2016, 461 cases had been decided by the AAT.
Of these, 265 (63.7%) had been left unchanged, 10 (2.4%) varied from the original estimates, and 141 (33.89%) had been set aside, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said in a statement.

Lost in transition

Rate of errors are still too high at care transition, and HMR funding caps are not helping: experts

Problems with coordination of care are still leading to an unacceptable level of medication errors, says a team of experts who has highlighted some areas that could improve the situation.
A review article by a multidisciplinary research team has highlighted the scope of the problem and suggested a range of potential solutions, including emphasising the value of medication reviews.
People with complex medication regimens, older people, those with mental health problems, people who are poor or have low literacy, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and migrant populations are particularly at risk of medication discrepancies, the authors said.

Trembling cursor ‘early sign’ of Parkinson’s

  • Mark Bridge
  • The Times
  • 12:00AM June 5, 2018
Your web searches, mouse movements and even online scrolling speed could be monitored remotely to spot Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s.
Data from millions of users of Microsoft’s Bing search engine revealed a correlation between those with tremulous mouse ­actions and those whose search terms suggested they were ­Parkinson’s patients.
The findings could lead to ­algorithms identifying the onset of the disease sooner but have raised privacy concerns about the extent and power of data harvested by tech companies.

Melbourne children's hospital emergency department gets real-time wait updates

The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne aims to alleviate crowds at the emergency department with its new wait status dial.
By Jonathan Chadwick | June 7, 2018 -- 03:03 GMT (13:03 AEST) | Topic: Innovation
The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne (RCHM) has released an online tracker that gives real-time information about wait times in their emergency department (ED) 24 hours a day.
The tracker, unveiled on Thursday by Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Jill Hennessy, rates activity as normal, very busy, or extremely busy on a dial. The portal is aimed to help parents decide whether to take their children to a local hospital or GP instead of the ED.
According to the Victorian government, data shows over 60 percent of parents currently bypass their local hospital to attend the ED, which can result in crowds and long delays for patients with less serious illnesses or injuries.

Dementia Australia rolling out virtual reality workshops nationwide

Puts participants in the shoes of someone living with dementia
George Nott (Computerworld)
Dementia Australia is rolling out its hugely successful virtual reality based training workshops nationwide.
The EDIE (Educational Dementia Immersive Experience) VR tool has been used as part of workshops run by the charity in Victoria for the past two years. The workshops were held for the first time in New South Wales late last year and in recent weeks have been made available in Queensland and South Australia.
The ‘Enabling EDIE’ workshops use a virtual reality app developed by researchers at Deakin University run on Samsung Gear VR headsets to deliver a training program that helps participants better understand the lived experience of dementia sufferers.

Where's the evidence for prescribing health apps?

7 June 2018


The hype around mobile health apps in recent years has been almost overwhelming. But the actual evidence? Not so much.
There is, in fact, very little evidence that health apps do anything to help patients, according to a review.
Although many GPs would be unsurprised at this conclusion, the review did throw up some new and surprising stories of exactly how some apps fail to deliver anything useful.

10 ways pharmacies fall victim to cyber criminals

Technology expert shares tips on how to protect yourself
7th June 2018
Training staff to prevent cyber attacks is essential for pharmacies, says MedAdvisor chief technology officer Dr David Chatterton.
As small businesses, pharmacies often don’t have access to proper IT support, he says. It’s very hard to gain back trust once a breach has occurred.
Here are 10 tips based on incidents in pharmacies:
  1. Staff should be trained to avoid using pharmacy computers for personal email and web searches.
  2. Update to Windows 10. Windows XP is not secure and no longer supported by Microsoft. Without an upgrade, pharmacies leave themselves more vulnerable to malware programs and hackers. Cyber criminals are taking advantage of old operating systems used by healthcare providers to install malware to encrypt data. They then demand a ransom be paid in Bitcoin to unlock it.

'White-hot anger': St Vincent's Hospital email gaffe reveals confidential employee details

By Lucy Cormack
8 June 2018 — 4:32pm
Employees at St Vincent's Hospital have expressed "white-hot anger" after more than 200 staff members were accidentally identified in a mass email responding to confidential voluntary redundancy applications.
The privacy breach occurred when an email was sent from the hospital’s human resources department to 220 staff members who had recently applied for a voluntary redundancy.
It is understood all staff were given the opportunity to apply for the non-targeted voluntary redundancy process, which sought 39 members of staff.

Informed consent and internet-based research in epidemiology

Laura Goddard, Fiona J Bruinsma and Graham G Giles
Med J Aust 2018; 208 (10): 424. || doi: 10.5694/mja17.01021
Published online: 4 June 2018
Guidelines are needed for obtaining and storing informed consent in internet-based research
The internet has become an easily accessible resource for conducting epidemiological research, but there are currently no national guidelines for researchers or human research ethics committees which are specific to ethical considerations in internet-based research in Australia.

Better health for Australians with My Health Record

My Health Record is a secure online summary of health information which improves access to health information for patients, carers and health providers. You can choose who your record is shared with; who accesses it and what’s stored in it.
The benefits of My Health Record include reducing time spent looking for and carrying health information around; avoiding unnecessary repeated scans and blood tests; and you won’t have to repeat health history to different health providers - which is especially handy for people travelling around Australia.
By the end of 2018, every Australian will have a My Health Record unless they choose not to have one during the three month opt out period that will run from 16 July to 15 October 2018.
For more information visit the My Health Record website.
(Propaganda Alert)

Cancelled My Health Record data to be kept in limbo

Those choosing to opt-out of the My Health Record service will still have their data visible if they reactivate their account.
By Asha McLean | June 5, 2018 -- 03:50 GMT (13:50 AEST)
The federal government is automatically signing people up to its My Health Record scheme, with the goal of having issued a digital medical file to all Australians by the end of this year.
Individuals will have the ability to opt-out of the service; however, the information will not be destroyed as first thought, rather it will be kept in somewhat of a limbo.
Offering further detail on the online record last month, Tim Kelsey, chief executive of the Digital Health Agency (ADHA) -- the agency charged with overseeing the My Health Record and ensuring citizen information is secure -- said that after a record is cancelled, no data will be attributed to it until it's reactivated, at which time two years' worth of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) data from that date will be repopulated.
6 June 2018

ADHA reveals MHR information strategy

Posted by Julie Lambert
The Australian Digital Health Agency will use GP clinics, chemist chains and media advertising to sell the public on electronic health records in the three-month opt-out period starting in July.
ADHA CEO Tim Kelsey has confirmed that the agency would rely largely on the 31 Primary Health Networks to run public information campaigns which will begin from the July 16 launch date.
The campaigns would cover the rights and ability of consumers to opt out of the My Health Record scheme, the benefits of staying in, and the possible use of data by third-party organisations.

An important overview of the pros, cons and questions about My Health Record

By the end of 2018, a My Health Record (MHR) will be created for every Australian unless they choose not to have one.
This major development brings potential benefits – but also raises complex questions for individuals to consider, according to Leanne Wells, CEO of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia.
Wells reviews the pros, cons and challenges involved, in the #LongRead below.

My Health Record data could be uploaded without consent

By Justin Hendry on Jun 7, 2018 11:56AM

Risking loss of personal control.

Confidential healthcare data could be uploaded onto a My Health Record unbeknownst to an individual if activated by a clinician, bypassing otherwise stringent mechanisms to ensure the scheme is consent-based.
The potential for two years of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) data to be uploaded to e-health records automatically was confirmed by Australian Digital Health Agency chief Tim Kelsey last week.
The scenario could arise where a newly created record is not personally activated following the forthcoming three-month opt-out period between July 16 and October 15.

Going on the record

The 3-month window for opting-out of the My Health Record begins soon. Health bureaucrats gave a Senate hearing the latest on the program, including what pharmacy’s role entails

The My Health Record program was a topic of lengthy discussion and questioning at the recent Senate Estimates Committee hearings in Canberra.
Among the data and opinions presented were many revealing figures on the scale of program, how patients can opt-out, and when. It also covered the number of pharmacies currently involved in the program, and what their role in it actually entails 

Why should GPs care about primary health networks?

5 June 2018


One dream scenario is actually a current reality, says Dr Charlotte Hespe.
Imagine it is Monday morning, and Margaret is in the waiting room. She is a 78-year-old widow who is living with poorly controlled diabetes, retinopathy, moderate renal impairment, osteoarthritis, depression and recurrent falls. She has been seeing you, her trusted GP, for the past 15 years.

To add to her current problems, her latest blood test shows iron deficiency anaemia, no doubt related to her polypharmacy and NSAID use.

Kylie, your practice nurse, pops in and says that she is worried about Margaret’s mental health and thinks she needs some extra support. Margaret can’t afford to see a psychologist.


Understanding the digital behaviours of older Australians

1 Jun 2018
This report details findings of a combined quantitative and qualitative study which aimed to understand the current behaviour and perceptions towards digital devices and internet amongst people aged 50 years and over.
The quantitative component involved 3,602 nationwide telephone surveys using a Random Digit Dialling (RDD) approach. The sample achieved delivers a statistically representative sample that provides insight into people aged 50 years and over in terms of their behaviour and attitudes towards digital devices, e.g. smartphone, desktop computers etc., and the internet. Fieldwork was conducted from 25 May 2017 to 26 June 2017 with the results obtained reflecting a baseline measurement of people’s attitudes and behaviour.
Monday 4th Jun, 2018

Millions of older Aussies missing out over ‘fear’ of the internet

Can you believe that a whopping 2.7 million Australians over the age of 50 have no idea how to access the internet, connect to WiFi or even send an email?
A shocking new study has revealed that a huge percentage of Australia’s older generation are missing out on all that the internet has to offer, with the main reasons being fear of the unknown and feeling intimidated by technology.
However, the results also revealed that more than half of over-50s across Australia actually want to get to grips with digital technology, but the main factor holding them back is feeling apprehensive and intimidated when it comes to asking for help, with many unsure about where to look for support in the first place.
  • Updated Jun 4 2018 at 11:00 PM

Scott Farquhar's Skip Capital and AirTree back skin cancer start-up MetaOptima

After a worldwide search for the "best company in the field", Scott Farquhar's Skip Capital and AirTree Ventures have invested $US6.5 million ($8.6 million) in skin cancer detection start-up MetaOptima.
The Canadian company says it has developed the world's most-advanced skin imaging and analytics tool, DermEngine, which uses artificial intelligence to assist in the detection of all types of skin cancer.
​The investment is a personal one for AirTree's Daniel Petre, who told The Australian Financial Review the process began almost four years ago when one of his daughters was diagnosed with melanoma at just 21.

DXC Technology nabs Dr John Lambert as medical director

Dr Lambert moves to the company from eHealth NSW
Byron Connolly (CIO) 05 June, 2018 12:23
IT services company, DXC Technology has appointed former eHealth NSW CIO Dr John Lambert as its first chief medical director in Australia and New Zealand.
Lambert was lured across from the NSW health system, where he has worked as medical doctor for more than 25 years. He was appointed as eHealth NSW’s inaugural chief clinical information officer in July 2014.
He is also a board member of the Health Informatics Society of Australia and a qualified anesthetist and intensivist.

The Aussie Shepherd maps indoor space for visually impaired

Media release | 5 June 2018
When the Aussie Shepherd founder Anna Wright was diagnosed with a rare eye condition and told she would eventually go blind, it not only changed her life but drove her to help others with visual impairment.
With the assistance of a $25,000 Minimum Viable Product grant from the NSW Government-backed Jobs for NSW, Ms Wright developed Banjo Maps, which helps people with visual impairment navigate internal spaces like public buildings and shopping centres.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro said Banjo Maps was a fantastic new technology that had the potential to be exported globally with great positive impacts for the visually impaired.

Waitemata and Counties Manukau DHBs live with Clinical Portal 8

Tuesday, 5 June 2018  
eHealthNews editor Rebecca McBeth
Waitemata DHB and Counties Manukau Health have gone live with Clinical Portal 8, the latest version of Orion’s Concerto platform.
The DHBs launched a single instance of the portal on 18 April, allowing them to share more information across the region. Auckland and Northland DHBs are set to move on to the regional platform in the future.
HealthAlliance, the shared services provider for the four Northern region DHBs, says the new system allows single sign-on for clinicians as well as providing a “highly available, resilient, and scalable platform with faster response times”.

Rigorous new complaints rules set to be imposed on telcos

New telco industry standards designed to give consumers an improved complaints experience when migrating to the national broadband network are about to come into effect, with the regulator acknowledging that “buck-passing” has plagued consumer experiences in the past.
The rules, to take effect from 1 July, can potentially result in the imposition of civil penalties of up to $250,000.for telcos breaching the standards.
The new standards and record-keeping rules were announced on Thursday by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), with the Authority chair Nerida O’Loughlin acknowledging that consumers deserve to have better complaints-handling procedures.

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