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, August 20, 2018

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 20th August, 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

With the Senate Inquiry now happening this issue is going to be around for a while I believe!
-----  Opt-Out News Start.

Labor pushes inquiry into My Health Record

By Justin Hendry on Aug 14, 2018 11:47AM

Wants to examine privacy, security concerns.

The federal opposition has called for a senate inquiry into the government’s My Health Record “fiasco”, as the opt-out period enters its second month.
Shadow minister for health Catherine King and chair of the finance and public administration references committee Jenny McAllister today revealed Labor's plan to "lead" the inquiry into the much-maligned scheme.
“We remain deeply concerned that the government’s bungled rollout of the My Health Record opt-out period has severely undermined public trust in this important reform,” the pair said in a statement.

Labor call for probe into My Health Record

Labor has called for a Senate inquiry into the laws, regulations and rules of the government's electronic My Health Record system.
Rebecca Gredley
Australian Associated Press August 14, 201812:04pm
Labor wants a fine-tooth comb to be run over the laws, regulations and rules underpinning the government's electronic health record system.
The federal opposition called for the Senate inquiry on Tuesday amid "ongoing privacy and security concerns" into My Health Record, which they want to be complete before the end of the opt-out period in mid-November.
The system has come under fire for electronic security reasons, with Health Minister Greg Hunt revealing last week the laws would be changed so police and government agencies will need a court order to obtain patient data.

'There will be a breach': Labor vows to fix My Health Record

By Dana McCauley
14 August 2018 — 3:47pm
The federal opposition has pledged to fight for wider changes to the government's electronic health records system to address "significant" privacy and security concerns, including for children and domestic violence victims.
Labor called on Tuesday for a Senate inquiry into My Health Record to run a fine-tooth comb over the legislation governing the system amid "ongoing privacy and security concerns", before the opt-out period ends on November 15.
Labor's health spokeswoman Catherine King said the government's decision to switch to an opt-out model, which Labor originally supported, gave rise to "a whole range of significant privacy and security issues that we don't think were thought of in the original enabling legislation".

Labor promises inquiry into My Health Record

Concerned mainly with the opt-out element of the contentious My Health Record, the federal opposition has said it will lead a 'comprehensive' Senate inquiry into the government initiative.
By Asha McLean | August 14, 2018 -- 02:37 GMT (12:37 AEST)
The federal opposition has announced that it will lead a "comprehensive" Senate inquiry into Australia's My Health Record, concerned mainly with the opt-out element of the online medical file.
In a joint statement from Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King and Senator for New South Wales Jenny McAllister, Labor said it remains deeply concerned that the government's "bungled" rollout of the My Health Record opt-out period has "severely undermined" public trust in such an important reform.
While the opposition's focus is on fixing the opt-out period that began over a month ago, it has once again called on the Coalition to suspend the My Health Record rollout "until this mess can be cleaned up".

Senate agrees to new probe for My Health Record

By Justin Hendry on Aug 15, 2018 6:00PM

After Greens, Labor push.

The Senate has approved a push by the Greens for a fresh inquiry to be conducted into the government’s controversial My Health Record scheme.
Greens Leader Richard Di Natale on Wednesday afternoon moved that the e-health record system be referred to the Community Affairs References Committee, gazumping a Labor push to stand up an inquiry.
Labor had also planned an appeal to the crossbench today, but wanted the inquiry played out in the Senate finance and public administration reference committee.

Labor to examine ‘bungled’ MHR rollout

Labor plans to lead a comprehensive Senate inquiry into My Health Record, which Shadow Health Minister Catherine King has called a “fiasco”

“We remain deeply concerned that the Government’s bungled rollout of the My Health Record opt-out period has severely undermined public trust in this important reform,” said Catherine King and NSW Senator Jenny McAllister in a statement this week.
Citing privacy and security concerns, they say that while Labor supports an electronic health system, such a system requires a high degree of public support in order to succeed.
Health Minister Greg Hunt announced earlier this month that the opt-out period for My Health Record would be extended by one month, and legislation would be tightened so that a court order would be required to release any MHR information without consent.


Date 17/08/2018 – 2:40pm

My Health Record: staying in or opting out?

  • Opting out (73%, 102 Votes)
  • Staying in (27%, 37 Votes)
Total Voters: 139
-----  Non Opt Out News i.e. All The Rest!
13 August 2018

Telehealth rebate move for rural docs welcomed

Posted by Julie Lambert
Rural GPs will be able to access Medicare rebates for mental-health phone consults for the first time, to ease distress among patients in drought-hit farming communities.
MBS rules allow rebates for face-to-face GP consultations only, although the Rural Doctors Association of Australia and ACRRM have long been lobbying for an exception for rural and remote patients because of barriers to access.
ACRRM President Associate Professor Ruth Stewart said the MBS telehealth breakthrough for drought-affected areas – concentrated in NSW and part of southern Queensland – was “wonderful news”.
“Doctors in those communities are under strain because they are part of the community.  This is the thing about being a rural doctor; when your community suffers, you suffer.

Major Australian EHR rollout approaches halfway mark

The digitization initiative in the remote and rural Northern Territory is implementing InterSystems technology to improve quality and access for the area's underserved population.
August 13, 2018 11:10 AM
It contains some of the most remote areas on earth and communities of people suffering from diseases that have no place in a developed nation, but despite colossal challenges, the Northern Territory is on track to deliver its digital health record on time and on budget.
As the $259 million five-year project approaches its halfway mark, it is readying to reach a population distributed throughout more than 1.35 million square kilometers and significantly improve care outcomes, according to Chris Hosking, Deputy Chief Executive with the Northern Territory Government's Department of Corporate and Information Services.

Specialist fee website to be unveiled by next year, says Greg Hunt

Government establishing a model to force doctors to publish their fees
17th August 2018
The federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, says he will release details of his plan to force specialists to disclose their fees in the coming months as part of his pledge to reduce 'bill shock' for patients.
The message comes as new figures show more than 1.3 million patients delay or avoid seeing a non-GP specialist because of cost each year.
Some 72% of non-GP specialists’ patients incurred out-of-pocket costs for care outside hospital in the 12 months to June 2017, according to a Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report.

Australia appoints information and privacy commissioner

Interim Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk has been appointed to the role for the next three years, the attorney-general has announced.
By Corinne Reichert | August 17, 2018 -- 05:17 GMT (15:17 AEST) | Topic: Security
Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter has announced appointing Angelene Falk as the nation's information commissioner and privacy commissioner for the next three years.
Falk has been serving as interim commissioner since March, after stepping into it from her deputy role following former Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim's departure.

Australia’s ResApp signs deal to help test the health of US military personnel for deployment

Lynne Minion | 17 Aug 2018
An Australian digital health company has signed a deal to join in the development of mobile applications that will help determine the mission-readiness of American military personnel.
Brisbane-based ResApp, which creates smartphone apps for the diagnosis and management of respiratory diseases, has announced a partnership with aerospace giant Lockheed Martin to join the US Government’s Warfighter Analytics using Smartphones for Health effort.
The WASH program was established to determine the health of service personnel prior to deployment without relying on expensive and cumbersome medical equipment such as electrocardiographs.

Child support staff told not to use troubled Pluto IT system

By Doug Dingwall
13 August 2018 — 6:55am
The Human Services department has pulled staff off its troubled new child support payment IT costing at least $102 million and years in the making, as it tries to salvage the bungled upgrade.
Agency bosses have told most officials administering payments for 1.2 million children to avoid using its new technology, called Pluto, which quickly hit problems after its launch last year and has been blamed for a blow-out in call wait times.
The tech failure has forced staff to work in both the new and old IT systems since, but most public servants at Human Services this month have returned to working mostly in its aged Cuba payment technology, considered deficient more than five years ago.

DHS boots staff off new SAP child support system

By Justin Hendry on Aug 13, 2018 11:10AM

While it considers way forward.

The Department of Human Services has scaled back the use of its new ‘Pluto’ child support IT system while it works out how to restart the redevelopment project.
The majority of the department’s 3000 child support staff have been directed to stop using the year-old SAP platform for completing their work until further notice.
The platform had replaced the front-end functionality of the country’s legacy ‘Cuba’ child support system, which the department has been trying to rid itself of since determining it was nearing end of life in 2009.

AUSTRALIA: Update on mandatory data breach notification regime

By Peter Jones, Nicholas Boyle and Claire Kermond.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (the OAIC) has released its second Quarterly Statistics Report on the mandatory notifiable data breaches scheme. There were 242 total data breaches reported in the last quarter – a marked increase from the 63 data breaches reported in the first quarter report of the regime (even allowing for the fact that the initial report included only six weeks of data). This brings the total number of data breaches reported to 305 since the commencement of the scheme on 22 February 2018.
Interestingly, the source of data breaches is now predominately malicious or criminal in nature (59%), rather than caused by human error as was the case in the previous quarter. The main source of breaches that were malicious or criminal in nature stemmed from cyber incidents (i.e. phishing, hacking, malware etc) rather than rogue employees. This indicates that privacy-by-design should be a key focus for organisations when looking to ensure they have strong information security and processes in place to combat malicious or criminal attacks of this nature. Policies detailing organisational response to such incidents should also be established to ensure quick containment and mitigation of the impact of any attack.

IA concerns over privacy, security issues with encryption law

Internet Australia has raised serious privacy and security concerns about the Australian Government’s proposal to introduce a new cyber encryption law, warning the draft law seeks unprecedented expansion of powers to access citizen’s devices.
IA — a not-for-profit organisation representing Internet users — says it is deeply concerned with the exposure draft of the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill by the Department of Home Affairs – and the short four-week period permitted for public comments and analysis.
“We recognise that law enforcement has a legitimate desire to access and view information transmitted across telecommunications networks by serious criminals, and that often these messages are encrypted in some form, as Internet application developers enhance the security and confidentiality of their services,” the IA chair Dr Paul Brooks said on Wednesday.
“However the government needs to recognise the clear potential dangers to the security and privacy of ordinary Australians which this legislation, in its current form, poses.”
Monday 13 August 2018

New Tech Connects Patients And Specialists

Patients can now connect directly with medical specialists and exchange information concerning fees, wait times and locations before consultation thanks to a new technology platform developed with the support of the NSW Government.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro said Sydney startup Private Patient Connect has been assisted to develop its platform with a $25,000 Minimum Viable Product grant from Jobs for NSW.
“This is a fantastic example of how Jobs for NSW is helping a local technology startup become a high-growth, job-creating business of the future,” Mr Barilaro said.

NSW start-up trials new service connecting patients with medical specialists

A new technology platform which allow patients in private and public hospitals to connect directly with medical specialists and exchange information on fees, wait times and locations before consultation, is now being trialled in New South Wales.
The platform has been developed by Sydney start-up Private Patient Connect with the assistance of a $25,000 Minimum Viable Product grant from the New South Wales Government’s Jobs for NSW.
The Private Patient Connect platform is being trialled in Western Sydney, with more than 300 specialists at 13 private and public hospitals, including Westmead, Liverpool and Nepean, already on board with the service.

Govt finally reveals how it plans to target encryption

By Ry Crozier on Aug 14, 2018 8:10AM

Will involve weakening the security of services.

The government will target encrypted communications with a wide range of methods that could require service providers to build new tools, run government-built software, or facilitate access to targeted devices.
An exposure draft of the legislation, published today [pdf], explicitly bans the use of “backdoors” or “systemic weaknesses or vulnerabilities” to access encrypted communications.
“The Australian government has no interest in undermining systems that protect the
fundamental security of communications,” it said.
However, the government plans to compel a range of companies that make up end-to-end communications services "to enable access to a particular service, particular device or particular item of software".

Harm event detection tool successfully trialled

Monday, 6 August 2018  
eHealthNews.nz reporter Sam Sachdeva
An alerting system designed to slash the number of prescribing-related harm events could be rolled out further after a successful trial, its developer says.
The Conporto Event Detection and Mitigation Solution has been developed by Patients First, a non-profit organisation owned by General Practice New Zealand and the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners.
Patients First chief executive Helmut Modlik says the motivation for the software came after development partner DrInfo carried out an audit of prescribing-related harm events for the Waitemata District Health Board.
15 August 2018

Health Care Homes data paints a sorry picture

Posted by Julie Lambert
Doctors’ warnings that the Health Care Homes trial was being set up to fail seem to have been borne out, with fewer than 100 of the 175 HCH practices having any patients on their books.
As of June 6, a total of 76 Health Care Homes did not have a single patient enrolled in the government’s scheme to introduce a new patient-centred model of complex and chronic-disease management, health department figures show.
Doctors’ concerns about the scheme – which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull famously promised would revolutionise Medicare – centred initially on its inadequate capitation payments, doled out according to three levels of complexity based on assessment of patients’ needs.
The RACGP withdrew its support early last year.

IBM’s Watson hasn’t got the answer for cancer

  • By Daniela Hernandez and Ted Greenwald
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • 12:00AM August 13, 2018
Can Watson cure cancer? That’s what IBM asked soon after its artificial-intelligence system beat humans at the quiz show “Jeopardy!” in 2011.
Watson could read documents quickly and find patterns in data. Could it match patient information with the latest in medical studies to deliver personalised treatment recommendations?
“Watson represents a technology breakthrough that can help physicians improve patient outcomes,” Herbert Chase, a professor of biomedical informatics at Columbia University, said in a 2012 IBM press release.

Australia fifth on global data breach list for HY2018

Australia recorded 24 data breaches in the first six months of 2018, and stood fifth globally on a list that was headed by the US with 1074 leaks, according to the security firm Risk Based Security which recorded a total of 2308 breaches worldwide for the period.
More than 20 million records were exposed in the Australian breaches, which put the country again fifth on the list of countries by exposed records.
The breach of India's Aadhar database, which holds biometric data for most of the country's 1.3 billion people, took spot for the number of records exposed in a breach, at about 1.3 billion.

Information security spending to reach $3.9B in Australia by 2019

Global market forecast to grow 8.7 per cent to US$124 billion in 2019
Samira Sarraf (ARN) 15 August, 2018 11:07
Security spending in Australia is expected to reach $3.9 billion in 2019, growing 9.8 per cent, according to data from research firm Gartner.
This year, security spending it set to reach $3.5 billion, which Gartner revised from $3.8 billion, after expanding its scope on what security information entails.
New segments were added including integrated risk management software, tokenisation, threat intelligence, vulnerability assessment among others.

A revolution is coming, warns emeritus professor

You're out of touch if you believe medicine will remain unscathed amid the rise of artificial intelligence, he insists
Professor Stephen Leeder
13th August 2018
So you thought that My Health Record was complicated and risky? In the digital revolution, it is chicken feed. 
Steady yourself and gird your loins, because artificial intelligence (AI) is the big game that’s coming to town soon and it can be challenging.
How close are we? A statement in the IT world called Moore’s law observes that the number of transistors that can be placed on a single integrated circuit doubles about every two years.

$6m health deal boosts Optus public sector push

  • 12:00AM August 14, 2018
Optus is turning up the heat on Telstra in the enterprise market, with the telco signing up the Department of Health as its latest customer.
The three-year deal worth $6 million is the latest win for Optus, which already has long-standing partnerships with the ATO and the Department of Home Affairs.
The agreement sees Optus become the telecommunications provider for the whole Health Department, consolidating its telecommunication products and services under a single service agreement. The new contract includes the Wide Area Network (WAN) for the department and a range of services including mobile and voice services to the department’s 5000 users.
Optus Business managing director John Paitaridis told The Australian that the latest deal highlighted the strides made by the telco’s business unit in securing public sector work.

One in three Australians on faster NBN plans

By Jennifer Duke
13 August 2018 — 3:28pm
A third of Australians connected to the national broadband network (NBN) are now on 50Mbps speed plans after their dramatic price reduction made budget-priced, lower-speed options less attractive for households.
In the three months to June, there was a 47 per cent jump in 50Mbps services, while the number of households on 25Mbps plans fell 15 per cent. The lowest-speed plans, 12Mbps, were up 5 per cent and fewer people were choosing the fastest plans, 100Mbps, which were down 3 per cent.
The trend towards faster plans has ramped up since 50Mbps plans were discounted to the same price as 25Mbps plans by the NBN Co in an effort to encourage Australians to sign up to faster plans. Telecommunications companies have predominantly passed along these savings to consumers, however, the 100Mbps plan was not discounted as significantly.

More telcos connecting to NBN at more locations, ACCC finds

ACCC releases latest NBN wholesale market snapshot
Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 13 August, 2018 11:41
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says that its latest report based on wholesale market data provided by NBN Co shows positive signs for competition.
As of the end of June, there were at least seven telcos purchasing capacity from NBN Co at 117 Points of Interconnect (POIs) — the previous report revealed that there were seven or more telcos at only 95 POIs.
The POIs are the 121 locations — mostly Telstra exchanges — where traffic is handed off from NBN Co’s access network to telcos.

Labor claims NBN revenue forecasts designed to make govt look good

The Australian Labor Party claims that the 2017-18 revenue target set by the NBN Co, the company rolling out Australia's national broadband network, the NBN, has been deliberately set low in order that the government could have a public relations coup.
The NBN Co is due to announce its results for the full year on Thursday.
Labor Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland claimed on Wednesday that the the NBN Co revenue forecasts had been "designed with one thing in mind: spin".
She said serious questions remained about the revenue target that had been outlined in the 2018 NBN Corporate Plan, questioning whether it was set low "in order to spin a public relations coup for the Turnbull Government upon release of the full year NBN financial results this Thursday".

NBN Co doubles revenue to almost $2bn

By Ry Crozier on Aug 16, 2018 11:56AM

Activations rise, new revenue streams kick in.

NBN Co has almost doubled its revenue in the space of a year to $1.98 billion, nudging in just above the $1.9 billion estimate laid out in in its last corporate plan.
The company managed to increase its average revenue per user (ARPU) from $43 to $44 a month.
This was attributed to an “uplift in connectivity virtual circuit purchased” by retail service providers, as more sell services on newer wholesale bundled products launched this year.

NBN Co activates 8000 HFC lines since sales freeze lifted

By Ry Crozier on Aug 16, 2018 9:07AM

Continues to refuse to quantify financial impact of freeze.

NBN Co has re-released 92,000 HFC premises to market since lifting a sales freeze on the access technology in late April, of which 8000 have managed to activate a service.
The company provided an update on its numbers following an iTnews report that only 1192 out of almost 40,000 premises had managed to activate an HFC connection in the two months following the sales freeze being lifted.
The new figures mean that the number of activations as a percentage of re-released premises in the HFC footprint has lifted from three percent to eight percent.

NBN Co forced to back down on charging rural users more

Under pressure from the Federal Government, the NBN Co, the company rolling out Australia's national broadband network, has backed down on a decision to charge rural and regional users $20 more for their fixed wireless 50/20Mbps plans.
As iTWire reported,NBN Co's chief financial officer Stephen Rue had told parliament's Joint Standing Committee on the NBN on Wednesday that users from these areas would have to pay $65 for a bundled 50/20 product.
Labor MP Brian Mitchell asked Rue: "I want to be crystal clear, are you saying that if somebody lives in the centre of Hobart and they are on a 50 [Mbps] bundled service, they are paying $45 wholesale and they move out to my electorate and get a fixed wireless tower on the new bundled service you’re talking about, they’ll be paying $65 wholesale? Is that in essence what you’re saying?"

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