Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 8th October, 2012.

Here are a few I have come across the last week or so.
Note: Each link is followed by a title and a few paragraphs. For the full article click on the link above title of the article. Note also that full access to some links may require site registration or subscription payment.

General Comment

A very spotty week with not much at all happening on the official front. Most amusing for me was going for my weekly look at my PCEHR and, out of interest checking out to option of establishing a second record for someone else. When I did that I could create a record for dependent child or whatever. However when I tried to use the browser back command guess what. I got this large message:

The request was a valid request, but the backened server is refusing to respond to it.

So typo and all, I was kicked out and had to go through the multistage log-on again to check my record out.
I wonder want a ‘backened server’ is and why it is being so naughty?
I really am sick of this user testing. It seems I am not the only one based on this comment from a day or so ago.
Anonymous said...
It would seem they have spotted something wrong regarding the Medicare data PCEHR consumer registration is currently unavailable.
Access to existing eHealth records remains available but an error may be encountered when retrieving a Medicare document. Details of Medicare documents remain available in the Medicare Services Overview page.
Notification of planned outage.
There are no scheduled outages at this time.
However yesterday stated due to daylight saving the HI service would not be available and would affect the ehealth records
Could someone enlighten me as to why daylight saving cause this in this day and age and effect the pcehr, should I be setting reminders not to need critical care at certain times of the year? And just when is the next solar flare scheduled?
Astonishing stuff as reported earlier today!

On another front - have just had a little tweet that says:

"Confirmation today that all contractors at NEHTA will be out by 31 December...because ehealth/PCEHR is done!!!"

We are surrounded by fools and nitwits - there goes all the actual technical smarts!

Getting e-health right

  • Date: 21 June 2012
On Point of View, GP and leading researcher, Dr David Peiris asks if the launch of Australia's e-health system has lost sight of the people the system is supposed to help?
From July this year all Australians will be able to register to have their personal health records made accessible online to the health care professionals they authorise. The promise is that for the first time, Australians will have easy access to information about their medical history, including medications, test results and allergies, and so will their health care providers.
Establishing a “personally controlled electronic health record” (PCEHR) system is a massive undertaking for Australia on which the Federal Government is spending more than $460 million over two years. But almost on the eve of implementation it’s time to ask the question: in focusing so hard on getting the process right, have we lost sight of the people the system is supposed to help?
The potential overall benefits of an effective e-health system are not in doubt, although politicians will continue to argue about how it is done and how much is spent on it. A report by Booz & Company cited by the Federal Government estimates a comprehensive e-health system could save not only $7.6 billion in healthcare costs by 2020, but also 5000 deaths, two million primary care and outpatient visits, 500,000 emergency department visits and 310,000 hospital visits each year. The benefits are predicted to flow from fewer medication errors and optimised use of pharmaceuticals, better care programs and prevention measures, better use of health care infrastructure, and higher productivity among health care workers.

ImpediMed ticks towards approval

Brendon Lau
We can learn so much from mice. That was probably the biggest takeaway for ImpediMed’s shareholders as the medical device innovator attempted to sell its proverbial “better mousetrap”.
The problem is the world doesn’t always beat a path to your door when you have a good idea, and that effectively sums up the 77 per cent odd collapse in ImpediMed’s share price over the past two years.
The question now is whether ImpediMed’s L-Dex device to detect lymphedema (swelling in the limbs from impaired flow of the lymphatic system) is only for the birds.

Electronic records, NBN bring better e-health to Australia, says iCare

The e-health company opened a new office in East Melbourne expected to create 35 ICT jobs.
Increased education about the benefits of digital health records will drive their adoption in Australia, according to healthcare software developer iCare. The e-health company this week opened a new office in East Melbourne, which Victorian technology minister Gordon Rich-Phillips said would create 35 ICT jobs over the next three years.
Personally controlled electronic health records (PCEHR) are “absolutely valuable” for “the very young, the chronically ill and the aged,” said iCare managing director, Chris Gray. While there have been political attacks and reports of slow adoption of Australia's PCEHR, Gray voiced optimism due to digital records’ high value to patient care. He said education will be critical to driving uptake.

Savings found on the office desktop

TASMANIA'S Department of Health and Human Services had to manage budget cuts while undergoing a major restructure.
In 2011-12, it was charged with saving $100 million in a $1.8 billion budget and decentralising by establishing three regional statutory authorities called Tasmanian Health Organisations as per the National Health Reform.
DHHS is Tasmania's largest government agency and delivers thousands of services through a national network of more than 300 facilities and centres covering hospitals, mental health, dental, aged-care and housing.

Medical computer software - a burden for GPs

2nd Oct 2012
IMAGINE you bought a car for a substantial sum, and then had to buy a key for nearly as much to be able to use it. Not only that, you had to pay for a new key every year! Worse still, you had to ‘upgrade’ your key every three months even if you didn’t want to, otherwise your car could not be used.
In rare instances in life this scenario may be tolerable, with reasonable support and services, but normally you wouldn’t put up with such a situation.
Yet this is exactly the case  regarding the computers on our desks, but strangely no one appears to complain. The truth is, many people I know complain. The real question is who is listening?

St. Vincent's Hospital Melbourne Selects Amcom Software's Clinical Alerting Middleware

  • Amcom Messenger middleware used to send messages from multiple nurse call and other alerting systems to appropriate staff's mobile devices
  • Replaces legacy paging system with ability to communicate with DECT phones and a variety of other mobile devices
PERTH – September 25, 2012 – Amcom Software's Australian division today announced the launch of its Amcom Messenger clinical alerting middleware at St. Vincent's Melbourne, covering the Fitzroy, Caritas Christi, and St. George campuses. The solution is being used to distribute critical messages from nurse call systems and fire panels directly to staff to improve efficiency and safety. The hospital selected Amcom Messenger to replace its legacy paging system and better communicate with staff across more than 600 DECT phones and other mobile devices.

Melbourne doctors discover way to remove lung cancer lesions using a GPS-guided device

  • Brigid O'Connell
  • Herald Sun
  • October 04, 2012 12:00AM
MELBOURNE doctors have discovered a way to remove previously incurable lung cancer lesions, using an Australian-first application of a GPS-guided device.
Two trials run by Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre allow lung cancer patients to have curative treatment without surgery.
Shirley Young, 71, had half her right lung and two ribs removed after a tumour was found two years ago.

E-health: Veterans' counselling service eyes $1 million systems upgrade

The government's PCEHR initiative means that the Veterans Families Counselling Service needs a new information management system
The Department of Veterans' Affairs is seeking a replacement for the aging information management system used by the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS).
There are 15 VVCS Centres, and in 2010-11 the centres co-ordinated some 60,000 counselling sessions and group programs involving some 4000 individuals
The current VVCS Management Information System is used to store data on clients and counselling services as well as funding and expenditure. The department wants to replace the 10-year-old VMIS, written in Delphi, with a modern system able to interface with the government's Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR).

Edwin Kruys: Learning to love e-health

WE love paper. Just think about it — we use paper hospital notes, send each other printed or even handwritten letters, use paper radiology and lab forms, write or print our scripts, and we worship the voluminous textbooks on our shelves.
The good old fax machine, introduced in the 1970s, was much more successful in winning over health care professionals than e-health has been.
At the same time we feel the paper-dominated health care ecosphere is not very efficient, to say the least.
Many of us own a smartphone, tablet device or laptop and we love it. We make our devices sync with work email and agendas or other software. We may have a few cool apps. And about one in 10 Australian doctors is even using social media to connect with patients and other health professionals.
2 October 2012, 6.50am AEST

Open health: what is it and why should you care?

Nick Evans
Adam Henschke
 “Open health” captures a broad set of information technologies that will change the way we approach health and health care. It encompasses “ehealth” (the storage and provision of personal medical information online) but also includes the release of health information to the public at large. It’s the health side of “open data” policies being pursued by countries all over the world.
The capacity for anyone to access large amounts of health information is likely to have far-reaching effects. We’re researching open health in the United Kingdom, which has one of the most aggressive open data policies in the world, because as Australia enters the world of open health, it’s important to engage with the experiences of other countries in an open and democratic fashion, and apply them to our own situation.

Why it’s important

Open health is not just about you having more access to your health data, but making it available and accessible to others — eventually on an unidentifiable but individual scale — as opposed to aggregate data. In the near future, there’s a good chance that yours and everyone else’s personal health information will be available for download by anyone (with identifiers removed).
Australian-based technology services company DiUS Computing is proud to announce it has won the Most Valuable Supplier Innovation Award from ResMed, a global leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of medical products for the diagnosis, treatment and management of respiratory disorders.

Calling Dr Google

  • by: Adam Cresswell, Health editor
  • From: The Australian
  • October 01, 2012 12:00AM
NEW mother Casey Morrison was already a self-described internet junkie while waiting to give birth to her first child, Eva, and used her addiction productively, trawling the web to find pregnancy-related health information and tips to ensure her baby was born as healthy as possible.
"At the hospital where I went, they were taking many more patients than they could handle, and the midwife appointments were very brief and not very helpful," says the 31-year-old, who was diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant. "I found out more (information) from the internet than I did from the midwives and doctors."
Morrison is typical of the new generation of literate, tech-savvy young patients for whom the internet is an authoritative, perhaps even primary, source of health information, consulted as an alternative to, or in conjunction with, a more traditional consultation with doctors or other health workers.
The proliferation of websites offering credible information has driven this trend, along with the rise of social media that allows patients to share experiences and tips directly with each other.

New eHealth incentive requirements for GPs

The Department of Human Services has released new conditions and dates for general practices interested in receiving eHealth Practice Incentive Payments (PIP) from next year.
Intended to promote the uptake of information technology to improve administration processes and patient care, the incentive scheme now has five requirements.
The first involves a practice obtaining a Healthcare Provider Identifier for its organisation (HPI-O), each of its practitioners (HPI-I) and use compliant software to access, retrieve and store Individual Healthcare Identifiers (IHI) of presenting patients.

Safety net monitoring system is working: Guild

5 October, 2012 Nick O'Donoghue
Despite criticism that people are slipping through the PBS safety net, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia believes the current system is working well.
Responding to calls for an automatic monitoring system to ensure patients’ PBS co-payments are recorded, and claims by Rollo Manning, Adjunct Lecturer at Charles Sturt University, that the current manual process of tracking patient contribution “obviously is not working”, a Guild spokesperson said almost two million people reached the threshold each year.
“Regardless of the merits of automated recording of dispensing towards a safety net target, Rollo Manning’s assertion in Pharmacy News yesterday, that the current manual system is not working does not stand up to scrutiny,” the spokesperson said.

Screen-addicted children may have newest mental illness

Date September 30, 2012

Sarah Whyte

Children addicted to using electronic devices 24/7 will be diagnosed with a serious mental illness if a new addiction, included as ''internet-use disorder'' in a worldwide psychiatric manual, is confirmed by further research.
The formal inclusion of the new addiction has been welcomed by Australian psychology professionals in response to a wave of ''always-on'' technology engulfing kids.
The Sun-Herald has spoken to parents of children as young as seven who are aggressive, irritable and hostile when deprived of their iPads or laptops. Psychologists argue video game and internet addictions share the characteristics of other addictions, including emotional shutdown, lack of concentration and withdrawal symptoms if the gadgets are removed.

Mighty telescope begins scouring universe

Date October 5, 2012 - 2:07PM

Bianca Hall

Scientists will be on the lookout for intelligent life in the outer regions of the universe when they embark on studies into the origin of life on Earth using the world's most powerful telescope system.
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder,  comprising 36 dishes in remote Murchison, 315 kilometres north-east of Geraldton, Western Australia, was officially opened today.
The $400 million project has already been booked out for its first five years by 350 international researchers, who will conduct projects including a census of galaxies within  several billion light years of Earth, and studies of magnetic fields and black holes.