Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 21st January, 2013.

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

This has to have been one of the quietest weeks ever - but lots going on I am sure with work being done for e-PIP.
Seems the DHS has got the message that their downtime has got past a joke!
However more work seem to be needed!
My NEHRS check here on Sunday 20/01/2013 was interesting:
In part it said:
“The Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record System is currently unavailable for new registrations. Please keep referring to this page for any updated messages on availability. We apologise for any inconvenience.

For eHealth related issues contact the helpline on 1800 723 471 for assistance during these periods.

For more information see the links below:
Seems like it has been down for new registrations for a week! WTF!

Interestingly the response time of the NEHRS / PCEHR on my weekly visit,from entry to first screen fully painted, was 17 seconds. Just useless I reckon!
Makes the first article below important.

Department of Human Services vows to reduce system outages in 2013

The department experienced 137 system reliability outages between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is hoping to cut the number of system outages across its complex IT environment by 5 per cent per quarter over the next 12 months.
The large government agency experienced 137 system reliability outages in the 12 months between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012. Twenty-eight of these outages were experienced in environments that were operated by the department’s outsourced providers.
Responding to a written question to the Senate Community Affairs Legislative Committee from Queensland Senator Sue Boyce in late October, the DHS said systems stability was a key priority for the organisation.

'Digital health' movement in focus at CES

Date January 11, 2013

Rob Lever

With an app, a game or a gadget, technology start-ups and major companies across all sectors are trying to tackle some of the thorniest problems in health and medicine.
The Consumer Electronics Show is filled with new gadgets to monitor fitness, detect problems and find solutions to health issues ranging from obesity to diabetes to rare medical conditions.
One trend is "gamification," which uses a model from the game industry to offer points and rewards to boost health and reduce costs.

Skin cancer apps 'dangerous'

Date January 18, 2013 - 7:53AM

Robyn Preston

People are being warned to avoid using smartphone apps to detect skin cancer.
Experts are warning people not to replace visits to the doctor with smartphone apps that claim to detect skin cancer after a study found the technology gets it wrong almost a third of the time.
A number of phone applications, widely available to the public, market the ability to evaluate skin legions and provide advice to the user about whether it is cancerous.
The apps give a recommendation after comparing photos taken of the suspicious legion over a period of time to gauge unusual changes, or by judging a photo against a library of skin cancer images.

Smartphone skin-lesion apps not so clever

17th Jan 2013
CONSUMER-targeted smartphone apps which assess skin lesions are poor at detecting melanomas, a study has found.
Patients who rely on the technology may not seek medical advice and delay the diagnosis of melanoma, the authors warn.
US researchers submitted 188 digital images of pigmented cutaneous lesions to four consumer smartphone apps designed to provide users with feedback about the likelihood of malignancy. Of the images, 60 were melanomas and 128 were benign.

Tas govt connects healthcare and education with new IT system

Summary: The Tasmanian government has gone to market to find a contractor that can build an information system to link student clinicians with placements in the heath-care industry.
By Michael Lee | January 14, 2013 -- 05:51 GMT (16:51 AEST)
The Tasmanian government Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has jumped in to tackle the issue of ensuring that health-care students get proper practical experience placements by asking the IT industry to develop an information system to match students and health providers together.
DHHS previously created a Clinical Education and Training Framework through which to guide all clinical education placements. Due to the demand for placements and the need for health providers to also coordinate with educational institutions, the Tasmanian government has gone to tender for a "Clinical Education and Training Information System," which will be used throughout the state. This will build further on the framework already established by DHHS.

Non-Guild members to pay for Project STOP

18 January, 2013 Nick O'Donoghue
Community pharmacies that are not members of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia are set to pay $300 a year if they want to continue using Project STOP to monitor sales of pseudoephedrine-based products.
The decision was made by GuildLink, the Guild’s subsidiary company, which operates Project STOP, could have an impact on more than 700 pharmacies across the country, due to “the significant ongoing cost of maintaining and operating the system”, which are estimated to be $650,000.
The program has been mandated by a number of state and territories – currently NSW, Victoria and Tasmania are the only states that have not mandated the system – as a real-time monitoring system to prevent pseudoephedrine-based from being stockpiled to illicit drug manufacturers.

Websites on Indigenous health

17 January, 2013 Dr Bryan Palmer
Dr Bryan Palmer gives a round-up of helpful websites on Indigenous health issues, in a bid to help GPs close the gap on health for Indigenous Australians.
The Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association has multiple roles in promoting Indigenous health, as well as providing collegiate support for Indigenous doctors and medical students.
I love their website, which has a modern homepage with a clear layout and links to other areas of the site. The links uncover a wealth of comprehensive information.
There are also non-intrusive links to social media and no adverts. I would be surprised if this site fails to encourage an uptake in membership.

HCF fleshes out data analytics with electronic patient records system

Summary: The new dental patient records system will give the healthcare insurance provider more granular data on its members for analytics purposes.
By Spandas Lui | January 18, 2013 -- 01:18 GMT (12:18 AEST)
Healthcare insurer HCF has integrated its dental electronic patient records (EPR) system with its data analytics initiative in order to gain more insight into its customers' oral health.
HCF started exploring a new EPR system for its network of dental care centres five years ago, around the time that it kicked off a core IT systems upgrade. But after two false starts, the company called in Sydney-based software provider Centaur to roll out a Dental4Windows SQL system, hosted out of HCF's own datacentre.
The EPR system operates on the latest Citrix XenApp virtual environment, and the project was officially completed in mid-2012. HCF currently has around 94 dentists and 250 clinical staff across seven dental care centres, all of which have access to the system.

Medical Director complies with PCEHR

16 January, 2013 Kate Newton
A major GP software program has finally become e-health compatible just weeks before the first deadline for practices to have eHealth Practice Incentive Payment requirements in place.
Software vendor HCN's product, Medical Director, was listed on the National E-Health Transition Authority's website on 10 January as being compliant with the $1 billion personally controlled electronic health record system (PCEHR).
The firm behind MedTech had its software listed a day later.
Practices can also use an add-on program, made by PEN, to make their existing software compatible.

ePIP Support

From 1 February 2013, the PIP eHealth Incentive eligibility requirements change.
To help practices meet these new eligibility requirements, guidance is available for both organisations providing support to General Practice as well as for General Practices registering independently for the ePIP and meeting each of the five requirements.
Practices are strongly encouraged to read the PIP eHealth Incentive Guidelines and use the ePIP Compliance Checklist contained in the General Practice Registration Workbook to help establish eligibility for the ePIP.

Standards have no sense of humor

Posted on January 17, 2013 by Grahame Grieve
FHIR is a draft standard that is early in it’s ballot cycle. It’s a reasonable anticipation that it will end up as a ISO standard in the fullness of time. But for now, it’s just a draft standard. Writing a standard is a huge piece of work, and you have find entertainment where you can…. with that in mind, I added a couple of jokes to the specification.
In the roadmap, after describing the general nature of FHIR, I add this line:
Compared to the all the other approaches, FHIR… [-- Obligatory: insert your FHIR FIRE related joke here --].

Benefits and Evaluation Analyst

NEHTA - Sydney (Sydney Area, Australia)

Job Description

Benefits and Evaluation Analyst – Sydney –
The National E-Health Transition Authority Limited (NEHTA) was established by the Australian, State and Territory governments to develop better ways of electronically collecting and securely exchanging health information.  NEHTA is the lead organisation supporting the national vision for e-health in Australia. 
NEHTA has a goal to attract high performing, experienced individuals looking to be involved in a unique and exciting venture. We are committed to providing a work environment where people enjoy what they do and are motivated to achieve.
  • Measure & monitor processes to assist with implementing e-health in Australia
  • Data analysis to support change management e-health strategies

PULSE IT-Global Health listed for ePIP, launches cloud-based SMD service

18 Jan 2013
Global Health the Melbourne-based vendor of the ReferralNet secure messaging service, has been listed on NEHTA's ePIP product register as being SMD-compliant, and has also launched a cloud-based secure messaging solution for specialists and allied health practitioners.

No Privacy Guarantee for Genomic Data

By John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today
Published: January 17, 2013
Supposedly anonymous individuals who have contributed their genomic information for research can sometimes be identified through free, publicly available Internet tools, researchers found.
An effort to find the full names of 10 participants in a Utah-based genomic research project was successful for five of them, reported Yaniv Erlich, of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass., and colleagues.
In fact, the researchers said in a report in the Jan. 18 issue of Science, they were able to identify not only the participants but their entire families, a total of nearly 50 people -- relying entirely "on free, publicly available resources," they wrote.

New DNA test puts a face to the long-dead

Date January 15, 2013
A NEW DNA test can supply at least some features of long-dead people for whom there is no image, scientists reported on Monday.
The technique has revealed possible hair and eye colours of anonymous people slaughtered by the Nazis, and of a woman buried alongside monks in a mediaeval crypt, they said.
''This system can be used to solve historical controversies where colour photographs or other records are missing,'' said Wojciech Branicki, of Poland's Institute of Forensic Research in Krakow.

Avatars of patients used during surgery

Date January 11, 2013

Julia Medew

Health Editor

Melbourne surgeons are using technology that turns patients into avatars on computers so they can navigate their bodies with unprecedented precision.
The life-saving technology is being used for brain and spine surgery which has been impossible in the past due to navigational issues.
Professor Peter Choong, director of orthopaedic surgery at St Vincent's Hospital, said he had been using a "stealth guidance machine" to recreate patients on a computer so he could monitor movements in their body during surgery.

Microsoft's Windows 8 upgrade promotion really is ending on January 31

Summary: Existing Windows licensees have until January 31 to get Windows 8 Pro for $39.99. After that, upgrade prices are on the rise.
When Microsoft announced last year a "limited time offer" for Windows 8 upgrade pricing, some thought -- or at least hoped -- that the discounted price might be indefinite.
Microsoft officials announced on January 18 that this will not be the case.
After January 31, the $39.99 upgrade price will end. Starting February 1, the Windows 8 upgrade (from previous Windows home/consumer SKUs) will cost $119.99. The Windows 8 Pro upgrade will cost $199.99.
Currently, Microsoft is charging $39.99 for an upgrade license to Windows 8 Pro from Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7.