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.
Another interesting week with a vast amount of peripheral noise and nothing heard from the Government / PCEHR team - hence it is business as usual from the Bureaucrats!
Enjoy the links!
The 2013 Royle Review into the PCEHR resulted in 38 recommendations. Several years and one Health Minister later, some of those recommendations are finally being pursued by the Australian Department of Health. The Consumers e-Health Alliance submitted comments on the Department of Health’s Electronic Health Records and Healthcare Identifiers: Legislation Discussion Paper released in late May 2015.
CeHA’s submission can be found here.
An electronic health records system is a strong indicator of whether an aged care facility will pass or fail accreditation, according to research to be presented at an upcoming national e-health conference.
University of Wollongong PhD student Tao Jiang said the study found that facilities not using electronic health records (EHRs) had a very high risk of failing aged care accreditation.
The study, which began in 2013, is looking at the relationship between using EHRs in residential aged care facilities and meeting the accreditation standards for client safety.
The first phase analysed the data from 2,754 residential aged care reports based on accreditation agency audits between 2 January and 3 December, 2013.
Date July 20, 2015
Call home, check your email, count your sperm: Taiwanese start-up Aidmics is hoping to cash in on the $US40 billion global human fertility market with an iPad-compatible gadget it calls iSperm.
Aidmics initially developed the product to help livestock farmers, but founder Agean Lin now plans to seek US Food and Drug Administration approval next year to expand its use to men.
"In the US, one out of every six couples has trouble conceiving," Lin, 35, told Reuters.
20 July, 2015 Serkan Ozturk
Telstra has invited the AMA to tour its controversial GP hotline facility following claims the company is setting up in competition with GPs.
The 24/7 service, known as ReadyCare, allows patients to consult a GP on a video or telephone call for a fee of $69 plus GST.
There are concerns that doctors staffing the service will initiate scripts to patients following just one phone call.
But ReadyCare’s chief medical officer Dr Amandeep Hansra says Telstra is aware of the AMA’s opposition to the new service, which it believes is misplaced.
- July 24, 2015
- BRAD CROUCH MEDICAL REPORTER
- The Advertiser
THE new Royal Adelaide Hospital faces further cost blowouts, won’t have all the services of the existing RAH as promised and will open months late with about half its beds operating and a half-baked EPAS IT system.
State Parliament’s Budget Estimates health committee was told the $2.1 billion hospital faces extra costs including:
- $30 MILLION in claims lodged by the building consortium for removal of unforeseen contaminated soil, on top of a $1 million claim already settled;
- AN expected claim for time spent removing the excess soil;
- ‘MINOR’ modifications to the building plan.
Created on Monday, 20 July 2015
According to Katrina Otto, one of Australia’s leading medical software trainers, doctors have been asking for more hands-on instruction with eHealth this year prompted by growing patient demand and a desire for better practice management.
“It may not be easy for a lot of practices, but we’re not going to go back to paper files; we need to accept eHealth is the future.” says Katrina. Ms Otto has been working directly with hundreds of general practices and specialist practices in the past 26 years.
“I personally would like to see us aim for continual improvement and the one thing I know for sure is what we do now in our paper-filled practices, chasing patient information all day every day, could be so much more efficient,” she said.
An automated application tool is now available to assist aged care providers register for eHealth functions as part of a new managed service offered online by the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA).
The eHealth Online Forms tool allows healthcare organisations to submit applications for the personally controlled e-health record (PCEHR) system, a unique healthcare provider number and a digital authentication certificate, all of which are required to access the national eHealth record system.
The joint initiative between NEHTA, the Department of Human Services and the Department of Health also provides customer support, tips and advice via telephone, email and the website.
Ethics and law
David J Carter
Med J Aust 2015; 203 (2): 109-110.
- Despite uneven regulation, health practitioners registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency have immediate and continuing obligations to patients when contemplating practice closure.
- Recent enforcement actions by regulators highlight the importance of knowledge and compliance with requirements relating to record management.
In July 2014, a Melbourne general practice made headlines when the Australian Privacy Commissioner found that it had breached the Privacy Act 1988 (Cwlth) by failing to properly secure patient medical records.1 The practice had relocated, leaving its records behind in a garden shed; when a thief broke in, the records became accessible to the public. The case raises the question of how patient medical records should be stored and transferred at the time of a practice closure or other change in operations, such as physical relocation or retirement of a practitioner. Significant changes to practice operations occur frequently in Australia due to corporatisation, relocation or retirement. This article outlines the legal and regulatory requirements that govern how patient records are to be managed in such circumstances.
Monday, 20 July, 2015
AWARENESS and careful planning are key to avoiding legal trouble over medical records when a practice closes, according to legal and management experts.
An “Ethics and law” article in the MJA outlines enforceable regulatory requirements governing the management of medical records for doctors when they close their practice. (1)
David Carter, lecturer in health services management at the University of Technology Sydney, wrote that in the ACT, NSW and Victoria there were specific laws regarding records management, while in other jurisdictions, privacy and information management laws affected records.
The Medical Board of Australia code of conduct also advised careful health information management at all times, particularly at practice closure.
Mr Carter said that despite the overlapping and complex nature of legal and professional requirements, health practitioners had immediate and continuing obligations to their patients’ care when closing a practice.
- July 23, 2015
IT was 8 o'clock on a weeknight and Brooklyn resident Sarah Sheehan was reeling from a painful earache.
SHE wouldn't be able to see her doctor until the next morning, and that would require a 45-minute subway ride uptown.
That's when Sheehan, co-founder of an education technology business, remembered receiving a promotional code for a new company called Pager, an Uber-like service that sends doctors to patients' homes.
Pager and similar companies like Heal and Medicast aim to streamline medical care - cutting out waiting rooms, receptionists and trips to the doctor's office.
Friday, July 24, 2015 - 10:01
The push is on to drive interactions between Australians and the Commonwealth Government online, and at the heart of this transformation is the two year old myGov portal managed by the Department of Human Services.
CIO Gary Sterrenberg is overseeing a rapid expansion of the services and functionality offered via MyGov, which now provides access to services such as welfare payments, medical rebates and e-health records, disability support, child support and veterans affairs. The Australian Tax Office also adopted the service, further boosting take-up and extending the range of online options on offer.
As at 31 March 2015, there were 6.5 million active myGov accounts and an average of 15,000 new accounts are created each day. According to the department 30% of the population aged 16 and over have established MyGov accounts. Although it does not anticipate the entire population signing on and expects participation will top out at around 10 million users or less than 50% of the total population. Earlier this year, DHS added optional two-factor authentication to the service, allowing consumers to elect to provide their mobile phone number in order to have an SMS sent to them containing a one-off security code that must be entered into the site before access is granted.
- The Australian
- July 24, 2015
A hacking demonstration has shown how a terrorist could access an infusion pump inside a hospital and deliver a patient a lethal morphine dose.
Conducted by BlackBerry in New York City, the would-be terrorist in the demonstration gained access to the wirelessly connected pump, a standard hospital item, hacked its password and issued remote commands on a computer to alter how it dispensed morphine.
The demonstration took place during a global security forum hosted by the Canadian firm which is rebranding itself as a major provider of security for all kinds of equipment that connects to the internet.
The business of making handsets is no-longer central to BlackBerry’s mantra, with chief executive John Chen demanding that smartphone production occur only where it is profitable.
20 July, 2015 Paul Smith
A leading cardiologist has been criticised for using 'snail mail' to inform a GP that he had prescribed warfarin to an elderly patient, with the letter arriving four days after the patient died.
Marjorie Aston suffered a fatal subdural haematoma when she fell and hit her head at her Adelaide home on 4 January 2013.
She had originally been prescribed warfarin for chronic atrial fibrillation two weeks earlier by Professor John Horowitz, (pictured) the director of cardiology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Professor Horowitz told the 86-year-old that she would need monitoring and should make an appointment to see her GP, Dr Fong Liew.
By Lisa Rapaport
(Reuters Health) - Online symptom checkers often misdiagnose patients’ problems, often encouraging people to seek care for minor issues that don’t need immediate attention and other times incorrectly telling people with true emergencies that treatment can wait, a U.K. study suggests.
Researchers tested 23 online and mobile apps used by millions of people who are trying to find out if their symptoms are serious and what might make them feel better. The apps were imperfect at best, offering the correct diagnosis on the first try only about a third of the time.
For triage - assessing the urgency of the problem - the apps were too cautious in situations requiring only self-care: only 33 percent of the time, on average, were patients appropriately advised not to go to the doctor.
Datacom takes over IT services as part of 'outcomes-as-a-service' contract
The federal Department of Health has handed over all IT support services to Datacom as part of a $242 million 'outcomes-as-a-service contract'.
The five-year ICT infrastructure and support services deal with Datacom was awarded in March this year. The department approached the market in May last year with the view of signing a non-traditional IT outsourcing contract.
The department's ICT services contracts with IBM Australia and Accenture expired at the end of June 2014.
- The Australian
- July 24, 2015
Tech giant Google has long led a tirade against patent trolls, and now it’s escalating the war by giving eligible start-ups two free patents.
Google said today it will give start-ups two patents for free, which they can keep, as long as they join the LOT network, a cross-company effort including firms like Dropbox, SAP and Canon, to fight patent trolls.
As first reported by TechCrunch Google has opened the program only to the first 50 eligible start-ups, while eligibility requirements include that a company’s 2014 revenue has to be between $US500,000 and $US20 million.
Once the company has applied Google will then send it a list of three to five families of patents, of which they can select two.
The slow and staggered launch of Windows 10 starts July 29, and will accelerate in the next few months with new devices and business features.
Windows 10's July 29 "launch" next week is not a typical one for Microsoft. It's just the start of a slow and staggered rollout for the company's newest operating system.
Next week marks the start of availability of Windows 10 for PCs and tablets. Later in calendar 2015, as Microsoft officials said earlier this year, Microsoft will deliver Windows 10 Mobile for ARM- and Intel-based Windows Phones and new small ARM- and Intel-based tablets. Windows 10-based Surface Hub conferencing systems, HoloLens glasses and various IoT devices will happen starting later this year and beyond.
On Microsoft's earnings call earlier this week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella provided a rough timeline as to what Microsoft watchers should expect over the next few months, in response to a Wall Street analyst's question about the trajectory.