Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 06 June, 2011.

Source:  Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 06 June, 2011.    Tag:  australian synchrotron

Here are a few I have come across this week.

Note: Each link is followed by a title and a paragraph or two. 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

I have to say it seems to have been a week where that has been a lot of State based news and a few little pieces of PCEHR related material.

I found the first article below interesting as it seems some are still trying to work ‘bottom-up’ to improve information flows among clinicians and consumers.

I wonder will we see the occasional report on how this is going!



It's just for the record


05 Jun, 2011 04:00 AM

MORE than 150 St George and Sutherland Shire residents have enrolled in a world-first study into whether the humble notebook can help save lives.

The Portable Health File project at St George Hospital measures the effectiveness of portable health files in improving the quality and length of a patient's life through improved communication between patients and health professionals.

It involves participants carrying copies of their health information in either a notebook or on a computer memory stick each time they see their GP or health professional, over a four-year period.



CSC handed reins of troubled WA health project

  • Karen Dearne
  • From: Australian IT
  • May 31, 2011 5:06PM

CSC has taken over the troubled West Australian patient administration system (PAS) project under a $6.3 million contract with the Health department.

The project began in mid-2009 when Health paid iSoft a $1.5m licensing fee for its iPatient Manager (iPM) system, and signed a deal for implementation and support services worth $15.4m over five years.

However, the WA government yesterday announced the selection of CSC as the project's new systems integrator.

In addition, CSC will work with iSoft to deploy its webPAS product in two WA hospitals this year.

The Health department has been criticised for its handling of the PAS procurement by WA’s acting auditor-general, Glen Clarke.

"Ten years after recognising that its existing PAS arrangements were a risk to its operations, Health still has not rolled out a replacement though it had initially committed to (one) in 2009," Mr Clarke said in a report last October.



WA Health to deploy PAS by year's end

The state's health department has inked a $6.3 million deal with global services company CSC for the project

Western Australia’s Department of Health has signed a $6.3 million contract with CSC for the implementation of a patient administration system (PAS) by the year's end, despite speculation the system would not be replaced until 2014.

Under the deal, CSC will deploy the system to the two hospital campuses as part of the state’s e-health reform project, quashing assumptions the system wouldn’t be in place for another three years.

The PAS is an electronic health record system which stores personal information about patients of public health facilities and helps manage care from admission to discard. Major medical facilities use a PAS to coordinate patient care and guarantee clinical outcomes. The department is aiming for the system to be a single application base across WA Health providing a single source of reference data using common practices.



CSC snags $6.3m WA Health deal

By Luke Hopewell, ZDNet.com.au on May 30th, 2011

CSC has scored a $6.3 million contract with the Western Australian government as a deployment and integration partner for its new Patient Administration System.

Under the arrangement, CSC will deploy its iSOFT Patient Manager system to two hospital campuses.

CSC is also set to deliver quality management services, testing and training on the new patient management system and develop a learning management system for WA Health.

CSC was chosen due to its experience in integrating iSoft products for the UK's National Health Service (NHS), according to Lisa Pettigrew, CSC's national director of Health Services for CSC Australia.



Ernst & Young bags $1m PCEHR contract

  • Karen Dearne
  • From: Australian IT
  • June 03, 2011 9:19AM

ERNST & Young has been secured by the Health department for the Gillard government's $467 million personally controlled e-health record program, winning a $990,000 contract to provide "external delivery assurance adviser" services over the next 14 months.

As the external assurance adviser, E&Y will have ongoing oversight of the project and provide independent advice on progress.

A department spokeswoman said the quality control component would include "three discrete, but not mutually exclusive, elements: design assurance; process assurance and benefits assurance".

The deal is the first of four key tenders for private-sector delivery partners, who will work with the National E-Health Transition Authority to build an Australia-wide system.



EMR success needs IT wake up: NSW e-health CIO

New environment where health IT will involve critical service delivery

The success of an electronic medical records (EMR) project will depend on a level of high-velocity, mission-critical ICT not seen before in the sector, says the NSW Department of Health’s director of e-health and ICT strategy branch Ian Rodgers.

Rodgers began in the new role in March[1] and is tasked with strengthening the department’s e-health and ICT strategy and governance.

“Our journey started way back in 2006 when my predecessors established the NSW Health ICT strategic plan from 2006 though to 2011 [and] the key theme was a sustainable future,” Rodgers said.

“To build an EMR system we need to decide what the necessary



NSW govt mulls e-health expansion

By Luke Hopewell, ZDNet.com.au on June 2nd, 2011

NSW Health has put forward a plan to the state government to extend the reach of its electronic medical record (EMR) program into clinics and intensive care units, underpinned by an ongoing network refresh.

Speaking at the CeBIT 2011 eHealth conference yesterday, Dr Ian Rodgers, director of the NSW e-health strategy branch, said that the second phase of the state's e-health plan is currently being mulled over by the parliament.

Phase two, according to Rodgers, is set to expand the use of the EMR program in NSW to intensive care units, paediatric units and local clinics.

"This system is aimed at extending the reach of the EMR project into those high dependency areas and the scope of the project includes 45 adult and paediatric [intensive care units] and high dependency units," Rodgers said.



Medibank to run after-hours GP service

  • Karen Dearne
  • From: Australian IT
  • June 02, 2011 3:20PM

MEDIBANK Private has been tapped to provide the new after-hours GP web- and phone-based hotline from July 1.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon announced the deal today following weeks of negotiations with the government-owned insurer.

The value of the contract has not been revealed.

"One of Australia's must trusted health brands, Medibank Health Solutions, will operate the after-hours helpline with a team of about 100 GPs and more than 240 nurses on staff to answer calls," she said in a statement.



100 GPs enlisted for after-hours helpline


More than 100 GPs and 240 nurses have been hired to staff the after-hours helpline, which will start from next month, according to the Federal Health Minister.

Medibank will run the helpline at a cost of $216 million over four years.

GPs will work on-call shifts, covering the hours 6pm to 8am from Monday to Friday, from mid-day Saturday, and all day Sunday and public holidays.

It is understood that patients using the helpline will first talk to a nurse, who can then triage the patient to the GP. If necessary, the patient will then be referred to their nearest after-hours clinic.



Robot dispenses drugs by chute

THE idea of a robot sitting at the back of your local chemist dispensing medicines may seem futuristic.

Nevertheless, Australian-owned Dose Innovations believes it is on a winner with its drug-automated storage and dispensary system, the German developed Rowa Vmax 160.

It consists of a large cubicle occupied by a robot that tirelessly stocks shelves with drugs and dispenses them through a chute as required by prescriptions.



PCEHR technical details to be released

  • Karen Dearne
  • From: Australian IT
  • June 03, 2011 4:54PM

THE Health department will soon issue the technical design details for the $467 million personally controlled e-health records system, deputy secretary Rosemary Huxtable says.

A legal issues paper will also be released shortly for public consultation, she told a Senate estimates hearing this week.

"The legislative discussion paper will go into the regulatory elements, including issues raised in consultations on the PCEHR draft concept of operations," she said.



Doctors won’t use PCEHR: AMA

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has called into question the utility and safety of the federal government’s $467 million personally controlled electronic healthcare record (PCEHR), which is slated to come on stream in July 2012.

The AMA pulls no punches in its submission into the PCEHR, stating that medical practitioners will not use the record in its current format.

The AMA also states the PCEHR will only provide “limited safety benefits” and those benefits will be outweighed by the medico-legal risks posed to medical practitioners. The PCEHR will also impose a significant administrative burden on doctors, it said.



CeBIT 2011: Clinical leadership is key to e-health success: Qld Heath CIO

Queensland's e-health strategy cannot survive nor produce benefits on funding alone, according to Ray Brown

Clinical leadership is key to maximising the benefits and success of e-health projects, according to Queensland Health CIO, Ray Brown.

Brown told attendees of the CeBIT conference in Sydney that Queensland's e-health strategy could not survive nor produce benefits on funding alone.

According to Brown the state government has invested significant time and effort into ensuring the strategy, initially developed in 2005, was a clinically lead initiative.

"Without strong governance and strong clinical leadership and participation in the management of the e-health agenda in particular, there's no hope in succeeding, clinical leadership is absolutely key," Brown said.



University hospital goes cashless

By Luke Hopewell, ZDNet.com.au on June 1st, 2011

Macquarie University Hospital is rolling out a new cashless payment system to its patients as part of its continuing efforts to eliminate paper.

Speaking with ZDNet Australia at CeBIT 2011's e-Health conference today, chief operating officer Evan Rawstron said that the hospital, which opened its doors to patients almost a year ago, has worked with several technology partners to roll out the cashless system.

Patients will put a pre-pay balance on their card and use it around the hospital to pay for services like food and phone calls, Rawstron said. The pre-paid proximity cards also integrate into the hospital's bedside "cockpit" terminals that serve to track patient care for doctors and nurses.

The cashless payment roll-out is just one of 45 ongoing technology projects going on within Macquarie University Hospital, according to Rawstron. Other technology projects include implementing Citrix access gateways and remote clinical record access, he said.



Here we are! And the money goes to….?

Pat Gallagher

The Australian health informatics or e-health development situation is perhaps now at a point of soaring to a bright new world, or not.

Depending on how well ‘we’ spend, between now and June 2012, the $400 million allocated to the Wave 1 and Wave 2 PCEHR development and demonstration sites now under way.

If you are not across what Wave 1 and Wave 2 refer to - then please contact the saintly editor and we will point you to the information.



Qld health workers owe $62m in bungled pay

Jessica Marszalek

May 31, 2011 - 10:49AM


Queensland Health workers will be made to pay $62 million back to the Queensland government after it bungled their pay.

But 22,000 workers who were overpaid by up to $200 will not have to give the money back.

Tens of thousands of workers were overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all when a new payroll system was introduced last March.

Now, 38,000 staff who were mistakenly paid too much will have to return the cash, Health Minister Geoff Wilson said on Tuesday.



Bionic eye at £53,000 can be implanted in UK after EU approval

  • By staff writers
  • From: NewsCore
  • May 30, 2011 9:01AM

A BIONIC eye that enables blind people to see has been cleared for implantation in British patients after it was granted approval by European regulators.

The artificial retina is the first device of its kind to move from the laboratory to the clinic, after a trial of 30 patients, ten of whom were treated in Britain, has shown that it can safely restore some vision to people who have lost their sight to a genetic disease, The Times of London said today.

Argus II uses a camera on dark glasses to send signals to a network of 60 electrodes implanted in the retina, which relays them to the optic nerve. Patients with no sight who have received the prosthetic retina can see light, motion and colour, discern the outlines of objects, and even read large letters on a computer screen.



Note: This page contains links to PDF files. For more information, see the web page on Accessing files.

The administration of health practitioner registration by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

3 June 2011

© Commonwealth of Australia 2011

View the report as a single document - (PDF 1836KB)



National medical registration body 'a debacle'

THE introduction of a national medical registration body was a "debacle" that resulted in doctors being unknowingly deregistered and losing income and patients being left without healthcare.

A Senate inquiry found the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency failed to notify health practitioners that they needed to renew their licence or that they had been deregistered as a result.

The agency - which took over the registration from 85 different state boards - also spent an "inordinate amount of time" processing applications and did not provide any help to worried doctors who unknowingly had their registration cancelled.



Risk of brain tumour from mobile phone use is similar to pesticide DDT, petrol exhaust and coffee

  • From: AP
  • June 01, 2011 6:44AM

A RESPECTED international panel of experts says mobile phones are possible cancer-causing agents, putting them in the same category as the pesticide DDT, petrol engine exhaust and coffee.

The classification was issued last night in Lyon, France, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer after a review of dozens of published studies. The agency is an arm of the World Health Organisation and its assessment now goes to WHO and national health agencies for possible guidance on mobile phone use.

Classifying agents as "possibly carcinogenic" doesn't mean they automatically cause cancer and some experts said the ruling shouldn't change people's mobile phone habits.



Out of sync with the state of Victoria

Geoff Strong

June 1, 2011

The Australian Synchrotron is in danger of closing and if it does it will be an immeasurable loss to medical researchers trying to find treatments for diseases such as cancer.

'COMING to a drive-in near you,'' the proposed poster was to announce. Its illustration, an enormous circular building, would seem as if it had landed in the middle of suburbia like a flying saucer from a B-grade science-fiction movie. Even as an attempt to capture the public imagination, the poster was dismissed as too frivolous.

Now, the people running the Australian Synchrotron, which coincidentally occupies the site of the former Clayton drive-in cinema, are wondering if a bit of Hollywood magic might not be helpful after all.



Australia to draft cybersecuity strategy paper

Cyber White Paper to factor in consumer protection, cybersafety, cybercrime, cybersecurity and cyber defence

In a sign of the growing government acceptance of cyber attacks as genuine threats to national security, Australia will develop its first Cyber White Paper.

To date white papers, which are concerned with issues affecting long term Defence planning, have been issued in 2009 (PDF) and prior to that, 2000 (PDF).

According to Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland, the Cyber White Paper will cover a broad range of areas including consumer protection, cyber safety, cyber crime, cyber security and cyber defence.




Social media and the medical profession

Sarah J Mansfield, Stewart G Morrison, Hugh O Stephens, Michael A Bonning, Sheng-Hui Wang, Aaron H J Withers, Rob C Olver and Andrew W Perry

MJA Rapid Online Publication — 1 June 2011


· Use of social media by doctors and medical students is common and growing.

· Although professional standards and codes of ethics that govern the behaviour of medical practitioners in Australia and New Zealand do not currently encompass social media, these codes need to evolve, because professional standards continue to apply in this setting.

· Inappropriate use of social media can result in harm to patients and the profession, including breaches of confidentiality, defamation of colleagues or employers, and violation of doctor–patient boundaries.

· The professional integrity of doctors and medical students can also be damaged through problematic interprofessional online relationships, and unintended exposure of personal information to the public, employers or universities.

· Doctors need to exercise extreme care in their use of social media to ensure they maintain professional standards.



The day my hard drive crashed

Katie Cincotta

June 1, 2011 - 2:41PM

Create a back-up system with inbuilt redundancy you can swear by, writes Katie Cincotta.

I never realised just how many expletives I had locked away in my "cuss" cupboard until I lost my hard drive. In my 18 years as a journalist, somehow I'd managed to avoid the menace of random computer termination. Here's a responsible freelance writer who upgrades to shiny new hardware every two years. What could possibly go wrong?

Apparently, when you're that confident, everything could. On a routine morning, the tech gremlins decided to teach me a lesson about the fallibility of bits and bytes.

The stealth operation took just seconds. By the time I realised Windows 7 was reinstalling itself, wiping every trace of data on my new desktop's 1.5-terabyte brain, it was too late. Operation reality check was complete.