s Australian Health Information Technology week ending 31/01/2013 | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists


From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July 2014 homepage edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine.
At the commencement of 2014 i2P focused on the need for the entire profession of pharmacy and its associated industry supports to undergo a renewal and regeneration.
We are now half-way through this year and it is quite apparent that pharmacy leaders do not yet have a cohesive and clear sense of direction.
Maybe the new initiative by Woolworths to deliver clinical service through young pharmacists and nurses may sharpen their focus.
If not, community pharmacy can look forward to losing a substantial and profitable market share of the clinical services market.
Who would you blame when that happens?
But I have to admit there is some effort, even though the results are but meagre.
In this edition of i2P we focus on the need for research about community pharmacy, the lack of activity from practicing pharmacists and when some research is delivered, a disconnect appears in its interpretation and implementation.

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Recent Comments

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates for July 2014

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P. 
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated

Comments: 1

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Feature Contribution

Woolworths Pharmacy - Getting One Stage Closer

Neil Johnston

It started with “tablet” computers deployed on shelves inside the retailer Coles, specifically to provide information to consumers relating to pain management and the sale of strong analgesics.
This development was reported in i2P under the title Coles Pharmacy Expansion and the Arid PGA Landscape”
In that article we reported that qualified information was a missing link that had come out of Coles market research as the reason to why it had not succeeded in dominating the pain market.
Of course, Woolworths was working on the same problem at the same time and had come up with a better solution - real people with good information.

Comments: 5

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Intensive Exposition without crossing over with a supermarket

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: The understanding of a pharmacy's presentation through the research that goes into the design of fixtures and fittings that highlight displays, is a never-ending component of pharmacy marketing.
Over the past decade, Australian pharmacy shop presentations have fallen behind in standards of excellence.
It does not take rocket science - you just have to open your eyes.
Recently, our two major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, have entered into the field of drug and condition information provision - right into the heartland of Australian Pharmacy.

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The sure way to drive business away

Gerald Quigley

I attended the Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s Expo in Brisbane recently.
What an eye and ear opening event that was!
Young Mums, mature Mums, partners of all ages, grandparents and friends……...many asking about health issues and seeking reassurances that they were doing the right thing.

Comments: 1

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‘Marketing Based Medicine’ – how bad is it?

Baz Bardoe

It should be the scandal of the century.
It potentially affects the health of almost everyone.
Healthcare providers and consumers alike should be up in arms. But apart from coverage in a few credible news sources the problem of ‘Marketing Based Medicine,’ as psychiatrist Dr Peter Parry terms it, hasn’t as yet generated the kind of universal outrage one might expect.

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Community Pharmacy Research - Are You Involved?

Mark Coleman

Government funding is always scarce and restricted.
If you are ever going to be a recipient of government funds you will need to fortify any application with evidence.
From a government perspective, this minimises risk.
I must admit that while I see evidence of research projects being managed by the PGA, I rarely see community pharmacists individually and actively engaged in the type of research that would further their own aims and objectives (and survival).

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Organisational Amnesia and the Lack of a Curator Inhibits Cultural Progress

Neil Johnston

Most of us leave a tremendous impact on pharmacies we work for (as proprietors, managers, contractors or employees)—in ways we’re not even aware of.
But organisational memories are often all too short, and without a central way to record that impact and capture the knowledge and individual contributions, they become lost to time.
It is ironic that technology has provided us with phenomenal tools for communication and connection, but much of it has also sped up our work lives and made knowledge and memory at work much more ephemeral.

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Academics on the payroll: the advertising you don't see

Staff Writer

This article was first published in The Conversation and was written by Wendy Lipworth, University of Sydney and Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney
In the endless drive to get people’s attention, advertising is going ‘native’, creeping in to places formerly reserved for editorial content. In this Native Advertising series we find out what it looks like, if readers can tell the difference, and more importantly, whether they care.
i2P has republished the article as it supports our own independent and ongoing investigations on how drug companies are involved in marketing-based medicine rather than evidence-based medicine.

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I’ve been thinking about admitting wrong.

Mark Neuenschwander

Editor's Note: This is an early article by Mark Neuenschwander we have republished after the soul-searching surrounding a recent Australian dispensing error involving methotrexate.
Hmm. There’s more than one way you could take that, huh? Like Someday when I get around to it (I’m not sure) I may admit that I was wrong about something. Actually, I’ve been thinking about the concept of admitting wrong. So don’t get your hopes up. No juicy confessions this month except that I wish it were easier for me to admit when I have been wrong or made a mistake.
Brian Goldman, an ER physician from Toronto, is host of the award-winning White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio and slated to deliver the keynote at The unSUMMIT for Bedside Barcoding in Anaheim this May. His TED lecture, entitled, “Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about it?” had already been viewed by 386,072 others before I watched it last week.

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Dispensing errors – a ripple effect of damage

Kay Dunkley - BPharm, Grad Dip Hosp Pharm, Grad Dip Health Admin, MPS, MSHPA

Most readers will be aware of recent publicity relating to dispensing errors and in particular to deaths caused by methotrexate being incorrectly packed in dose administration aids.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA), in its Communique of 13 June 2014, described a methotrexate packing error leading to the death of a patient and noted “extra vigilance is required to be exercised by pharmacists with these drugs”.
This same case was reported by A Current Affair (ACA) in its program on Friday 20 June

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Take a vacation from your vocation

Harvey Mackay

Have you ever had one of those days when all you could think was, “Gosh, do I need a vacation.”
Of course you have – because all work and no play aren’t good for anyone.
A vacation doesn’t have to be two weeks on a tropical island, or even a long weekend at the beach. 
A vacation just means taking a break from your everyday activities. 
A change of pace. 
It doesn’t matter where.
Everyone needs a vacation to rejuvenate mentally and physically. 
But did you also know that you can help boost our economy by taking some days off? 
Call it your personal stimulus package.

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Explainer: what is peer review?

Staff Writer

This article was first published in the Conversation. It caught our eye because "peer review" it is one of the standards for evidence-based medicines that has also been corrupted by global pharma.
The article is republished by i2P as part of its ongoing investigation into scientific fraud and was writtenby Andre Spicer, City University London and Thomas Roulet, University of Oxford
We’ve all heard the phrase “peer review” as giving credence to research and scholarly papers, but what does it actually mean?
How does it work?
Peer review is one of the gold standards of science. It’s a process where scientists (“peers”) evaluate the quality of other scientists' work. By doing this, they aim to ensure the work is rigorous, coherent, uses past research and adds to what we already knew.
Most scientific journals, conferences and grant applications have some sort of peer review system. In most cases it is “double blind” peer review. This means evaluators do not know the author(s), and the author(s) do not know the identity of the evaluators.
The intention behind this system is to ensure evaluation is not biased.
The more prestigious the journal, conference, or grant, the more demanding will be the review process, and the more likely the rejection. This prestige is why these papers tend to be more read and more cited.

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Dentists from the dark side?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

While dining out with an elderly friend, I noticed that he kept his false tooth plate in his shirt pocket. He had recently had seven amalgam-filled teeth removed, because he believed that their toxins were making him sick; but his new plate was uncomfortable. He had been treated by an 'holistic dentist'. Claiming to offer a "safe and healthier alternative" to conventional dentistry, are they committed to our overall health and wellbeing or are they promoting unjustified fear, unnecessarily extracting teeth and wasting our money?

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Planning for Profit in 2015 – Your key to Business Success

Chris Foster

We are now entering a new financial year and it’s a great time to reflect on last year and highlight those things that went well and those that may have impacted negatively in the pursuit of your goals.
It's also a great to spend some time re-evaluating your personal and business short, medium and long term goals in the light of events over the last year.
The achievement of your goals will in many cases be dependent on setting and aspiring to specific financial targets. It's important that recognise that many of your personal goals will require you to generate sufficient business profits to fund those aspirations

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Attracting and Retaining Great People

Barry Urquhart

Welcome to the new financial year in Australia.
For many in business the past year has been described as a challenging period.
Adjectives are a key feature of the English language.  In the business lexicon their use can be, and often is evocative and stimulate creative images.  But they can also contribute to inexact, emotional perceptions.
Throughout the financial pages of newspapers and business magazines adjectives abound.
References to “hot” money draw attention and comment.  The recent wave of funds from Chinese investors, keen to remove their wealth from the jurisdiction and control of government regulations is creating a potential property bubble in Australia.

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Updating Your Values - Extending Your Culture

Neil Johnston

Pharmacy culture is dormant.
Being comprised of values, unless each value is continually addressed, updated or deleted, entire organisations can stagnate (or entire professions such as the pharmacy profession).
Good values offer a strong sense of security, knowing that if you operate within the boundaries of your values, you will succeed in your endeavours.

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Evidence-based medicine is broken. Why we need data and technology to fix it

Staff Writer

The following article is reprinted from The Conversation and forms up part of our library collection on evidence-based medicines.
At i2P we also believe that the current model of evidence is so fractured it will never be able to be repaired.
All that can happen is that health professionals should independently test and verify through their own investigations what evidence exists to prescribe a medicine of any potency.
Health professionals that have patients (such as pharmacists) are ideally placed to observe and record the efficacy for medicines.
All else should confine their criticisms to their evidence of the actual evidence published.
If there are holes in it then share that evidence with the rest of the world.
Otherwise, do not be in such a hurry to criticise professions that have good experience and judgement to make a good choice on behalf of their patients, simply because good evidence has not caught up with reality.

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Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, July 25, 2014
Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One
by W. Todd Penberthy, PhD

(OMNS July 25, 2014) Niacin has been used for over 60 years in tens of thousands of patients with tremendously favorable therapeutic benefit (Carlson 2005).
In the first-person NY Times best seller, "8 Weeks to a Cure for Cholesterol," the author describes his journey from being a walking heart attack time bomb to a becoming a healthy individual.
He hails high-dose niacin as the one treatment that did more to correct his poor lipid profile than any other (Kowalski 2001).

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Culture Drive & Pharmacy Renewal

Neil Johnston

Deep within all of us we have a core set of values and beliefs that create the standards of behaviour that we align with when we set a particular direction in life.
Directions may change many times over a lifetime, but with life experiences and maturity values may increase in number or gain greater depth.
All of this is embraced under one word – “culture”.
When a business is born it will only develop if it has a sound culture, and the values that comprise that culture are initially inherent in the business founder.
A sound business culture equates to a successful business and that success is often expressed in the term “goodwill” which can be eventually translated to a dollar value.

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Pharmacy 2014 - Pharmacy Management Conference

Neil Johnston

The brave new world of health and wellness is not the enemy of Pharmacy, it is its champion.
Australian futurist, Morris Miselowski, one of the world's leading business visionaries, will present the Opening Keynote address on Pharmacy's Future in the new Health and Wellness Landscape at 2.00pm on Wednesday July 30.
Morris believes the key to better health care could already be in your pocket, with doctors soon set to prescribe iPhone apps, instead of pills.
Technology will revolutionise the health industry - a paradigm shift from healthcare to personal wellness.
Health and wellness applications on smartphones are already big news, and are dramatically changing the way we manage our personal health and everyday wellness.

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Generation and Application of Community Pharmacy Research

Neil Johnston

Editor’s Note: We have had a number of articles in this issue relating to pharmacy research.
The PGA has conducted a number of research initiatives over the years, including one recently reported in Pharmacy News that resulted from an analysis of the QCPP Patient Questionnaire.
Pharmacy Guild president, George Tambassis, appears to have authored the article following, and there also appears to be a disconnect between the survey report and its target audience illustrated by one of the respondent comments published.
I have asked Mark Coleman to follow through, elaborate and comment:

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Australian Health Information Technology week ending 31/01/2013

Dr David More

articles by this author...

From a Medical IT Perspective: I am vitally interested in making a difference to the quality and safety of Health Care in Australia through the use of information technology. There is no choice.. it has to be made to work! That is why I keep typing. Disclaimer - Please note all the commentary are personal views based on the best evidence available to me - If I have it wrong let me know!

Visit my blog http://aushealthit.blogspot.com/

This blog has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on how things are progressing in e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.

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 payment


Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Think This Really Is The Thin End Of A Very Nasty Wedge. Think Carefully Before You Sign Up for A NEHRS / PCEHR.

This popped up a little while ago.

'Grave concerns' over new GP dataset

16 January 2013   Rebecca Todd

GPs and privacy experts have “grave concerns” about an extensive new dataset to be extracted from GP practices.

The NHS Commissioning Board published its first planning guidance for the NHS - ‘Everyone Counts: Planning for patients 2013-2014’ – last month.

It says a new GP dataset will be “requested” from GP practices for submission to the Health and Social Care Information Centre, described as a “statutory safe haven.”

“The patient identifiable components will not be released outside the safe haven except as permitted by the Data Protection Act,” it adds.

Practices will be requested to provide data on patient demographics, events, referrals, diagnosis, health status and exceptions.

This includes information on patients’ alcohol consumption and whether a GP has given exercise or dietary advice or completed a mental health review.

GP practices are expected to provide the data using the General Practice Extraction Service.

“The data will flow securely, via GPES, to the HSCIC, the statutory safe haven, which will store the data and link it only where approved and necessary, ensuring that patient confidentiality is protected,” the guidance explains.

Potential uses for this data are not detailed, however the NHS CB’s national director of patients and information, Tim Kelsey told a conference in December that a “standardised routine set of data” would be required from all GPs to help assess their quality.

Dr Paul Cundy, joint chairman of the BMA and RCGP's joint IT committee, said the committee had no prior warning of the new data set before it was published in December.

The committee has met with Kelsey to discuss the proposals and invited him to its next meeting for “further discussions.”

“It’s an interesting proposal, but as with many simple ideas it has got some complex issues behind it,” Dr Cundy said.

“If you compare this data set with the Summary Care Record data set and the time it took to agree the SCR it’s obvious that we will need to be having quite prolonged discussions.”

“I know that there will be a significant number of patients who will not want their identifiable data to leave the practice.”

“The issue for me is what should a GP do if a patient explicitly dissents from this sort of data set going on to the IC?”

Lots more concerns here:


Frankly this is just horrifying and is so open to abuse it is really worrying. Anyone who thinks the Government’s lust for data is any less than policy makers in the UK is delusional and there is one clear lesson here - do not give any sensitive information to Government agencies that you want to remain in charge of and retain control over.

I am sure the ‘nanny state’ wants to know how much we drink and smoke and eat - but my view is that it is our business and not theirs.

Be both alert and alarmed and keep your sensitive information to yourself. The only saving grace is that it will be a good while before the NEHRS contains enough data to be statistically useful and maybe annoyance on the public’s part and much better governance might just save us!


Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Thursday, January 31, 2013

It Would Be Nice If NEHTA Created A ‘Blue Button’ for The NEHRS And GP Vendors Also Adopted It.

There has been some renewed in the downloadable Blue Button in the last week.

See here:

ONC posts tech guide for Blue Button Plus

By Mary Mosquera

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has made available technical descriptions and guidance for its more automated version of the Blue Button feature aimed at giving patients easier access and use of their health information.

ONC announced in a Jan. 16 webinar an initial draft implementation guide for Blue Button Plus (+), a rebranding of its Automated Blue Button Initiative, so vendors and others can begin to incorporate the feature in their health IT system updates.

Blue Button+ will help providers meet requirements for meaningful use stage 2 because it incorporates in their certified electronic health records (EHRs) the function for view, download and transmit information for patients, said Lygeia Ricciardi, acting director of ONC’s Office of Consumer Health.

“But it goes beyond that, most notably by automating the information update functions for them,” she said at the webinar sponsored by the National eHealth Collaborative.

Any provider, developer or others may access the technical guides to accelerate a growing ecosystem of tools to help patients participate in and manage their care, especially through easier, secure access to their health information, Ricciardi said. The health IT tools also enhance communications between patients and their physicians and improve care coordination.

Blue Button+ is being advanced through ONC’s Standards & Implementation Framework community. The full draft implementation guide will be launched by the end of this month, said Pierce Graham-Jones, Innovator in Residence at the Health and Human Services Department, and a member of the S&I community working on the project.

The draft implementation guidance includes how to transmit data to patients in structured format, how to transmit data to patients using Direct secure messaging protocol, and a privacy and security piece.

More here:


as well as here:

VA Blue Button adds patient summary document tool

By Mary Mosquera

The Veterans Affairs Department has added a new tool through its Blue Button feature so veterans may more easily download a summary of their essential health information. The enhancement is the VA Continuity of Care Document (VA CCD) in xml file format.

The VA CCD uses recognized standards that support the exchange of information between healthcare systems and providers for coordinated and continued care of the patient. VA started Blue Button as an unstructured ASCII text document, a simple download mechanism.

VA has expanded its Blue Button feature with other capabilities, including demographics, active problem list, discharge summaries, progress notes, expanded laboratory results, vitals and readings, pathology reports, radiology reports and electrocardiogram (EKG) list of studies.

“As of today, veterans can electronically download their entire medical record plus CCD summary,” said Peter Levin, VA chief technology officer, on his Twitter account Jan. 20.

Veterans must be authenticated in person at a local VA clinic or hospital or online to confirm their identity to obtain their health information through MyHealtheVet.

More here:


It is interesting to think what this all means. Perhaps the NEHRS is even just an idea which has passed its use by date before it even starts.

Think of it - press the Blue Button - collect your EHR record on your USB key and share it as needed. Ultimate privacy control, ultimate personal control and no centralised database to be cracked.

I also think it would be a good deal cheaper than what is presently planned and everyone who wants such a portable accessible EHR could have one for a few dollars.

Of course we would need Standards and so on and some vendor support to provide genuine interoperability at a record level. Hard to see any losers if such a plan was adopted.

What do you think?



Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Thursday, January 31, 2013 2 comments

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Talk About A Sense Of Déjà Vu. Australia Has Certainly Seen This Before. It Ultimately Ended Badly For The Provider Involved In Australia.

The following appeared a few days ago:

Should cash-strapped small practices turn to ad-supported EHRs?

Author Name Jennifer Bresnick   |   Date January 22, 2013   |  

Advertising is everywhere.  From your smartphone apps to your radio station to this very article, ads pay the bills for your favorite news outlets, entertainment destinations, and websites.  Sometimes they’re annoying, and sometimes they alert you to a useful product or service you might not otherwise find.  But should they be integrated into your EHR?  With implementation costs soaring into the tens of thousands and no immediate return on such a massive investment, many physicians are saying yes.

The market for EHR advertising revolves around cloud-based services, since advertisers need an internet connection to push ads into their product.  With 41% of physicians using cloud services, the market is robust and growing.  “Advertising is a natural fit in the healthcare sector,” Bill Jennings, CEO of Good Health Media told Practice Fusion, one of the leading ad-based EHRs. “Doctors get it; they’re comfortable with discreet advertising inside their medical practice. The advertising programs give a small medical practice the chance to add a time-saving, life-saving technology solution – for free. It’s a benefit for the advertiser, the doctor and the patient.”

EHR advertising is desirable to large pharmaceutical companies because there’s a high likelihood that the person observing the ad will be a physician.  Physicians spend the most time with EHRs, and are also the decision-makers when it comes to writing prescriptions for brand-name products.  Zach Gursky, VP of sales for Practice Fusion, told American Medical News that 85% of major pharmaceutical companies are running ads with the free service as a result of an explosion of interest over the past year and a half.  Gursky asserts that physicians are finding value in the ads due to the fact that they are highly targeted to them and the types of patients that they treat.

They are also finding value in the fact that web-based EHR systems require little to no cash output in order to use.  Small practices without a large surplus budget for technology upgrades can use certain free EHRs to attest to meaningful use and receive financial incentives from CMS.  These providers don’t need to worry about ongoing maintenance, software upgrades, or an in-house IT staff, which becomes a very attractive prospect.

Lots more here:


For those who don’t remember we used to have Pharma ads in Medical Director (MD) and this reduced the price of the software and support. The net effect was a near monopoly.

It was then realised by the profession that the Pharma companies would only be paying if they were making money out of the ads and that this was probably distorting ethical prescribing in the direction of profit and commercial interests.

Gradually antipathy to the whole business grew and eventually MD was forced to give up the sponsorship funds. This levelled the GP system playing field and allowed some real innovation to commence. In the long term this meant MD lost significant market share.

The lesson is that things that are ‘free’ may not turn out to be in the longer run. Certainly GP computing in Australia was not helped by the artificially distorted market in my view.

The US would be wise to nip this trend in the bud.


Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

NEHTA Achieves A Personal Best In Fake Helpfulness.

Popped on to the NEHTA website a few days ago and found this page on ePIP.

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.

What is ePIP?

The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) eHealth Incentive aims to encourage General Practices to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in eHealth to assist in improving administration processes and enhancing the quality of patient care by, for example, supporting the capacity to share accurate electronic patient records. More Information

Registration Collateral

General Practice Applying Independently

  • Guidance and support materials to register and meet the five ePIP requirements are available here. This includes more detailed information for each requirement, exemptions, compliance dates and associated application forms.
  • More Information

Organisations Offering Registration Workshops for General Practice

  • General Practice Registration workshops - here you will find workshop guidance and support materials for organisations to provide General Practice Registration workshops. This includes webinars, an approach overview, checklists, and tips and tricks for a successful workshop.
  • More Information

NOTE: We will continue to update and make new guidance and support materials available so check this website frequently. You can also sign up for an RSS feed.


See here:


This heading intrigued me:

Organisations Offering Registration Workshops for General Practice

So I clicked more information only to find this.

Organisations Offering Registration Workshops

Organisations providing workshop registration support to support General Practices registering for ePIP can use these materials to plan and deliver registration workshops.

The workshop has been designed specifically for General Practices registering for ePIP, however the forms and guides can be used by other providers to support them in registering for their NASH PKI certificates and the personally controlled electronic eHealth record (PCEHR).

Practices are responsible for ensuring that they have met each of the five ePIP requirements at the time their ePIP application is submitted.

General Practice Registration Workbook Contents

NOTE: Release notes will be added once a new version is uploaded.

There followed a list of some 30 NEHTA documents dated 17/01/2013 follows.

See here:



So, in summary, we are offered a course (actually just a few documents) but no listing of who is offering to explain and each it and when. I think a list of who is running workshops or who to call to have all this explained and taught must have got lost. Or does it not exist? I wonder who the target organisations are and have they been told all this stuff is available and been given a guide on how it is best used? I guess the top document on the list on how to seek help via the help desk is what is your best bet.

More than that it is all a bit circular with no apparent list of where workshops and so on are being offered and referring back to the same page.

I guess NEHTA have provided the documents so they have ‘delivered’ but not actually! Talk about not being able to manage a party in a brewery!

Again we really see just way too little and it being delivered way too late.


Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Tuesday, January 29, 2013

AusHealthIT Poll Number 152 – Results – 29th January, 2013.

The question was:

Are NEHTA And DoHA Competent To Be Managing The Delivery Of The E-Health Program In Australia?

Yes - They Are Fabulous 5% (2)

Maybe - Doing An Average Job 5% (2)

Neutral 0% (0)

Probably Not - They Are Not Doing Well 20% (8)

No - It Is An Awful Travesty 63% (25)

I Have No Idea 8% (3)

Total votes: 40

Very interesting. A clear majority are by no means convinced the people in charge have a clue what they are doing.

Again, many thanks to those that voted! 
Please Note: I am always interested in ideas for Polls. Send your suggestions via comment or e-mail!


Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekly Australian Health IT Links – 28th 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

The countdown has begun and it looks like less than ½ of the practices who are receiving ePIP payments up until Feb 1, will not be ready by that date for the new regime. Not that, of course, we will have any statistics on all this for a year or two. That will result in some grumpy and frustrated GPs to say the least.

Otherwise it is interesting to see how ‘apps’ are now part of the routine health environment. This change seems to have happened over the last few years and is only apparently accelerating. You can gauge the importance of all this by fact we now have legislation being drafted in the US to regulate them! 


PCEHR chaos - have your say on just4docs

21 Jan 2013

The PCEHR scheme is in chaos with thousands of practices due to miss out on PIP payments. The issue has generated heated debate on Australian Doctor’s new secure online network for doctors.



GP practices invited to ‘seed’ PCEHR

24 January, 2013 Sam Lee

GP practices are now being invited to become ‘seed organisations’ for the PCEHR system, with the release of new guidance on how to sign up and participation agreements tailored for different practice structures.

A new registration guide, released by the Department of Health and Ageing, suggests that most independent GP practices will be suited to sign up to the PCEHR program as a single ‘seed organisation’.  The more complex category of network organisation will be more suited to such as pathology departments within major hospitals.

However, the guidance warns that patients with ‘seed organisations’
may not be able to use access flags to restrict access to other providers within the same organisation.

The guide says GP practices will have to nominate a “Responsible Officer” such as the practice manager, and at least one IT-savvy “Organisation Maintenance Officer’ who will deal with the day-to-day operations of the eHealth record system.



Internet poses risk to GP reputations

24 January, 2013 Kate Cowling

Online forums and search engine autocompletes have the potential to “irreversibly sully” the reputation of Australian doctors, the AMA’s president says.

And any potential solution is not clear-cut, he said, with costly legal pursuits unlikely to “overturn untruths”.

His comment came after it was revealed a Port Macquarie doctor was suing Google for defamation after auto-correct correlated his name with “bankrupt”.



Jane McCredie: Keeping family secrets

THE sequencing of the human genome promises unparalleled opportunities to fight disease, identifying the genetic variants that predispose us to various illnesses or protect us from them.

In support of that noble endeavour, thousands of people around the world have donated their de-identified genetic information to free, publicly accessible databases such as those held by the 1000 Genomes Project.

Such projects are an invaluable resource for researchers but, in an age when so much information is available online about all of us, can the donors be assured their genetic information will remain private?

The answer, according to researchers at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in the US, is definitely not.



Second opinion

PUBLISHED: 19 Jan 2013 00:33:14

Katie Hafner

The man on stage had his audience of 600 mesmerised. For 45 minutes, the tension grew. Finally, the moment of truth arrived, and the room was silent with anticipation.

At last he spoke. “Lymphoma with secondary hemophagocytic syndrome,” he said. The crowd erupted in applause.

Professionals in every field revere their superstars, and in medicine the best diagnosticians are held in particularly high esteem. Gurpreet Dhaliwal, 39, a self-effacing associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, is considered one of the most skilful clinical diagnosticians in practice.



App may solve photo legal risks

A NEW smartphone app aimed at making clinical photography legally safe for doctors, patients and practices is just weeks away from release, according to the surgeon involved in its development.

Dr David Hunter-Smith, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with Peninsula Health in Victoria, said the app would address the legal and security issues inherent in the booming use of smartphones in clinical situations.

News of the app coincides with an article published in this week’s MJA warning clinicians of their legal obligations regarding consent and privacy with clinical photography. (1)



Doctors cautioned on taking patient pics

21st Jan 2013

DOCTORS have been advised to be vigilant about their legal and ethical responsibilities to patient privacy and consent when taking digital images of physical conditions on smartphones or other devices.

Authors of an article in the recent MJA have warned that with the increase of the practice by clinicians, and the resulting possibilities for these visual records to be used for patient management, medical education or research, doctors should be fully aware of their legal obligations.

Lead author Dr Patrick Mahar, of Melbourne’s Skin & Cancer Foundation, wrote that indemnity providers in both Australia and the UK had identified the “use or misuse of clinical photographs as an emerging medico-legal risk for the medical profession”.



UNSW project spotlights text mining, language analysis

New Text Mining Collaboration project at the University of NSW aims to increase awareness of textual analytics tools

An interdisciplinary group of researchers at the University of NSW is seeking to promote a higher profile for text mining and automatic language analysis among academics.

The group has launched a UNSW-funded project, which went public late last year, that seeks to make it easier to use text mining tools for research and help prevent researchers from reinventing the wheel when it comes to extracting information from unstructured data.

The Web-based Text Mining Collaboration portal, which operates under the auspices of UNSW's Kirby Institute, offers access to online tools as well as bringing together related resources such as case studies and tutorials in an effort to make the technology easily available to the university's community of researchers.

"It's a mixture of our UNSW research outputs as well as commonly used text mining frameworks from around the world," says project lead Dr Stephen Anthony, Research Fellow at the Faculty of Medicine.



Calvary takes the ehealth plunge

Published on Tue, 22/01/2013, 11:04:10

Little Company of Mary Health Care - officially Calvary Care - is seeking IT partners for its first three tiered ehealth initiative project in the Hunter region of NSW, just north of Sydney, according to a report in the Australian newspaper’s IT section today.

The article says the organisation, with a turnover in excess of $1 billion, is in discussions with both multi-national and local IT companies with a view to rolling out “a range of cutting edge tele-health services across its nationwide network.”

According to the article by Damon Kitney, Little Company of Mary CEO, Mark Doran said hospital groups would need to establish three-tier systems (home care, hospital care and aged care) to address the country's increasing ageing population, make available more hospital beds and tackle the growing public hospital waiting-list problems.



Twitter more informative for health info than search engines

The research included analysis of more than 4700 tweets from 114 government health-related organisations.

University research has found that social networks like Twitter have a more powerful role in disseminating public health information than search engines.

The research was carried out by Professor Robert Steele and PhD candidate Dan Dumbrell at the University of Sydney.

“Using new communications technologies to allow people to directly receive relevant and up-to-the-minute public health information could benefit the health of millions and change the paradigm of public health information dissemination,” Steele, head of discipline and chair of health informatics at the university’s Faculty of Health Sciences, said in a statement.



Practice 2000 Health Identifiers has been granted access in Production to the HI Service

January 9, 2013

We are pleased to inform that Practice 2000 has been certified by Medicare Australia to a Production access to HI Service. Currently, Practice 2000 has been listed on the PIP eHealth Register of Conformity. For more information, please refer to https://epipregister.nehta.gov.au/registers/healthcare-identifiers

A new version of Practice 2000 that is compatible with eHealth is available to download via http://abaki.com/portal/download/



Twitch in time saves nine as speech solution expands Stephen Hawking'a universe

  • From: The Times
  • January 23, 2013 12:00AM

STEPHEN Hawking is to take a quantum leap in the world of communication thanks to new technology that will allow him to write faster.

For the past decade, the 71-year-old physicist has composed sentences one letter and word at a time by using a twitch of his cheek muscle to stop a cursor moving across text on a screen. His sentences are then read out by a speech device, producing his distinctive robotic voice.

But the degenerative motor neuron disease from which he suffers has made it harder to control the twitch, and one of science's quickest minds had been reduced to typing only one word a minute.



DNA used as data storage device

24th Jan 2013

A GENETIC storage device has been used to ‘download’ all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets onto strands of synthetic DNA.

British scientists were then able to decode the information and reproduce the words of the Bard with complete accuracy.

The same technique made it possible to store a 26-second excerpt from Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream speech and a photo of the Cambridgeshire laboratory where the work took place.



PIP eHealth Incentive registration support available

18 January 2013.  The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) eHealth Incentive aims to encourage General Practices to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in eHealth to assist in improving administration processes and enhancing the quality of patient care by, for example, supporting the capacity to share accurate electronic patient records.  From 1 February 2013, the PIP eHealth Incentive eligibility requirements change. 



Organisations Offering Registration Workshops

Organisations providing workshop registration support to support General Practices registering for ePIP can use these materials to plan and deliver registration workshops.

The workshop has been designed specifically for General Practices registering for ePIP, however the forms and guides can be used by other providers to support them in registering for their NASH PKI certificates and the personally controlled electronic eHealth record (PCEHR).



Health apps win NSW awards

  • From: AAP
  • January 23, 2013 3:53PM

SMARTPHONE and tablet apps are set to take over outdated magazines in doctors' waiting rooms as health providers update the way they manage data.

Four developers have won the NSW government's apps4nsw competition, which this year focused on e-solutions for health.

"I love apps. I use apps to do everything," NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said at an awards ceremony at NSW parliament.

"These ideas have the potential to help the people of NSW make better choices about their health."



Australian internet speeds fall to 40th place globally

Date January 25, 2013 - 12:27PM

Australian internet speeds have fallen again compared to the rest of the world, says a new survey.

Average Australian connection speeds fell 2.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2012 as the country sank to 40th in the world, according to Akamai Technologies' third quarter "State of the internet" report.

Australia dropped from 39th position globally in the second quarter of 2012, being beaten by five countries in the region. Australia came out on top of New Zealand, however, which ended up in 46th place.



Google working on password alternatives

Date January 21, 2013

Samantha Murphy

The topic of passwords has made headlines in the past year — from high-profile hacks to web users repeatedly not picking the right ones — but Google has its sights set on making the login-process much more secure in the future.

How secure, you may ask? Consider logging into Gmail with a high-tech ring worn on your finger or a key card that plugs into your computer's USB port.

As detailed in a research paper in IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine and reported on by Wired, Google is already looking into password alternatives in the form of passdevices. The initiatives have also been confirmed by Mashable.




Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Monday, January 28, 2013


Sunday, January 27, 2013

This Is Really Sad - Twitter Being Abused

I have been following #qldfloods and #bigwet on Twitter today.

Was great until 1 hour ago - now an epidemic of porno spam.

What a pity.  Sad a useful service is being abused big time. What jerks.


Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Sunday, January 27, 2013


They Simply Don’t Seem To Be Able To Keep It Up. Surely A Full, Properly Working System Is Not All That Hard?

Had my usual weekly visit to my NEHRS Record.

Findings were as follows.

First the response time is just awful. Even the News Ltd Home Page and The SMH are 10 times as quick. Comparisons with Google and Amazon and simply not worth making.

Second it now seems you can register for a NEHRS if you wish - so that has been fixed during the week.

Third we have:

Service availability

  • Home
  • Service availability

This page identifies scheduled outages to the eHealth record system.

The Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record System (PCEHR) is undertaking essential maintenance from 4am Wednesday 30 January to 7am Wednesday 30 January (AEDST).

The PCEHR System will not be available between 4am and 7am Wednesday 30 January .

We apologise for any inconvenience.

Contact the eHealth helpline on 1800 723 471 for assistance during this period.

See here:


It just seems that never a week goes by when it all works as it should.


Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Sunday, January 27, 2013


Aus Health IT Poll

Should The Introduction of the Revised ePIP Conditions be Slowed Down Until Proper Support and Education Has Been Provided To All Affected Practitioners?



Probably No

Definitely Not

I Have No Idea

See results

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