s Australian Health Information Technology - Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 30th November, 2013 | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/12/2013         Volume. 5 No. 11   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the December edition of i2P-Information to Pharmacists.
As we wind down in 2013 for the holiday period we will be filing some updates, but at a little more leisurely pace.
Where has the year gone?
Certainly the rate of change for 2013 has been more than hectic and there has been little time to organise thoughts and set appropriate directions.
This is the season for hard negotiations for the 6CPA but there is little left to squeeze.
Pharmacy has had the equivalent of bariatric surgery.
Government has taken it all, as usual.
As current price changes work their way through the pharmacy cash flow cycle, for some there will be insufficient- and heartburn.
Crunch time is that there will be more bankruptcies over 2014.
Media reports that some pharmacies have received free shop refits as a form of payment for purchasing a specific generic drug range is certainly not obvious, as the average pharmacy is in need of some renovation or repair and looking a bit jaded.

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Recent Comments

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates November 2013

Newsflash Updates


Regular updates from the global world of pharmacy.
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated.

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Newsflash Items for December 2013 and January 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

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Feature Contribution

How to Avoid Becoming a Commodity

Chris Foster

These days more than ever the competitive advantage pursued by many is to discount and commoditise an industry.
The prime example of this is warehouse pharmacy stores.
However, this is not unique to pharmacy, but too many industries out there, including electrical retailing and hardware.
As a result, the relentless pursuit of being the cheapest product and service provider has meant that the smaller, service focused business is eventually forced out of business.

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A Clinical Services Pharmacy Design (Canadian Style)

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: This pharmacy design would suit an Australian pharmacy set up for clinical services and for survival over the next five years. Pharmacists interested in adapting this design to suit their local market should contact Neil Johnston at neilj@computachem.com.au for an introduction to Sartoretto Verna design services.

Villagio Market Pharmacy -St- PerreJolys , Manitoba, Canada Technical Data

Total area: 90 sq.m.
Area open to public: 75 sq.m. Area open to public / total area: 83%
Exposure: 39 lm
The task was to create a pharmacy inside the market in St -Pierre Jolys , a rural village which is situated not far from Winnipeg, Canadian province of Manitoba.
In recent years, the owner Mark Duddridge has transformed a simple grocery into a full-service drugstore that it is visited approximately by 400 visitors per day.
Sartoretto Verna was asked to create a pharmacy that can boast an excellent design with thorough attention to details.

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A Peaceful Christmas and a Productive New Year

Neil Johnston

The editor ans staff of i2P e-magazine would like to wish all of its readers the best wishes for a peaceful Christmas and a productive New Year.

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PGA Moves Into Primary Care

Neil Johnston

This week I received a pleasant surprise in the form of a PGA news item endorsing a range of primary health care services, an area that had been progressively abandoned from as far back as 1978, but in particular, within the last decade.
Importantly, the PGA has recognised that the current pharmacy business model has reached its “use by” date by stating:
 “The Guild’s National Council has recognised that the successful and widespread integration of these primary health care services into pharmacy businesses is likely to require significant changes to the traditional pharmacy operating model, including in relation to workflows and the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists and other staff.”

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Building a clinical services model in a difficult marketplace

Peter Sayers

It seems to me that there is a confluence of events overtaking pharmacy.
On one hand there is a genuine disappointment by health consumers that they have not been able to access pharmacists for basic primary care services, and on the other, there are a host of pharmacy critics and academic advisers that have a range of solutions, none of which are compatible with a community pharmacy environment.
And in the middle are a host of dedicated pharmacists working and piloting a range of solutions while simultaneously being torn apart, as unreasonable chunks of cash flow and profitability disappear from its business heart.

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My Best Team

Gerald Quigley

Quite coincidentally, over the last few months, I’ve been thinking about where we’ve been in our profession, and where we’re headed.
Some recent comments within this fine publication have cemented my thoughts on how we can recover some ground in our perceived role of “do what other health professionals tell you to do, and don’t dare step outside those parameters or your world will end.”
At the end of each football season, “expert” commentators rate their “best 18” (in the AFL) or the “best 11” (in cricket).
Lists like this often precipitate vigorous debate.
I’m no expert, but each of us has our professional heroes.
Some of mine are still with us, and some have gone to that big professional healthcare practice in the sky.
Within that latter group, I wonder what they are thinking.

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Continuity of care in residential care

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

In February 2011 I wrote on the topic of continuity of care with regard to hospital discharge (Volume 3 No. 2).
At that time I was working in hospital pharmacy practice.
Now I am sitting on the other side of the fence working in residential care undertaking medication reviews and I see just how fragmented care can be in the community.
The situation is exacerbated as the patients are usually elderly and they and their families are not always able to communicate important health information to the various health care providers involved.
This puts these patients at significant risk of medication misadventure and adverse outcomes. Some examples follow. All of these scenarios are based on real cases.

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More Pharma Abuse

Judy Wilyman

Editor's Note: The corrupt nature of Big Pharma's evidence-base to justify the marketing of bad medicine is slowly unraveling through courts of law around the world.
The corrupt medical academics who fuel this process through allowing themselves to be "bought" by a number of creative means will also be similarly addressed.
Different levels of government are also tainted when it is seen that mandatory vaccination is being used to drive corrupt health policies, even when evidence exists to the contrary.
i2P supports true evidence-based arguments or best evidence where something has had traditional use and is waiting for evidence support to occur.
We do not support the claims made by Skeptic extremists that permeate the landscape, that tend to support corrupt evidence even though it may have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
How the medical fraternity and Big Pharma will sort out this absolute mess remains to be tested.
And they must realise that they are no longer trusted or respected by members of other health professions, simply because of this unprincipled and illegal behaviour.

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Medical Debate Censorship Attempt by NSW Government

Staff Writer

Editor's Note: Until today, I had never heard of the organisation Avaaz.
Avaaz—meaning "voice" in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages—launched in 2007 with a simple democratic mission: organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.
Avaaz empowers millions of people from all walks of life to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change.
The Avaaz model of internet organising allows thousands of individual efforts, however small, to be rapidly combined into a powerful collective force. (Read about results on the Highlights page.)
The Avaaz community campaigns in 15 languages, served by a core team on 6 continents and thousands of volunteers.
Avaaz takes action -- signing petitions, funding media campaigns and direct actions, emailing, calling and lobbying governments, and organizing "offline" protests and events -- to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform the decisions that affect us all.

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Why is WHO guilty of WOO?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

Acupuncturists claim that they can treat many serious illnesses, including depression, dysentery, osteoarthritis and whooping cough. As 'evidence', they even refer to the World Health Organisation (WHO) website.
What does WHO claim acupuncture can cure?
Does this match the evidence?

Comments: 1

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Unselfishness has a special place in business

Harvey Mackay

Bill Bradley recently spoke to a group of Minnesota Timberwolves season ticketholders.  The topic wasn’t his stellar career, basketball strategy or memorable wins.  Instead, he talked about unselfishness.  After 40 years of traveling America as a Hall-of-Fame basketball player and a U.S. Senator, the Rhodes Scholar has a lot of stories to tell about the remarkable unselfish accomplishments of people both famous and unknown.  He features them during his weekly American Voices program on Sirius/XM Radio.

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I’ve been thinking about, Boston, Belichick, UPS, and transporting properly prepared IVs to the right patients on time

Mark Neuenschwander

I’ve been thinking about, Boston, Belichick, UPS, and transporting properly prepared IVs to the right patients on time.
Boston is my favorite public transit city. I’m like a kid while being transported by user-friendly Charlie through the labyrinth beneath her historic streets.
It’s not uncommon for outsiders to say Bostonians are not so user friendly. Stereotyping suggests they are not terribly diplomatic, sometimes condescending, and always in a rush.
Sort of the way the Patriot’s Coach Belichick comes across on Sports Center’s post-game interviews.

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Big Data - A Business Power Shift

Barry Urquhart

Season’s greetings.

With the increasingly cosmopolitan nature of Australian society and its people the Christmas festive period is becoming progressively less dominant, particularly for businesses.
However, the Christian values of love, compassion, sharing and understanding are relevant at all times for all people.
We all benefit and should enjoy embracing the sense of family... Australians are all part of one cohesive, extended family. This year we should make the time and effort to reflect, reach out, respect and value the sense of virtue of family.
In commerce the same commitment should be given to virtues of quality customer service.
The following text highlights why. And remember, there is no holiday or break in the need for and advantages of service excellence.

Kindest Personal Regards

Barry Urquhart

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‘All Trials’, Marketing Based Medicine, and the fight for clinical transparency

Baz Bardoe

Editor's Note: i2P would like to introduce a new writer named Baz Bardoe, an experienced writer with an interesting background.
He joins our small group of writers looking at the ethics behind drug and other medical evidence that pharmacists rely on for their advice and recommendations to their patients.
Much of this evidence has been found to be fraudulent and will take decades to sort out.
This type of fraud also permeates other industries to the extent that information adverse to the interests of these industries (Big Pharma, Big Agriculture, Big Tobacco, Mainstream Media and Big Pesticide and Herbicide Manufacturers), is suppressed.
But they all seem to conspire using a similar methodology to the extent that human health is adversely affected through lack of information or publicising false information, or distributing misleading information.

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A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Neil Johnston

Nelson Mandela had little to do with pharmacy (except that he was involved in action to obtain access to cheap HIV medications for his country) but his personal code of conduct was admired universally.
His strength of character and leadership style certainly avoided what might have become a blood-bath in South Africa.
His recent passing was a loss to the World Community and i2P decided to acknowledge this great man within its pages.
I also began to think about what his personal reaction might have been to some current issues in Australia and its health system, and how our leaders compare with his standards.
For example, would he have signed up to the current proposed version of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and would he have endorsed the actions of Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Agriculture, Big Herbicide/Pesticide where it involved human health?
I am sure the answer would have been a resounding NO!
The following is a statement he made and observed:

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”


The following synopsis of his life has been extracted from the Nelson Mandela Foundation website:

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Good Manners Create Good Communications and Illustrate Respect and Care

Peter Sayers

Pharmacy has always “won its stripes” utilising its ability to be able to relate to individuals in an empathetic manner.
Patients have always reacted positively in accepting what pharmacists have offered to them as a health benefit.
Trouble is, the health benefits have not expanded progressively and pharmacists have become less visible under the mountain of PBS paperwork, bureaucracy and sundry critics that drown out pharmacist voices.
Now the price is about to be paid as government payments to pharmacists will reduce according to their view of the value of a pharmacist, which will be seen as almost non-existent.
And pharmacists, being survivors, will have to limit their time-investment in the PBS because it will not represent good value to them or their patients.

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Primary Health Care Teams – Will Community Pharmacists be Participants?

Neil Johnston

In the hospital setting pharmacists work well with nurses and doctors. Possibly because of close working proximity and the opportunity for social interaction, there is a better understanding of the role of each profession.
Politically, within a hospital setting, pharmacists feel disadvantaged.
It is a numbers game.
Nurses and doctors have the largest number of people on the ground and the strongest “hands-on” contact with patients.
Pharmacists have a lower profile with the patient, coming in later with an educational role that does not have the same sense of immediacy.

Comments: 1

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Something’s Fishy About Macular Degeneration Fish Oil Studies

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, December 11, 2013

Something’s Fishy About Macular Degeneration Fish Oil Studies
by Bill Sardi

(OMNS Dec 11, 2013) Just seven months ago National Eye Institute researchers claimed fish oil “doesn’t seem to help macular degeneration,” (1) a sight-robbing eye disease that plagues adults in their senior years.
So how could another newly published study produce exactly opposite results?
In fact, fish oil didn’t just slow down the insidious progression of this eye disease, it restored vision to every patient placed on high-dose fish oil. It was therapeutic and curative, not just preventive.

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Vitamins, Minerals Reduce AIDS Mortality - Ignoring Supplements Means Unnecessary Deaths

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, December 17, 2013

Vitamins, Minerals Reduce AIDS Mortality - Ignoring Supplements Means Unnecessary Deaths
Commentary by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Dec 17, 2013) Twenty-six years ago, I worked with a client (woman, late 20s) who was HIV positive.
She was a heavy drinker and drug user, a smoker, had a terrible diet, and a series of bad personal relationships.
Her health was deteriorating.
Desperate, she decreased her drug and alcohol use.
She still smoked, ate a poor diet, and was under great stress.
She took multivitamin/multimineral supplements irregularly.
But she took a lot of vitamin C very regularly, for over two decades.

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Multivitamins play a key role in health and wellbeing for people with vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Marie Kelly-Davies

Australian consumers can continue to have confidence in the wealth of evidence that exists on the role of multivitamins in providing overall health and wellness benefits and filling dietary gaps in combination with healthy lifestyle choices, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) said today.

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What are we worth?

Gerald Quigley

I’ve been following the bleatings by many about the fee we “deserve” to be paid for aspects of our professional expertise, which the consumer doesn’t actually know we have.
What puzzles me more is that we are even speaking about a “fee” before asking the end-user (the patient) whether or not they feel they need this particular service.

Comments: 1

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Vitamins Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease News Media Ignores Supplement Benefits . . .Again

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, December 20, 2013

Vitamins Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease. News Media Ignores Supplement Benefits . . .Again

(OMNS Dec 20, 2013) Nutritional supplementation with antioxidants and the B-complex vitamins has been shown to help prevent dementia. Half of all cases of Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, could be attributable to known dietary and lifestyle risk factors, and at least one fifth of current cases could be prevented right now.

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Tracking Down Human Rights - Is Anyone at Home?

Judy Wilyman

Editor's note: For some time I have been following the arguments in support of official vaccination policy, and the other side of the argument as well.
Having been trained in pharmaceutical science and its objectives to align itself with “evidence-based medicine”, I have to admit that I have lost heart both in the process itself and the arguments in support of medical products that have supposedly  been submitted to testing, using orthodox and recognised processes.
The entire system of checks and balances has been torn apart.

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The New Battlegrounds

Peter Sayers

As pharmacists commit further to the expansion of clinical services over 2014, it will not take long for the local GP’s to begin the predictable strategy of reprisal.
In the past, that usually took the form of “channelling” prescriptions to opposition pharmacies (including Internet pharmacies).
However, PBS prescriptions are now so commoditised and cash flow disruptive, that they can no longer be part of the real growth platform of pharmacy’s future and therefore have less impact when channelled by a GP.
Similarly, nursing home business that has always been vulnerable to either GP pressure or a cut-price pharmacist competitor is no longer a concern, unless the pathway to “profitless prosperity” is part of a business model needing expanding cash flow volume at the expense of profit.

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Vitamin D supplements needed for many mothers and babies

Staff Researcher

Many pregnant women in New Zealand should be taking vitamin D supplements to ensure their babies are not at risk of rickets.
Young breastfed infants of Maori or Pacific Island women, or infants of women with dark skin or who are often covered or veiled when outdoors, are at the greatest risk of having low vitamin D levels.
The mother’s vitamin D level during pregnancy determines the vitamin D status of her newborn baby and remains an important determinant of vitamin D status while the infant remains exclusively breastfed.
A study to determine the optimum vitamin D dose for pregnant women and infants has recently been completed in Auckland and was published this month in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal ‘Pediatrics’.

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Monoculture Pharmacy - How to Rise Above It

Neil Johnston

The problem with modern Australian community pharmacy is that it has evolved to become a monoculture that is lacking in diversity and depth.
The term is commonly used in agriculture to describe the production of one crop over vast quantities of land, with all the resultant havoc that such practice plays on the soil, water, native flora and fauna, and, to be perfectly clear, on the climate system as well.
For havoc in pharmacy read government induced profit losses leading to career opportunity loss for individuals, lack of suitable forward vision and direction, disruption in education and workforce planning - and the list goes on.
And that is a perfect analogy for pharmacy at the close of 2013.
In its extreme form monoculture becomes monomania and we would know it as the PBS and managed care, as we have all been brainwashed into believing that it is the world’s best health system.
What a joke!

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How to make New Year's resolutions you'll keep

Harvey Mackay

It is New Year's Eve and Charlie Brown says to Lucy:  “Next year I am going to be a changed person.”
“That's a laugh,” says Lucy sarcastically.

“I mean it,” says Charlie, “I'm going to be strong and firm.”
“Forget it,” says Lucy.  “You'll always be wishy-washy.”
“Well,” answers Charlie defensively, “One day I will be wishy and washy the next.”
Like Charlie Brown, most of us set New Year’s resolutions that are a little vague – lose some weight, spend more time with family and friends, quit smoking, quit drinking, enjoy life more, get out of debt, help others, get organized and on and on.
Just think, if everyone kept their New Year’s resolutions, the world would be a lot different:  We’d have healthier people that would show up for work on time, smoke and drink less and be more organized.

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Remove barriers to medication reviews for aged-care residents

Staff Writer

Written by Suzanne Newman from SHPA
An article by Amanda Vanstone in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald this week highlights important issues in the aged-care sector in relation to medicine use.
In her article, Ms Vanstone described a resident of an aged-care facility being prescribed medications that she did not require.
SHPA believes that this case highlights why regular medication review by accredited pharmacists is an important service for all residents of aged-care facilities.

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Orthomolecular News Service January 3 & January 7 2014

Neil Johnston

Editor's Note:
The unnecessary war that is waged on vitamins and other nutritional supplements is continually and routinely engaged.
Is it because they offer a genuine alternative to mainstream medicine? Or a cheaper treatment? Or a safer treatment?
In the war of continuous disinformation it gets harder to separate truth from fiction particularly when it is generated through Big Pharma sources - the same sources that have had massive fines levied against them for publishing fraudulent research, not just once, but multi-times.
Will government ever legislate in this area?


Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 3, 2014

No Deaths from Vitamins. None.
Supplement Safety Once Again Confirmed by America's Largest Database
by Andrew W. Saul, Editor
PLUS

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 7, 2014

Regulation of Vitamins: Politics As Usual

Commentary by Rolf Hefti

Comments: 1

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Gradually, and Then Suddenly- a Lesson in Life

Neil Johnston

I started publishing i2P in February 2000 because I was personally aware that community pharmacy policy was not going in an optimum direction and was becoming divisive within the profession.
At that stage there was only one writer (me), but I was soon tackled by other pharmacists with similar thoughts and very strong views, so I decided there was room for a “thought leadership” role for my then fledgling publication, and I invited my detractors/supporters to fill an Internet page that was theirs to manage and to write their own researched thoughts, without censorship or heavy editing (except for potential libel and grammatical errors).
So was born a publication that could publish completely opposite viewpoints simultaneously, creating a form of a “think tank” for all pharmacists.

Comments: 3

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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 16, 2014 - Top 20 vitamin D papers for 2013

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 16, 2014

Top 20 vitamin D papers for 2013

by William B. Grant, PhD

(OMNS Jan 16, 2014) There were 3774 papers published in 2013 with vitamin D in the title or abstract according to pubmed.gov, up from 3099 in 2012.
Among the top 20 vitamin D papers chosen to highlight for 2013 were 11 reviews, five observational studies, one geographical ecological study, one trial, one laboratory study, and one analysis of data from published results.
The papers were chosen in part by the number of times they have been cited in other works as reported by Scholar.Google.com and in part based on expert opinion by vitamin D researchers.
The fact that two-thirds of the papers were reviews is an indication of the relative maturity of the field. However, as noted in the discussion, the weak link in the vitamin D story is the limited number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reporting beneficial effects of vitamin D.
As discussed in the paper by Heaney [2013], the primary reason for this result is that vitamin D RCTs have been poorly designed and conducted in general; researchers have generally designed vitamin D RCTs based on the pharmaceutical drug model, which assumes no other source of the agent and a linear dose-response relation. These conditions are not satisfied for vitamin D. As a result, many of the trials enrolled people who had relatively high serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels and gave them too little vitamin D to produce a beneficial effect.

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Vaccinations Still Have Problems in 2014

Judy Wilyman

Welcome to the first Vaccination Decisions newsletter for 2014.
I would like to provide you with information about the HPV vaccine that is given to all Australian adolescents in government funded school programs to prevent cervical cancer. This vaccine has had the highest number of reactions globally and thousands of girls (and now boys) have become permanently disabled after receiving this vaccine.

Comments: 3

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Leadership is a State of Mind

Neil Johnston

Leadership is often confused with management.

While it embraces management it is nonetheless ,an entirely different process.
An organisation that does not have a leader is an organisation that is going nowhere.

It is a follower.

It is a long time since I have seen a leader of our profession that really stood out – one who was not frightened to really speak up about their thoughts and actively defend them.

You are more likely to see someone who waits for someone else to “do something”, and then slavishly copy them. In the interim those pseudo-leaders fade into the background because they can never be original.

Certainly examine some other person's work, but only to see what deficiencies exist so that your version might be greatly improved.

But in researching and value-adding a leader will come up with an essentially new approach that will give his organisation a point of difference. And he will launch his product as an incomplete (eighty-percent) version to be refined “on the run”.

That leader gets to achieve his goal before the rest of the pack.

That leader will stand out.

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ASMI welcomes community pharmacy support for S3 information-based advertising

Marie Kelly-Davies

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) is encouraged by strong signals of support from community pharmacy to expand the range of Pharmacist Only (S3) medicines as well as its widespread support of an information-based communications approach to consumers for S3 medicines, as demonstrated by the UTS Pharmacy Barometer released this week.1
Prescription to non-prescription reclassification (‘Rx to OTC switch’) and lifting the current advertising restrictions on S3 communication are key issues that remain high on ASMI’s agenda.

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Nearpod helps revolutionize medical education teaching using mobile devices

Staff Writer

One of the most impressive apps for medical education purposes is Nearpod.
The premise behind nearpod is simple–to bring the classroom to life with interactive mobile presentations that teachers can create and customize themselves.
Nearpod relies on a  cloud based system to distribute interactive presentations to students in a classroom. It is particularly well suited for institutions that own or use tablets regularly (although you can use a phone).

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New discoveries in quest for better drugs

Staff Researcher

A new crystal structure of a GPCR bound to both an activating molecule and a drug
Two studies into alternative drug recognition sites on G protein-coupled receptors have been published in Nature.
Scientists have combined cutting edge computer modelling, structural biology, pharmacology and medicinal chemistry to reveal new insights into how the body interacts with novel drug treatments, in research that could lead to the creation of drugs that are more targeted and with fewer side effects.

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SHPA’s new president to champion excellence in medicines management

Staff Writer

Story by Suzanne Newman

At a meeting of SHPA’s Federal Council on the weekend, Professor Michael Dooley, Director of Pharmacy at Alfred Health, and Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University, was elected as the new President of SHPA.

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SHPA welcomes prescribing pathway for health professionals

Staff Writer

Story by Suzanne Newman

SHPA welcomes the news that the Health Professionals Prescribing Pathway has been approved by Australian health ministers.
The Health Professionals Prescribing Pathway project has been undertaken by Health Workforce Australia (HWA) to develop a nationally recognised approach to prescribing. SHPA has been involved in this project from the outset: contributing feedback on a draft version and being represented in workshops and other settings by SHPA representatives including former President Sue Kirsa, CEO Helen Dowling, Yvonne Allinson and Greg Weeks. SHPA member, Dr Lisa Nissen, has been a clinical advisor to the project.

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Prime Minister announces new funding to support delivery of chemotherapy

Staff Writer

Story by Helen Dowling

SHPA welcomes the announcement on 30 November 2013 by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott of more than $82million additional funding to support the delivery of chemotherapy medicines in Australia’s public and private hospitals.
Although few details have been released, the new funding that commences from 1 January 2014 removes the immediate concerns of SHPA members regarding the delivery of chemotherapy medicines.

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Professional Pharmacists Thank Sue Kirsa for her Contribution to Pharmacy

Professional Pharmacists Australia Spokesperson

Professionals Pharmacists Australia today paid tribute to the hard work and vision of Sue Kirsa who recently resigned as President of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists Australia.
CEO of Professional Pharmacists Australia, Chris Walton said Ms Kirsa worked tirelessly to see pharmacists better able to utilise their skills to improve community health.

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A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Neil Johnston

Nelson Mandela had little to do with pharmacy (except that he was involved in action to obtain access to cheap HIV medications for his country) but his personal code of conduct was admired universally.
His strength of character and leadership style certainly avoided what might have become a blood-bath in South Africa.
His recent passing was a loss to the World Community and i2P decided to acknowledge this great man within its pages.
I also began to think about what his personal reaction might have been to some current issues in Australia and its health system, and how our leaders compare with his standards.
For example, would he have signed up to the current proposed version of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and would he have endorsed the actions of Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Agriculture, Big Herbicide/Pesticide where it involved human health?
I am sure the answer would have been a resounding NO!
The following is a statement he made and observed:

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”


The following synopsis of his life has been extracted from the Nelson Mandela Foundation website:

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Debbie Rigby to lead SHPA’s new accredited pharmacist group

Staff Writer

From Natalie Collard
SHPA is pleased to announce that Debbie Rigby will chair the SHPA Accredited Pharmacists Reference Group. Debbie is a highly regarded consultant clinical pharmacist, and comes with much experience in education, research, governance and communication. She is a Director at NPS MedicineWise and was the inaugural AACP Consultant Pharmacist of the Year in 2008. Debbie has much to offer.
SHPA President Professor Michael Dooley said “SHPA is fortunate that Debbie has agreed to chair this important group. Under her leadership this group will consolidate SHPA’s support for pharmacists who provide medication reviews and guide SHPA and our members through changes in pharmacy practice such a post-discharge hospital referral pathway for HMRs, which is on the horizon.”

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Support for pharmacists throughout the holidays Call 1300 244 910 to talk it over with a colleague

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

Not everyone enjoys this time of the year. Work pressures in pharmacy can be substantial with the end of the year “safety-net” rush, Boxing Day sales, holiday crowds in tourist areas and limited access to other health services.
Many pharmacists do not have the opportunity to relax with family and friends.
A sense of isolation can be exacerbated, especially if those around you are relaxing and celebrating and you are not.

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ASMI supports voluntary move to add front-of-pack warnings to S3 codeine-containing analgesics

Marie Kelly-Davies

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has today confirmed that it supports industry-wide measures for a voluntary front-of-pack warning statement to be added to S3 codeine-containing analgesics, and that ASMI members who supply these products have agreed to implement the voluntary label changes as soon as possible.

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PHARMACY OWNERS CAUGHT UNDERPAYING HUNDREDS OF EMPLOYEE PHARMACISTS IN NEW AUDIT

Professional Pharmacists Australia Spokesperson

One quarter of Australia's pharmacy owners are breaking workplace laws, including underpaying their pharmacists and other staff, according to a shocking new Fair Work Ombudsman's audit report released today.
CEO of Professional Pharmacists Australia, Chris Walton, said the PPA's campaign to establish the audit was justified after it found 599 cases of pharmacists and other staff being underpaid, and more than $280,000 had to be paid back to pharmacy employees.

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Contact Lenses- a Platform for Glucose Measurement by Google

Staff Writer

Editor's Note: There is no doubt that health services are undergoing a revolution in the form of mobile apps and wearable technology.
The process is disruptive in terms of potential reductions in visits to various health professionals, including pharmacists,
Opportunity exists for pharmacists who can provide (for a fee) bridging technology and supporting information and advice to enable a patient to self manage their condition.
There is also a general movement in health development to create a self care environment with barriers being progressively removed e.g. S3 advertising.
Pharmacists need to develop also a recognisable and marketable patient mentoring service.


Diabetes is a disease without borders — one in 19 people across the globe deal with this illness that requires constant blood measurements and insulin treatment.
Google might soon make day-to-day care a little easier for diabetics with contact lenses that can read a person’s blood sugar through their tears – bringing new meaning to the popular wearable tech trend.

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Role of vitamin D, in combination with calcium, indisputable for bone health

Marie Kelly-Davies

Despite the current debate surrounding vitamin D, its role in maintaining good bone health and protecting against osteoporosis, in combination with calcium, is indisputable.

While evidence of the potential role vitamin D may play in non-skeletal conditions mounts, the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) agrees with recent editorial comments in The Lancet that large clinical studies would help to properly assess the effects of vitamin D for health conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, dementia and inflammatory diseases.1

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Pharmedia: No Benefit in Pharmacist Intervention

Neil Johnston

Editor's Note:
The media item below was recently published in MJA Insights.
It, along with many other articles, is a sample of the ongoing anti-pharmacy sentiment that is being spread by official medicine.
To me it is a nonsense to talk of collaboration between pharmacy and medicine on one hand, and to be professionally insulting on the other.
My view is that the medical profession has a lot of repair work to undertake to purify the drug evidence base that has been damaged beyond belief by its collaboration with Big Pharma, and the ongoing bid to denigrate the profession of pharmacy at every opportunity.
What seems to terrify official medicine about pharmacy and other registered health professionals such as nurses?
I2P asked Mark Coleman to comment on this situation, and his comments appear below the Insights item.

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Australian Health Information Technology - Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 30th November, 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.

Links to all that is relative to information technology.

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 30th November, 2013.

Here are a few I have come across last week.

Note: Each link is followed by a title and 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.

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http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/issues/21_11/An-Image-problem-health-information-exchange-46824-1.html

An Image problem?

Greg Gillespie

NOV 1, 2013

Health insurance exchanges have been a godsend for many providers and payers that have had enormous difficulties figuring out how to push and pull data within the larger health care community. The exchanges have solved clinical and business needs at relatively low-cost entry points, a win-win situation for facilities that allowed HIEs to do much of the technological lifting and handle the day-to-day maintenance of information and connectivity.

But information exchanges one and all are on a relentless hunt for new revenue streams.

Many HIEs that have received state and federal seed dollars are seeing those funding sources dry up this year, at the same time they face increased competition from large health systems and other big players building their own exchanges that are butting up against other efforts.

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http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/ehr-cost-data-docs-save-big-money

EHR cost data for docs? Big money saver

Posted on Nov 22, 2013

By Erin McCann, Associate Editor

Out of control healthcare spending in the U.S. is no secret. Annually, healthcare expenditures currently stand at a whopping $2.7 trillion, a number that has industry leaders rushing to take new cost-cutting measures.

One of those measures involves displaying the costs of laboratory tests in an electronic health record so docs can see a real-time price comparison of what they’re ordering. And, from a financial savings perspective, it’s working. 

According to a new Atrius Health study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, docs who regularly viewed lab test cost data in the EHR both decreased their ordering rates for certain tests and saved up to $107 per 1,000 visits per month. Lab test utilization also decreased by up to 5.6 lab orders per 1,000 visits per month. 

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http://www.fiercehealthit.com/story/why-nurses-must-be-involved-developing-new-health-it/2013-11-22

Why nurses must be involved in developing new health IT

November 22, 2013 | By Ashley Gold

Nurses are an essential part of the medical system and patient care--so why shouldn't they be more involved in developing new healthcare IT?

This question is explored in an article in Nursing Times, along with discussion on how attitudes toward nurses differ in the U.K. and the U.S., and how nurses can use technology to improve practice.

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http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/news/seniors-increasingly-online-for-health-information-46925-1.html

Seniors Increasingly Go Online for Health Information

Joseph Goedert

NOV 21, 2013 3:48pm ET

A small survey of 200 senior citizens in the United States finds many respondents using the Internet to get health information and wanting more.

Accenture conducted the survey in July 2013, which is a subset of a larger survey of more than 9,000 adults of various ages across nine nations on the electronic capabilities of medical providers. Results of the U.S. senior population shows 56 percent of surveyed Medicare consumers visited their health plan Web site at least once during the previous two months, with 67 percent saying online access to their medical information is somewhat or very important to them.

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http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20131121/blog/311219996

No evidence that messaging portals reduce costs, improve outcomes, review of studies shows

By Andis Robeznieks

21 November, 2013

A key to the patient-centered medical home model is enhanced patient-physician communication—often through using a secure-messaging portal connected to an electronic health record. But according to a systematic review of 46 studies published over 22 years, there is insufficient evidence that portals improve outcomes or lower costs.

In the Veterans Affairs Department-funded review, researchers from VA and academic medical centers in Los Angeles and Indianapolis did find that portal use was associated with improved outcomes for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and depression, but these improvements were also linked to portals used in case management. The researchers were unable to discern whether the portals themselves made a difference.

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http://healthsystemcio.com/2013/11/20/snapsurvey-botched-launches-nothing-new-cios/

SnapSurvey: Most CIOs Pressured To Forge Ahead With Flawed Projects

11/20/2013 By Kate Gamble

SnapSurvey Says Leaders Often Ignore Red Flags

For weeks, the error-ridden launch of healthcare.gov has dominated the headlines, but to CIOs, there’s nothing newsworthy about the idea of forging ahead with project that isn’t ready. And in fact, most have been in a similar situation. According to the November healthsystemCIO.com Snap Survey, 71 percent of CIOs have been associated with an initiative that stumbled out of the gate, and a whopping 86 percent have felt pressured to forge ahead with a project that was fraught with errors.

Times like these require CIOs to “stand up and lead,” which means gathering all the facts, making the tough decisions, and standing their ground, one respondent noted.

I was able to negotiate changes in scope so that date could be met,” said another. “I would have resigned if not. It is better to leave with conviction than to hope it will work and fail.”

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http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/news/dont-let-ehr-vendors-own-your-data-46921-1.html

Don’t Let EHR Vendors Own Your Data

Chilmark Research

NOV 20, 2013 3:58pm ET

In a recent blog posting, John Moore and Rob Tholemeier of Chilmark Research ask the question: “Who’s Data is it Anyway?” Your electronic health records data is not the property of your vendor and there are things you can do about it, they contend. Here’s the blog:

A common and somewhat unique aspect to EHR vendor contracts is that the EHR vendor lays claim to the data entered into their system. Rob and I, who co-authored this post, have worked in many industries as analysts. Nowhere, in our collective experience, have we seen such a thing. Manufacturers, retailers, financial institutions, etc. would never think of relinquishing their data to their enterprise software vendor of choice.

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http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/data-security-still-risky-business

Data security still a risky business

Posted on Nov 21, 2013

By Mike Miliard, Managing Editor

A new poll from the Ponemon Institute has found that security preparedness is still sorely lacking across healthcare – a fact that could leave unsuspecting organizations "blindsided" by breaches.

The survey, conducted in partnership with Tripwire, asked 1,320 IT security professionals in healthcare and beyond about their privacy protections.

It found that, even as HIPAA fines have grown in size and frequency – including whopping sanctions against Affinity Health Plan ($1.2 million) and WellPoint ($1.7 million) this year – healthcare still lags far behind other industries when it comes to conducting risk assessments and implementing security controls.

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http://www.ehi.co.uk/news/ehi/9051/%27tremendous-interest%27-in-genome-project

'Tremendous interest' in genome project

20 November 2013   Rebecca Todd

Health care IT suppliers have shown “tremendous interest” in a government project to sequence 100,000 genomes and link these with electronic patient records.

The project involves the DNA codes of up to 100,000 patients being matched to their EPRs over the next five years to create anonymised datasets of the genome sequences and the clinical data.

The government has set up a new company, Genomics England, to manage the project contracts for specialist UK companies, hospitals and universities to deliver the necessary services.

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http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/genomics-pose-daunting-test-ehrs

Genomics pose 'daunting' test for EHRs

Posted on Nov 22, 2013

By Neil Versel, Contributing Writer

Think parsing the growing amount of information in electronic health records is tough now? Just wait until genomic data starts showing up in EHRs.

"The number of individual genetic tests is daunting," Peter Tarczy-Hornoch, MD, chair of the University of Washington's Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, said this week at the American Medical Informatics Association's annual symposium. Each needs "structure and storage."

A fully sequenced and analyzed genome contains about a terabyte of information, Tarczy-Hornoch explained during a well-attended session on integrating genomic data into the EHR, creating unprecedented storage and interoperability issues.

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http://www.healthtechzone.com/topics/healthcare/articles/2013/11/20/360926-evena-medical-delivers-smart-glasses-solution-detect-patient.htm

Evena Medical Delivers Smart Glasses Solution to Detect Patient Veins for Precise IV Placement

Evena Medical, a privately-held company operating out of Silicon Valley, focuses on delivering high-definition imaging technologies that target accurate and precise intravenous access. Evena's first successful product - the Evena OwlT, which visually identifies a patient's veins utilizing near-infrared (NIR) visualization - launched in early 2013 and is now available worldwide.

As highly useful as the technology has been, early this morning, in partnership with Epson, Evena announced the next evolution (or revolution depending on your "point of view") of the technology - its new Eyes-On Glasses system, a breakthrough and truly wearable design that brings an entirely new vision (in both senses of the word) to vascular access. It is indeed, we believe, a very cool and exciting next step in medical technology utilizing wearable tech – and, by this, we mean technology that is ready to deploy.

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http://ehrintelligence.com/2013/11/19/what-activities-need-to-come-after-an-ehr-implementation/

What activities need to come after an EHR implementation?

Author Name Jerrilyn Cowper   |   Date November 19, 2013   |  

Do you long for the day when all of your hard work is put into use, the long awaited go-live is over and your workload will finally slow down? If you have never been through the full lifecycle of an implementation, you may not realize that going live is only the beginning. In fact, many times post go-live work is more than the implementation effort.

What lies beyond implementation? This article is not meant to cause you to throw your hands in the air and run screaming. Instead, it takes aim at preparing you for what comes next.

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http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/u-s-ehr-market-to-hit-6b-by-2015.html

U.S. EHR Market to Hit $6B by 2015

Written by Helen Gregg (Twitter | Google+)  | November 20, 2013

The U.S. electronic health record market is expected to be worth $6 billion by 2015, according to a Markets and Markets report.

Forecasters expect the market to grow from $2.2 billion in 2009 to just more than $6 billion in 2015 at an estimated compound annual growth rate of 18.1 percent.

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http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/news/ways-ehr-challenged-stage-three-meaningful-use-46916-1.html

Three Big Ways EHRs May be Challenged in Stage 3

Joseph Goedert

NOV 19, 2013 3:19pm ET

The HIT Policy Committee is recommending electronic health records systems under Stage 3 of the meaningful use program have comprehensive capabilities to query disparate EHR systems for patient records, and to electronically respond to such queries from other EHRs.

And that may not be the toughest task ahead. The committee envisions patients having data portability to take their electronic health record with them when they switch providers, and providers having data migration that enables them to switch EHRs while having coded data in the old system consumed by the new system so clinical decision support will still work.

The policy committee is comprised of industry stakeholders who advise the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and other federal agencies on health information technology matters--and ONC accepts the large majority of its recommendations.

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http://www.fiercehealthit.com/story/gao-wants-updated-consumer-privacy-framework/2013-11-20

GAO wants updated consumer privacy framework

November 20, 2013 | By Susan D. Hall

The Government Accountability Office, in a new report, has called on Congress to consider strengthening the consumer privacy framework to take changes in technology into account, as well as the market for consumer information.

"The current statutory framework for consumer privacy does not fully address new technologies--such as the tracking of online behavior or mobile devices--and the vastly increased marketplace for personal information, including the proliferation of information sharing among third parties," the report states.

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http://www.nextgov.com/defense/2013/11/pentagons-electronic-health-record-not-ready-initial-use-until-2017/74135/

Pentagon’s Electronic Health Record Not Ready for Initial Use Until 2017

By Bob Brewin November 19, 2013

The Defense Department will not start deploying its modernized electronic health record until 2017, nine years after President Obama called on the Pentagon and the Veterans Affairs Department to develop a joint EHR.

The joint effort was abandoned in February when estimated costs spiraled to $28 billion. The Defense EHR is expected to cost between $4 billion and $5 billion over five years, based on industry estimates.

The Navy will run the Defense EHR procurement with a single award to a systems integrator that will provide commercial EHR software, according to presentations at an Oct. 31 industry day run by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command-Systems Center Atlantic. The Pentagon on Sept. 13 named Christopher Miller, former executive director of the SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic, to serve as program executive officer of the new Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization -- or DHMSM -- project to develop the EHR.

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http://www.informationweek.com/healthcare/leadership/the-golden-age-of-health-informatics/d/d-id/898894?

The Golden Age of Health Informatics?

Despite unsolved problems, healthcare IT has made great strides.

So much attention is paid to the problems in the trenches that it is easy to forget just how far we've come in the past few years. It was only 2008 when the oft-cited DesRoches NEJM survey showed that 4 percent of physicians had a clinically active electronic medical records system (my term for what they called fully functional EMRs). The following year, even an old-timer like me was surprised when a companion survey showed only 1.5 percent of hospitals had such a system.

At the same time, we've been stuck since the 1950s in the fee-for-service paradigm with seemingly no way to extricate ourselves, even though it is clear to most that we need to base healthcare reimbursement on the same criteria that apply to other businesses: quality and efficiency. And yet here we are. Now EMRs are giving way to electronic health records (EHRs), a new generation of systems promising care coordination across practices, patient engagement, and other capabilities in keeping with a new era of outcomes-based reimbursement.

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http://www.govhealthit.com/news/how-todd-parks-congressional-grilling-could-affect-your-job-ACA-Obamacare-IT-technology-government-healthcare.gov-issa

7 insights from a congressional hearing on Healthcare.gov

By Diana Manos, Senior Editor

Witnesses at a recent congressional hearing said management was key in Healthcare.gov’s delays, over and above procurement problems. “They did this to themselves,” said Karen Evans, former administrator for electronic government and information technology at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

I’m not calling this a failure," said Richard Spires, former chief information officer of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, speaking of the new federal website, healthcare.gov, intended to register and help millions of Americans to purchase affordable health insurance."it’s troubled, and we need to get it fixed,” Spires said at the Nov. 13  House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform congressional hearing. “We need the CIOs to be strengthened in this government from the standpoint of their empowerment.”

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http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/onc-help-fight-rx-drug-abuse

ONC to help fight Rx drug abuse

Posted on Nov 19, 2013

By Mike Miliard, Managing Editor

In an effort to combat the prescription drug abuse epidemic, the Office of the National Coordinator has launched a new interoperability initiative to better link drug monitoring programs with health IT systems.

In a blog post, Jennifer Frazier, ONC's behavioral health subject matter expert, says the new Standards & Interoperability Framework Initiative seeks to solve problems related to the lack of common technical standards and vocabularies that could help prescription drug monitoring programs "share computable information" with health IT systems.

The PDMP & Health IT Integration framework "will bring together the PDMP and heath IT communities to establish a standardized approach to retrieve data stored in the PDMPs and deliver it to EHRs and HIEs," Frazier writes.

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http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/dropbox-healthcare-love-hate-thing

Dropbox in healthcare: A love-hate thing

Posted on Nov 19, 2013

By Mike Miliard, Managing Editor

Torie Jones, former chief privacy officer at University of Pennsylvania Health System, had an ironclad rule in place for her staff: "No PHI in the cloud until you have a BAA in place."

For most cloud-based vendors, those who are used to the specific demands of working in healthcare, getting that business associate agreement in place wouldn't be much of a problem.

But when it comes to using the the popular file hosting service Dropbox, that all-important contract isn't something that's readily forthcoming.

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http://ehi.co.uk/news/primary-care/9046/isoft-users-flock-to-emis

iSoft users flock to Emis

18 November 2013   Rebecca Todd

Three quarters of GPs that were using iSoft systems when CSC announced it was pulling support for the products have switched to Emis Web.

Around a quarter have chosen to move to TPP and small numbers have picked INPS and Microtest systems.

EHI revealed in September last year that CSC had decided to withdraw its iSoft products from the NHS primary care market.

Based on information held by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, 409 practices were still using iSoft systems at this time.

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http://ehi.co.uk/news/primary-care/9050/surge-in-scr-uptake

Surge in SCR uptake

19 November 2013   Rebecca Todd

Uptake of Summary Care Records amongst secondary care clinicians has been greater in the past nine months, than in the previous five years.

The steep increase in use of the records in secondary care was revealed by NHS England’s director of strategic systems and technology Beverley Bryant at EHI Live in Birmingham this month.

Bryant also said the SCR will be renamed as the Partial GP Record.

SCRs provide emergency clinicians involved in a patient's care with a cored dataset pulled from GP records covering a patient’s allergies, medications and adverse reactions.

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http://www.fiercehealthit.com/story/nehi-offers-best-practices-tele-icus-second-phase/2013-11-19

NEHI offers best practices for tele-ICU's second phase

November 19, 2013 | By Susan D. Hall

Tele-ICU appears to be entering a second phase marked by more diversity in practices and more experimentation. In response, the New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI) has issued best practices for making tele-ICU more scalable and accessible to more hospitals and more beds.

As of late 2012, there were 54 civilian and government tele-ICU monitoring centers in the U.S., it says, though MaineHealth in August announced that high costs had forced the Portland-based health system and its nine participating hospitals to drop the program.

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http://www.fiercehealthit.com/story/unc-health-care-leverages-big-data-boost-bottom-lines/2013-11-19

UNC Health Care leverages big data to boost bottom lines

November 19, 2013 | By Ashley Gold

It's always to refreshing to see big data not just being thrown around as a buzzword, but truly being used to save lives and improve bottom lines. That's the case at the University of North Carolina Health Care (UNCHC), a large non-profit healthcare provider in Chapel Hill, N.C., where one doctor is touting data and analytics as "increasingly at the heart of" how his hospitals run.

Growth and consolidation in the UNCHC system saw a massive increase in the amount of data each facility was holding--and about 80 percent of it was unstructured, said Carlton Moore, M.D., associate professor of medicine at UNCHC, in an article in Business Cloud News. Data, he said, now is being used to improve the quality of care and reporting.

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http://www.fiercehealthit.com/story/ahima-offers-tips-maintaining-integrity-data-mapping/2013-11-19

AHIMA offers tips for maintaining integrity in data mapping

November 19, 2013 | By Susan D. Hall

Mapping one data set to another--such as SNOMED CT to ICD-10--is almost always a resource-intensive project requiring hands-on review and considerable knowledge about the source and target, according to a new report on how to maintain data integrity during the process. A lot can go wrong, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) notes in its paper.

For example, SNOMED CT is a comprehensive clinical terminology that contains content for both human and veterinary medicine, and it's vital for maps to use the correct reference set to exclude non-human terms.

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http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-11-17/robots-let-doctors-beam-into-remote-hospitals

Robots let doctors 'beam' into remote hospitals

By Terence Chea November 17, 2013

CARMICHAEL, Calif. (AP) — The doctor isn't in, but he can still see you now.

Remote presence robots are allowing physicians to "beam" themselves into hospitals to diagnose patients and offer medical advice during emergencies.

A growing number of hospitals in California and other states are using telepresence robots to expand access to medical specialists, especially in rural areas where there's a shortage of doctors.

These mobile video-conferencing machines move on wheels and typically stand about 5 feet, with a large screen that projects a doctor's face. They feature cameras, microphones and speakers that allow physicians and patients to see and talk to each other.

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http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/content/TEC-298512/Why-eScheduling-May-be-Healthcares-Most-Valuable-App

Why e-Scheduling May be Healthcare's Most Valuable App

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , November 19, 2013

Cheap, ubiquitous teleconferencing technology can turn any visit to a primary care provider into a patient-centered care team huddle, cutting weeks off the referral run-around and reigning in costs. But it only works if the right team of providers, specialists, and the patient are available at an agreed-upon time.

Every one of us carries in our pocket or bag one of the untapped technological saviors of healthcare.

No, it's not Twitter. It's the calendar on your phone.

It's one of those things that generally goes unused, but not because it wouldn't be extremely useful. It's because schedule-sharing for years has had a "last mile" problem, an interoperability chasm.

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http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/news/klas-looks-at-population-health-management-vendors-46905-1.html

KLAS Looks at Vendor Field for Population Health Management

Joseph Goedert

NOV 15, 2013 3:25pm ET

With provider interest in population health management technologies soaring, along with the flood of companies jumping in, vendor research firm KLAS Enterprises has a new report on what the early playing field looks like.

The report includes results of interviews with 78 providers using at least one population health management application, with the respondents using products from a total of 23 vendors. KLAS cautions that few of the vendors have enough live client sites to produce a formal rating for their products.

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http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/hit-pioneer-celebrates-centennial

HIT pioneer celebrates centennial

Posted on Nov 18, 2013

By Neil Versel, Contributing Writer

An early pioneer in medical informatics, Morris F. Collen, MD, one of seven founding partners of the Permanente Medical Group, turned 100 on Nov. 12. 

Sunday at the opening session of the American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium, keynote speaker "e-Patient" Dave DeBronkart, noted that friends, former students, protégés and admirers of Collen tweeted last week during Collen's centennial birthday party in San Francisco using the hashtag #collen100. DeBronkart then remarked that the first hashtag appeared in 2006 -- when Collen was merely 93 years old. 

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http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/study-can-the-ehr-be-a-readmissions-tool.html

Study: Can the EHR Be a Readmissions Tool?

Written by Akanksha Jayanthi | November 15, 2013

Electronic health record-based prediction models may help identify patients who are at risk for readmission within 30 days of discharge, according to a study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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http://www.fiercehealthit.com/story/intermountain-track-publish-every-cost/2013-11-18

Intermountain to track, publish every cost

November 18, 2013 | By Susan D. Hall

In another demonstration of its data-driven approach to reducing costs, Intermountain Healthcare is building an ambitious new data system to track the cost of every procedure, piece of equipment and supply its 22 hospitals and 185 clinics use.

The idea is to have data available so physicians and patients can discuss costs and outcomes before making treatment decisions, according to a Wall Street Journal article.

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http://www.fiercehealthit.com/story/interoperability-critical-mess/2013-11-18

Interoperability: A critical mess

November 18, 2013 | By Gienna Shaw

I recently moderated a panel discussion on one of the most intractable problems in healthcare today: the ability--or lack thereof--to seamlessly share data across organizations, systems, platforms, devices and more. The live and online event on interoperability was hosted by West Health, a research organization that focuses on technologies to reduce healthcare costs.

Interoperability is an issue that the health IT community has been talking about for so many years--and yet solutions are tantalizingly out of reach. This despite the fact that there are enormous incentives to get it done.  

The discussion kicked off with an arresting image--a photo of a patient in an intensive care unit room chock full of medical devices and a menagerie of carts and monitors. A jumble of wires completed the vision. You could barely see the patient and the clinician in the middle of it all. Different medical devices and systems look different, of course, but what struck me was that each monitor display also had a different look and feel.

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http://www.ihealthbeat.org/insight/2013/what-do-kaiser-and-a-presidential-campaign-have-in-common-belief-in-the-power-of-data

What Do Kaiser and a Presidential Campaign Have in Common? Belief in the Power of Data.

by Kate Ackerman, iHealthBeat Editor in Chief Monday, November 18, 2013

NEW YORK -- The chair of the country's largest not-for-profit health plan and hospital and the mastermind behind President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign have had vastly different career experiences, but they both believe electronic data has the power to transform the U.S. health care system.

George Halvorson, chair of Kaiser Permanente, and Jim Messina -- national director for Organizing for Action, campaign manager for Obama's 2012 re-election campaign and Obama's former deputy chief of staff -- delivered separate keynote speeches at the New York eHealth Collaborative's Digital Health Conference in New York City last week.

Halvorson discussed how health IT and the availability of real-time data has helped Kaiser to dramatically improve care quality and reduce costs, while Messina spoke about the success of using data analytics in the 2012 presidential election and how lessons learned through that campaign could be used to help solve today's health care challenges.

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http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303376904579137683810827104

Health-Care Apps That Doctors Use

Programs range from diagnostics to hand-washing trackers.

By

Jeanne Whalen

Nov. 17, 2013 4:07 p.m. ET

Cardiologist Eric Topol says he knew medicine had reached a turning point when patients started emailing him the results of do-it-yourself electrocardiograms.

With the help of a smartphone, a software application and a portable device that reads a person's heart rhythm, anyone can get an instant EKG reading on their phone screen.

"I am getting emails from people saying, 'I'm in atrial fibrillation—what do I do?' " Dr. Topol says, referring to a type of irregular heartbeat. "Whoa! The first time I saw that in the subject line of an email, I said, the world has really changed."

Mobile apps for smartphones and tablets are changing the way doctors and patients approach health care. Many are designed for the doctors themselves, ranging from handy databases about drugs and diseases to sophisticated monitors that read a person's blood pressure, glucose levels or asthma symptoms. Others are for the patients—at their doctor's recommendation—to gather diagnostic data, for example, or simply to help coordinate care, giving patients an easy way to keep track of their conditions and treatments.

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http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/wohit-2014-showcases-continuity-care

WoHIT 2014 showcases continuity of care

Posted on Nov 06, 2013

By Dillan Yogendra

Covering two days, April 3rd and 4th next year, the Interoperability Showcase will aim to challenge industry solution providers to assemble a connected network of healthcare systems that carry patient data through the confines of the hospital to the community and to the patient's home. In addition, industry solution providers will be demonstrating the unique features that make systems usable for healthcare providers and patients.

The benefits of interoperability will be explored – from the patient visit to the GP, to diagnosis in departments such as the laboratory, digital pathology, radiology, to intervention such as cardiology and radiation therapy. Following on, patient care devices (bedside monitoring), pharmacy, patient care coordination and quality, research and public health (QRPH), and secondary use of information for overall healthcare improvement will also be reviewed. Monitoring the recovery of the patient in the home setting will ultimately be discussed.

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http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304402104579151232421802264?mod=djemHL_t

The Biggest Mistake Doctors Make

Misdiagnoses are harmful and costly. But they're often preventable.

By  Laura Landro

Updated Nov. 17, 2013 7:56 p.m. ET

A patient with abdominal pain dies from a ruptured appendix after a doctor fails to do a complete physical exam. A biopsy comes back positive for prostate cancer, but no one follows up when the lab result gets misplaced. A child's fever and rash are diagnosed as a viral illness, but they turn out to be a much more serious case of bacterial meningitis.

Such devastating errors lead to permanent damage or death for as many as 160,000 patients each year, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Not only are diagnostic problems more common than other medical mistakes—and more likely to harm patients—but they're also the leading cause of malpractice claims, accounting for 35% of nearly $39 billion in payouts in the U.S. from 1986 to 2010, measured in 2011 dollars, according to Johns Hopkins.

The good news is that diagnostic errors are more likely to be preventable than other medical mistakes. And now health-care providers are turning to a number of innovative strategies to fix the complex web of errors, biases and oversights that stymie the quest for the right diagnosis.

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