Seven years after it was first encouraged to consider changing its laws to permit real-time monitoring of prescriptions, Queensland has finally come to the party and amended its poisons and medicines act and its therapeutic goods regulations to pave the way for a RTPM system to be introduced next year.
In late news this week we hear that the Australian Digital Health Agency hopes to approach the market in the next few weeks through a request for information (RFI) process about the potential to “re-platform” the national digital health infrastructure, including the My Health Record.
This move has been mooted for a few years now and was confirmed by ADHA's CIO Ronan O'Connor in a chat with Pulse+IT last year. The MyHR has been built on a clinical document architecture that while novel in 2011 – and ADHA says is still fit for purpose now – is quickly being overtaken by newer, shinier technologies.
The difficulties that new entrants into health IT markets face were writ large this week when Pegasus Health, the main primary healthcare organisation covering general practices in Christchurch and surrounds, finally had to throw in the towel on its venture to co-develop and roll out a new practice management system for its 90 or so members.
A few other PHOs have followed in Pegasus' path of exploring the market for a new preferred PMS that suits contemporary and future general practice. The other three big PHOs in NZ's big cities – ProCare in Auckland, Pinnacle in Hamilton and Compass in Wellington – have all gone through a preferred PMS process and all have recommended migrating from incumbent Medtech to another vendor.
ACT Health released a tender for a comprehensive digital health record this week, revealing that the record is intended to be much more than just an electronic medical record for its three hospitals.
The ACT government has allocated $70 million over four years for its digital spend, in addition to the $11 million it has already put up for a new laboratory information system, the winning tenderer for which should be announced shortly.
Pulse+IT headed to HISA's Health Informatics Conference in Melbourne this week, as we are wont to do, and what a smashing event it turned out to be. The focus at HIC is often on the acute care sector and, naturally, health informatics, and there was certainly plenty of that, but we were very pleased with the depth of presentations from primary care and even aged care this year.
We were also delighted to see the former chair of the RACGP's eHealth expert committee, Nathan Pinskier, pick up HISA's prestigious Jon Hilton award. Dr Pinskier, who does a huge amount of voluntary work in the background lobbying for standards and quality in health IT, joins luminaries such as Grahame Grieve, Adam McLeod, Mike Georgeff and Terry Hannan in winning the award.
Health IT and horrible literary allusions got mixed together this week for Pulse+IT's brains trust as we pondered the tales of two different EMR implementations in two different cities. Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne had the best of times, our story on its Epic implementation from last week racking up a huge amount of hits on our site. It's destined to be one of our most popular ever.
While it wasn't quite the worst of times for Sydney's Northern Beaches Hospital – there has been far, far worse publicity than this, we assure you – the ill-fated opening of the hospital last year has now caught Telstra Health's EMR in its spotlight.
We must admit that yesterday's announcement by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that it had launched legal action against health IT firm HealthEngine was a bit of a surprise, coming as it does over a year after the online booking service was thoroughly roasted in the media for its decision to edit or delete patient reviews of practices on its site.
The main surprise was with the consumer watchdog showing a bit of bite when we thought it was due a new set of dentures. However, the ACCC recently wrapped up an inquiry into digital platforms and is keen to see consent and notification requirements under the Privacy Act strengthened, and HealthEngine may just have found itself a case study.