Pulse+IT Blog

Coming up trumps in EMR funding

We had to chuckle at a cheeky comment on our top story this week on the riches raining down on Melbourne's Parkville precinct, where after the disappointment of last year a consortium of three hospitals came up trumps in this week's state budget to the tune of $124 million to roll out an EMR.

While no one mentioned the E word you can be assured that the vendor is Epic, as the business case for funding was built to mirror the successful implementation at the neighbouring Royal Children’s Hospital and the long-held plan has always been to have a precinct-wide EMR. The executive director of the Parkville EMR project is Jackie McLeod, who led the roll-out at RCH.

Now is the winter of patient consent

There is a certain type of news reporting common in Australia that we like to call pavlova journalism, in which basic ingredients are beaten up so hard they turn into a meringue, crisp on the outside but slightly unctuous in the middle and certain to make you feel sick if you eat too much of it.

That's pretty much the feeling MedicalDirector staff would have had if they made the mistake of reading some News Corp publications on Monday. Nestled in a swirl of eggy slop was the bold claim that 45 per cent of Australian GPs were now required to share all of their patients' data due to a software upgrade.

Marked movement in medical software market

Practice management software vendor MediRecords was in the news this week when we revealed on Wednesday that it had picked up the contract to replace the now unsupported practiX for Queensland Health in a deal worth about $1 million over five years.

MediRecords managed to secure the contract in front of 13 other bidders in what was a hotly contested exercise, and while $1m is not a huge amount in the scheme of things, it will be warmly welcomed by MediRecords, which hasn't had as big an impact on the market that it originally hoped for when it launched in mid-2016.

Uber CRCs and digital health buzzword bingo

We were all set to have one of our regular bouts of whingeing about the My Health Record this morning when what should pop into our inbox but an embargoed press release from the impressively titled $200 million+ Digital Health CRC.

Apparently this organ is set to transform healthcare delivery, improve the health of hundreds of thousands and save the health system $1.8 billion. It will also develop new solutions and take them to the world through the efforts of a crowd called HMS, which appears to be involved in flogging products to reduce costs for health insurers in the US.

eHealth still a hard path to hoe

Pathology and its place in the public domain was the big topic of discussion this week as things started to heat up in the My Health Record stakes. On Monday we reported that we reported that Canberra Hospital was set to begin uploading pathology and diagnostic imaging reports to the system in May, joining NSW and the NT in contributing data from the public sector.

ACT is doing it slightly differently from the others in that it's using the capabilities of Orion Health's Rhapsody integration engine rather than the HIPS middleware developed a few years back by Adelaide firm Chamonix or the HealtheNet system that NSW uses for a number of clinical purposes.

More front than Middlemore

You've got to admire the chutzpah of New Zealand's shadow assistant minister for health Shane Reti in taking new minister for health David Clark to task over his alleged mishandling of the National Oracle Solution program, what with him only having been in the job for less than six months and the project having limped along for close to six years.

Whether it's chuztpah or more front than Myers, Dr Reti is claiming that the project, which promises to streamline financial management, business intelligence and the supply chain for district health boards, including a single catalogue of medicines and medical devices, is alternatively “failing” and “going off the rails”.

Bad news is better out than in

It probably comes as no surprise that our two most popular stories this week both concern nefarious goings on in the darker recesses of our networked world, but apart from them both involving thankfully unsuccessful attempts by hackers to gain unauthorised access to our healthcare systems, what they both have in common is an unfortunate lack of transparency about what really went on.

On Wednesday, we revealed that Western Health, which runs the Sunshine, Footscray and Williamstown hospitals in Melbourne's west, had been subject to an attack from the WannaCry ransomware cryptoworm that caused such havoc for the NHS last year and disrupted the basic operation of about a third of the UK's hospitals for days.

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