Digital Health Space Blogs

Digital Health Blogs

Welcome to the Digital Health Space — a place to catch up across Australian health and care blog posts. We want to hear from you — send us your feedback and comments on the posts below by emailing [email protected]! Follow us @AuDigitalHealth

When every second counts: Q&A with Dr Andrew Hugman, Emergency Physician

Accurate and timely information is vital in medicine, and never more so than in emergency departments, where time is of the essence and patients may arrive in critical conditions. The My Health Record in Emergency Departments Project sets out to research, pilot and establish routine use of the My Health Record system in hospital emergency departments. This is a two year project being undertaken by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) in conjunction with the Australian Digital Health Agency (see the recently published Literature review and environmental scan for a comprehensive briefing).

Dr Andrew Hugman is a senior emergency consultant at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital, and the clinical lead on this project. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with him to find out more about himself and this project.

Read more: When every second counts: Q&A with Dr Andrew Hugman, Emergency Physician

Getting the care you deserve, no matter where you live

Australia's famously harsh outback is an unforgiving place. To survive and prosper in such an environment requires more than just grit and self-reliance - it requires innovation. The Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air are just two of the famous Australian innovations that have helped to overcome the vast distances and support rural and remote communities.

Digital health technologies are now bringing a new generation of innovations to the outback, supporting the development of services that would otherwise be difficult or impossible. As psychiatrist Dr Ken Feilke puts it, access to high level healthcare shouldn't depend on the postcode where people live.

Read more: Getting the care you deserve, no matter where you live

Sydney North PHN facilitates a smooth transition to My Health Record

The thought of signing her pharmacy up to My Health Record was ‘a bit daunting’ for Berowra pharmacist Carrie Leung, but with assistance from the Sydney North Primary Healthcare Network (PHN) the process was completed smoothly and successfully.

I was surprised that many elderly people have a My Health Record and at the other end of the spectrum – the children.

We service a fair number of elderly people with dose administration aids and some of them go in and out of hospital quite often. Generally hospitals are quite good at letting us know they are going home, but knowing there is verified information we can get from the hospital is great.

Read more: Sydney North PHN facilitates a smooth transition to My Health Record

My Health Record – a critical tool in improving patient care

The power of My Health Record was driven home to Adelaide-based GP Dr Chris Moy in an incident where he had to review an unwell patient who had been discharged early from hospital from another state without any information about his condition or follow up.

Read more: My Health Record – a critical tool in improving patient care

Building a rich data repository of accurate information

My Health Record Expansion Programme Deputy Chair Dr Steve Hambleton discusses My Health Record.

Now that I have the ability to easily and securely share information on the My Health Record, my understanding of the purpose of my notes and in particular my health summary has changed from an aide memoire for myself to a collection of information that can benefit my patient as they touch other parts of the health system. An up-to-date shared health summary can be rapidly accessed by the other healthcare practitioners my patients encounter to help them make much more informed decisions to maximise benefits and minimise misadventure.

Read more: Building a rich data repository of accurate information

My Health Record - Connecting Pharmacists to the Healthcare Team

Rachel Dienaar, a locum pharmacist who works mainly at the Nubeena Pharmacy on Tasmania’s Tasman Peninsula, recently shared her My Health Record story with Andrew Daniels as published in In The Know magazine on Friday 15 December 2017.

Read more: My Health Record - Connecting Pharmacists to the Healthcare Team

Nudging digital health with David Halpern

We talk to the British psychologist who specialises in getting big results from small well-judged inputs.

Read more: Nudging digital health with David Halpern

My Health Record – get on board

Townsville-based GP Dr Ron Malpas has been practising for 30 years.

He is Tiger Corrigan’s GP. Tiger, who is 72 years old and suffers from multiple chronic conditions was featured in the recent My Health Record Men’s Health Kit GP. Here Dr Malpas shares his experiences with My Health Record.

Read more: My Health Record – get on board

Empowering healthcare consumers to manage their information

Tony Kitzelmann, Chief Information Security Officer at the Australian Digital Health Agency describes how the security in the My Health Record system gives consumers the power to manage their health information.

Read more: Empowering healthcare consumers to manage their information

GPs: Install the latest version of clinical information systems (CIS) to get the most of out of My Health Record

Dr John Aloizos AM shares his views on how digital health benefits him as a GP, plus how important it is to ensure clinical information systems (CIS) are updated to get the most out of My Health Record.

Read more: GPs: Install the latest version of clinical information systems (CIS) to get the most of out of My Health Record

It's easier being a patient with My Health Record

Over a period of three years from 2013 to 2016, Renee Downman experienced the exceptional treatment of Australia’s healthcare system for two serious health conditions. But what was different in those few years? Enter My Health Record.

In 2013, the young fitness instructor was diagnosed with Ewing...

Read more: It's easier being a patient with My Health Record

Interoperability: a personal view

By Bettina McMahon, Chief Operating Officer and Executive General Manager for Government and Industry Collaboration and Adoption.

Northcott is a not-for-profit organisation that provides services and innovation for people living with disability. Today Northcott is one of the largest not-for-profit disability service organisations in Australia and provides empowering, personalised services to over 13,500 people with disability, their families and carers each year.

Read more: Interoperability: a personal view

My Health Record: what you can do!

Andrew Daniels shares his thoughts on how My Health Record can help pharmacies build digital health capabilities, as published in Post Script Australia on Monday 6 November 2017.

Read more: My Health Record: what you can do!

Big data in healthcare: the US experience and potential for Australia

By Chief Medical Adviser, Meredith Makeham.

In this technologically advanced age, we are able to draw knowledge from many interesting sources which were not previously available to us.

As they are increasingly integrated into healthcare, electronic and digital technologies enable the collection of increasing amounts of data. Data which we are able to translate into knowledge, to help us make more informed decisions, and to improve the quality of services.

Professor Atul Butte, of the Stanford School of Medicine reminded us that within “mounds of data is knowledge that could change the life of a patient, or change the world.”

Read more: Big data in healthcare: the US experience and potential for Australia

Meredith Makeham: Digital health transforming healthcare with benefits for Australians through My Health Record

Chief Medical Adviser Meredith Makeham recently shared her thoughts with Healthcare IT News Australia on how digital health is transforming healthcare with benefits for Australians through My Health Record.

Read more: Meredith Makeham: Digital health transforming healthcare with benefits for Australians through My Health Record

My Health Record and the Medicines Safety Program

By Steve Renouf. In 1993, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and it turned out that my four sons have it too, so we all have ongoing treatment for it. Eventually I got involved with Diabetes Australia and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as their ambassador, which led to advocacy work with the diabetic community. For the last six years, I’ve worked for the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health, which is based in the South East Corner. We started off with four Aboriginal Medical Services and have grown to 18 services. At first I wasn’t sure if I was a good fit, because it’s a Commonwealth Advisory Committee and I don’t have a medical background; I wasn’t sure what I could contribute. But I soon realised it’s important for someone to represent consumers, ensure their best interests are on the table. I see myself as a bridge between them and the medicos.

Read more: My Health Record and the Medicines Safety Program

Innovation is a team sport

Words like "disruption" and "transformation" get bandied about a lot these days, along with their more prosaic cousins "change" and "innovation". With Australians now spending more time in front of a screen each day than they do sleeping, we are seeing the shift as consumers choose "digital first" to manage both their personal and professional lives.

Organisations have seen the writing on the wall and are seeking new ways to adapt to this changing environment in pursuit of ever-greater efficiencies and operational effectiveness.

Read more: Innovation is a team sport

Health in an age of information

"Cause we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl"[1]

You know these lyrics. Madonna's single "Material Girl" and its accompanying video were huge hits in 1985, and went on to define much of her career. But was she right? Is she really a material girl? And are we living in a material world? More than 30 years after she sang this song, we find that the world we live in is becoming less and less about material things, and more and more about information.

From the perspective of the national and global economy, information technology is a vast and growing sector that is displacing manufacturing in value and influence. A similar trend is apparent in the economy of our daily lives: financial transactions are routinely conducted electronically, and reliance on the physical tokens of notes and coins starts to seem quaint.

Read more: Health in an age of information

My Health Record in General Practice

Dr Steve Hambleton, MBBS FAMA FRACGP (Hon) GAICD

Follow Dr Steve on Twitter @SteveJHambleton

Amongst my other roles, I've been a GP at the Kedron Park 7-Day Medical Centre in Brisbane for the past 29 years. Many of my patients have been in my care for a long time and I know them very well but I cannot be there for them every day. Like a lot of GPs who have been in the same practice for a long time, I mainly treat people with chronic and complex disease.

Dr Steve Hambleton

Pictured: Dr Steve Hambleton

I believe one of the responsibilities of General Practitioners is to facilitate patients’ interactions with the health system as a whole, and it’s particularly important for those with chronic ailments. For this reason, I am an early adopter of My Health Record – the secure, online digital summary of a patient’s pertinent medical information, including diagnosis, outcomes, medications, reactions and allergies.

Read more: My Health Record in General Practice

Bringing Digital Health to Central Australia — introducing Dr Sam Goodwin

Australia's digital health system is currently developing and evolving to best serve the community's needs, and arguably, people living in the most remote areas of the continent stand to benefit the most. Recently, Tim Kelsey, CEO, Prof Meredith Makeham, Chief Medical Advisor and I travelled to the Northern Territory to meet with a number of stakeholders, among them, Dr Sam Goodwin, the Executive Director of Medical and Clinical Services with the Central Australian Health Service. Having lived and worked in the area for 11 years, Dr Goodwin gives first-hand insights into the challenges faced by remote communities and how digital services can make a significant, positive difference.

Dr Sam Goodwin of the Central Australia Health Service

Dr Sam Goodwin Executive Director of Medical and Clinical Services with Central Australian Health Service

Read more: Bringing Digital Health to Central Australia — introducing Dr Sam Goodwin