Digital Health Space 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 on Twitter @AuDigitalHealth

Five ways you can Stay Smart Online

10 October 2018
8-14 October 2018 is Stay Smart Online Week. We all have a role to play in keeping our information secure online. Staying smart online is just like locking your doors and securing your belongings. This week, take a look at your digital health from another perspective, and follow these tips to stay smart online.

Read more: Five ways you can Stay Smart Online

Digitally enhancing population health

27 September 2018: In 1985 Professor Geoffrey Rose published a paper that would fundamentally define the way we think about health, wellness, and disease prevention. In it he distinguished two fundamental approaches.

Read more: Digitally enhancing population health

An electronic future for prescriptions

27 September 2018: How do you get your tickets when you go to a music concert or a sporting event? What about your boarding pass when flying? More and more Australians are ditching paper tickets and opting for the convenience of receiving tickets and confirmations electronically.

Read more: An electronic future for prescriptions

Where we were in August: conferences and digital health events

A snapshot of some of our activities around Australia.

Read more: Where we were in August: conferences and digital health events

Drawing the blueprint for safer medicines

The Agency and its partners will co-produce a national digital medicines blueprint to coordinate digital medicines safety initiatives across Australia.

Read more: Drawing the blueprint for safer medicines

Towards frictionless health data exchange: Tech heavyweights band together

Some of the biggest names in the tech industry have jointly called for greater interoperability in digital health.

Read more: Towards frictionless health data exchange: Tech heavyweights band together

For he’s a jolly good (ACHI) Fellow

The Australian Digital Health Agency is helping to build the digital health workforce of tomorrow. Toby Hodgson shares his experiences of working with us.

Read more: For he’s a jolly good (ACHI) Fellow

My Health Record lets Harry take control of his health information

Harry has been battling a combination of chronic conditions since early childhood. Now in his early 20s, his medical records were so extensive that they needed to be carried on a trolley.

Read more: My Health Record lets Harry take control of his health information

Where we were in July: conferences and digital health events

"Art of the Possible" in WA, PSA conference, and HIC

Read more: Where we were in July: conferences and digital health events

Residential aged care gets connected through My Health Record

A Rockhampton Queensland initiative tests linkages between GPs, hospitals and Residential Aged care via My Health Record.

Read more: Residential aged care gets connected through My Health Record

Australian Digital Health Agency celebrates its second anniversary

We now stand at the cusp of a national transformation of the delivery of health and care.

Read more: Australian Digital Health Agency celebrates its second anniversary

Next generation interfaces

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality systems hold special promise in healthcare, improving safety and convenience, while offering entirely new models of delivering health and care.

Read more: Next generation interfaces

The view from Mount Isa

How can My Health Record and other digital health services improve lives in Mount Isa? We travelled there to find out.

Read more: The view from Mount Isa

Interoperability: find out what it means to me

Australian users of clinical information systems have told us what information they need from interoperable clinical systems. Understanding these needs will enable us to shape and prioritise the development of Australia’s digital health system.

Read more: Interoperability: find out what it means to me

Better data and a bigger workforce: In conversation with Professor Louisa Jorm

Professor Louisa Jorm is the Foundation Director of the Centre for Big Data Research in Health at UNSW. She is an Australian leader in policy-relevant research using linked administrative health data, including hospital inpatient, mortality and Medicare data, and is a high-profile advocate for more and better use of routinely collected health data for research. We spoke to Professor Jorm recently to talk through the potential of big data in health care and how we can ensure we have the technical expertise within the Australian health care sector into the future.

Read more: Better data and a bigger workforce: In conversation with Professor Louisa Jorm

The quiet achievers of digital health: celebrating 100 releases of the Australian Medicines Terminology

My Health Record will allow consumers to take greater ownership of their health needs

Townsville resident Rebecca Vella believes My Health Record is an essential tool – and one that she uses often – to keep track of all of her important health information.

Read more: My Health Record will allow consumers to take greater ownership of their health needs

A platform for empowerment

Pharmacist, Chris Braithwaite has worked in a variety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health locations since graduating in 2012, including at Katherine in the Northern Territory, Mount Isa and Cape York in Queensland.

Read more: A platform for empowerment

Moving forward with paperless communication and record keeping

The Cairns-based obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Elizabeth Jackson actively uses My Health Record and strongly believes digital health is the way forward for Australia’s healthcare system.

Read more: Moving forward with paperless communication and record keeping

Australian healthcare providers prepare for My Health Record expansion

The Agency and its partner organisations are engaging with healthcare providers across Australia to prepare for the transition to an “opt out” system.

Read more: Australian healthcare providers prepare for My Health Record expansion

Pharmacy goes digital: new guidelines, events and more

New Pharmaceutical Society of Australia guidelines, pharmacist Chris Braithwaite talks My Health Record, and TerryWhite Chemmart's three-day masterclass.

Read more: Pharmacy goes digital: new guidelines, events and more

My Health Record – the connection to accessible information at any time

Hospital pharmacist Leonie Abbott discusses the benefits of My Health Record.

Read more: My Health Record – the connection to accessible information at any time

How to design an award winning health app

The secret? Real co-design and co-production, says Cheryl McCullagh, Director of Clinical Integration at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network

Read more: How to design an award winning health app

Enhanced clinical leadership at the Australian Digital Health Agency

The Australian Digital Health Agency has greatly expanded its group of Clinical Reference Leads to promote greater engagement across healthcare sectors.

Read more: Enhanced clinical leadership at the Australian Digital Health Agency

Digital health beyond My Health Record

Smart medical devices will transform healthcare.

Read more: Digital health beyond My Health Record

What’s next for the Global Digital Health Partnership?

A conversation with Clinical Professor Meredith Makeham, the Agency’s Chief Medical Adviser.

Read more: What’s next for the Global Digital Health Partnership?

Digital health for all

The Agency’s Marina Fulcher discusses what digital health means for Australia.

This article originally appeared on Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM). Marina has over 25 years’ experience in healthcare practice management and is a Clinical Reference Lead working with the Australian Digital Health Agency on the My Health Record.

Read more: Digital health for all

Looking ahead to a digital transformation of health and care

Digital health technologies will do more than just replace faxes and paper notes.

Read more: Looking ahead to a digital transformation of health and care

Inaugural listening forum opens the conversation with community groups

Led by the Clinical and Consumer Engagement and Clinical Governance division at the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Read more: Inaugural listening forum opens the conversation with community groups

Digital health leaders talk innovation

Digital health symposium brings together leaders, advocates and healthcare providers from around the globe.

Read more: Digital health leaders talk innovation

Berrigan NSW takes the lead in connecting to My Health Record

First town in Australia to connect all medical services to the My Health Record.

Read more: Berrigan NSW takes the lead in connecting to My Health Record

What are the prospects for artificial intelligence in healthcare?

New report moves beyond the hype and speculation.

Read more: What are the prospects for artificial intelligence in healthcare?

The importance of interoperability: a conversation with Dr Nathan Pinskier

Dr Nathan Pinskier discusses how interoperability across the sector will benefit greatly from the adoption of secure electronic messaging.

Read more: The importance of interoperability: a conversation with Dr Nathan Pinskier

“Pharmacists have worked in the dark for way too long”

Associate Professor Mark Naunton says that pharmacists have worked in the dark for too long, and looks forward to them having secure access to patient health information.

Read more: “Pharmacists have worked in the dark for way too long”

On the road, in the air – talking about My Health Record in Western Australia

Agency CEO Tim Kelsey’s reflections on his recent stakeholder meetings in Western Australia.

Read more: On the road, in the air – talking about My Health Record in Western Australia

"My Health Record will definitely help ... There is no question."

Dr Michael Crampton was involved in the Nepean and Blue Mountains opt-out trial of My Health Record and has followed its evolution over the past few years.

Read more: "My Health Record will definitely help ... There is no question."

Making timely and safe clinical decisions

Hospital pharmacist Leonie Abbott explains why having My Health Record accessible 24/7 is a huge benefit to the system.

Read more: Making timely and safe clinical decisions

Demand for mobile access continues to grow

Consumers demand access to health records anywhere and anytime.

Read more: Demand for mobile access continues to grow

Apple’s new Health app heats up the digital health market

What does this mean for Australian developers, providers and consumers?

Read more: Apple’s new Health app heats up the digital health market

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Child Immunisation and Digital Health

The week before Christmas 2016, with temperatures peaking at 43 degrees, I travelled with our CEO, Tim Kelsey and Chief Medical Adviser, Clinical Professor Meredith Makeham to Perth, Bunbury and Busselton in Western Australia.

Read more: Child Immunisation and Digital Health

Starting the conversation on digital health

Dr Monica Trujillo, Chief Clinical Information Officer for the Australian Digital Health Agency, talks about how putting data and technology safely to work for patients, consumers and the healthcare professionals who look after them can help Australians live healthier, happier and more productive li...

Read more: Starting the conversation on digital health

Automating faxes was just the start: Inala Primary Care and Digital Health

Driving through the streets of Inala, a south-west Brisbane suburb, is always memorable. The 1950s style brick-and-stucco housing is clear evidence of Inala’s origins as a post-war social housing experiment. Through the decades, disadvantage has continued to dominate the area, populated by the elderly and predominantly African, Middle Eastern and Asian communities – in particular Vietnamese, who were among Australia’s first wave of ‘Boat People’ and made Inala their home. Indigenous art work in the local parks reflect one of Queensland’s largest agglomerations of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island and Pacific Island peoples.

Read more: Automating faxes was just the start: Inala Primary Care and Digital Health

Mobile enablement meeting consumer demands

In September 2016, I was invited to speak at HISA Queensland’s workshop for Health Data Interoperability, held at Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital.  As the title suggests, the workshop brought together clinicians, technologists and other health informaticians to discuss various approaches to making interoperability within digital health services a reality. Such interoperability is universally recognised as a key component for an effective, user-friendly service.

Read more: Mobile enablement meeting consumer demands

Why I’m behind digital health

Watch the National Digital Health Consultation: Findings so far to hear what Australian communities are saying about the future of health and care.

“Can you give me a call when you’re free, love mum.”

The message flashed up on my phone and my heart dropped. I knew something was up. My mum’s attempts at ‘text speak’ usually end up with half a screen of rambled shortcuts that I need to look up urban dictionary to decipher. This, on the other hand, was too short for comfort.

Read more: Why I’m behind digital health

Australian Migrant Resource Centre – Hearing Their Stories

In light of the Australian Digital Health Agency’s commitment to delivering the best possible digital health services to Australia, we recognise the importance of going out and talking to people, hearing their individual health issues and concerns. It’s been one of the most interesting aspects of my job in the Agency’s Communications team.

Read more: Australian Migrant Resource Centre – Hearing Their Stories

The power of data to make healthcare safer

I am in the school of pharmacy and medical sciences at the University of South Australia in Adelaide looking at the ceiling of Professor Libby Roughead’s office. ‘It used to be lower,’ she says. ‘We had to take out the overhead partition because somebody could have crawled through it’. This is one of the most secure offices in South Australia, perhaps the country. It is where data on the health of Australia’s 250,000 veterans is analysed. When a veteran receives their Gold card they are invited to consent to their medical information being reviewed to ensure they get the best possible care.

Read more: The power of data to make healthcare safer

Privacy – enabling trust and confidence in digital health

What's the collective noun for a group of healthcare providers? A horde? A congregation? Certainly not a gaggle. I think it should be an orchestra – just as an orchestra is made up of distinctive yet harmonious sections, so too is the healthcare industry.

Read more: Privacy – enabling trust and confidence in digital health

How to harness the power of the modern information revolution: reflections from Perth

Nine years ago, Fiona’s husband Peter was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was benign and they were told that it wouldn’t kill him, but would be ‘a bit of a nuisance’. Peter, who worked as a business consultant in Western Australia, went into hospital for surgery – and then their world was shattered. There was a complication after his second operation and Peter, vulnerable to infection, contracted meningitis. He suffered brain damage and has required around-the-clock care ever since. What initially seemed like something Peter and Fiona could live with, now consumes their whole lives.

Read more: How to harness the power of the modern information revolution: reflections from Perth

Unleashing the power of people - How digital services can transform healthcare

Here is our first blog post from the Agency CEO Mr Tim Kelsey.

Tim Kelsey, CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency

Everybody in Darwin is hoping for rain: it is heating up and a humid summer is coming. We drive along the foreshore towards Palmerston, past the mangroves that mantle the ocean. I have been invited by Dr Sam Heard to come and listen to patients and staff in his practice, the Palmerston GP Super Clinic. It is a great innovation – a joint venture between Charles Darwin and Flinders universities to give local people access to comprehensive primary care services in one setting, from medical and pharmacy through to podiatry.

Read more: Unleashing the power of people - How digital services can transform healthcare