News Extras for November 26, 2008.

First some good news (I think!)

New system helps doctors

20/11/2008 9:32:00 AM

A NEW system at the Myall Coast Health and Medical Centre will mean patient records can be electronically accessed at hospitals within the Hunter.

The revolutionary Healthelink system means general practitioners, hospital doctors and nurses can share information over a secure link.

“Currently the information is kept in separate systems, but now this will help share the information where it is needed,” Healthelink engagement coordinator Joe Hughes said.

Mr Hughes said the system was most useful when a patient entered the hospital and was confused or unconscious and couldn’t give their medical history.

“The doctor can log on and see a patient’s medication, allergies, test results and their medical history,” Mr Hughes said.

Currently a trial for the Healthelink system is being used in certain postcodes in the Hunter and Greater Western Sydney.

Residents over 65 or under 15 are eligible for the trial.

When visiting a participating facility the patient is automatically enrolled if they fit the criteria.

“It is helpful for people especially if they have a chronic illness and visit a hospital and GP frequently,” Mr Hughes said.

During the first 30 days information on the patient is not available; it is made available if they choose to stay in the program.

More here:

This seems a bit like news from the grave – HealtheLink is going on from strength to strength with 50,000 people dragooned into having a record created – or so the web site says.

See here:

It is so important however that it can be off line for all of Sat 29 November!

The most interesting bit of news is that there has been an evaluation done by KPMG of the program.

See the report:

NSW Department of Health, Healthelink EHR Evaluation (KPMG), May 2008.

Sadly you can’t as it is secret! Must be pretty bad if this pathetic state government is not trying to claim a great success!

Second we have:

Thelma-US Partners with ClaimRemedi

ClaimRemedi, a provider of insurance claim revenue management solutions, announced recently they have signed an agreement with ICSGlobal Limited, an eHealth company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Under the agreement, ClaimRemedi will provide electronic claims processing and claims management services to ICSGlobal's US subsidiary, Thelma-US.

Santa Rosa, CA (PRWEB) November 18, 2008 -- ClaimRemedi, a provider of insurance claim revenue management solutions, announced recently they have signed an agreement with ICSGlobal Limited, an eHealth company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Under the agreement, ClaimRemedi will provide electronic claims processing and claims management services to ICSGlobal's US subsidiary, Thelma-US.

"ClaimRemedi brings additional transaction volume, more access to healthcare payers, and a set of powerful claims management technology toolsets, into the medical banking network that Thelma-US is developing," said B.P. Fulmer, president and CEO of Thelma-US. "With transactions between our existing partners -- MedData, SSI and RMS -- set to go live very soon, the best and fastest way for Thelma-US to build volume, expand functionality and increase margins is through mutually beneficial partnerships like the one with ClaimRemedi, where we can "bolt on" their technology to our medical banking network," Fulmer. added.

"This partnership with Thelma-US will allow us to expand our revenue base and improve our margins just by connecting to Thelma and making use of the other partnerships they have put in place," commented Robert Bleyhl, president of ClaimRemedi.

The opportunity for Thelma in the US arises from the fact that there are numerous established eHealth organizations, many of whom specialize in only a few of the 11 different electronic transaction types that are required for full "medical banking." Thelma-US acts as a hub or "interchange" to vertically integrate this myriad of transaction streams into a complete national electronic "medical banking network."

Tim Murray, CEO of ICSGlobal, explained, "The ClaimRemedi agreement is evidence of the momentum that the Thelma-US management team is developing, with their focus on organic growth and acquisitions The sheer size of the US healthcare system, together with our management team that has the local knowledge and contacts to extract maximum value from our Thelma assets, makes it a very exciting market for ICSGlobal to be operating in. I expect the US will rapidly become our major market."

About ICSGlobal
Founded in 1990, ICSGlobal listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1999 [ASX:ICS]. ICSGlobal's core business is medical banking: simplifying healthcare payments, helping patients, doctors, hospitals, health insurers and government to get paid or make payments. We do this using our configurable medical banking clearinghouse technology, Thelma (Transaction Health Exchange Linking Multiple Applications), which facilitates clearing and settling medical bills electronically over the Internet, rather than the stress, time and cost of filling in forms and trying to work out who owes what to whom. ICSGlobal's global medical banking growth strategy involves the expanded deployment of Thelma in the Australian, UK and US markets. For more information visit,

Full release here:

Good to see another Australian e-Health company (in which I have the odd share) making a bit of progress. In these times it would be nice to see the share price go up a bit .

Third we have:

Cleveland Clinic doctors pick Top 10 innovations in medicine

Thursday, November 13, 2008

For the third year in a row, Cleveland Clinic doctors and their consultants have picked the procedures and products they think could have the most impact on medicine in the coming year.

Clinic doctors announced their Top 10 list Wednesday morning -- the final day of their Medical Innovation Summit, which has drawn about 1,000 medical and business people to Cleveland since Monday.

In picking the innovations, the doctors looked for "very important things" that could have big, measurable effects on patients and are affordable, said Dr. Michael Roizen, the Clinic's chief wellness officer who announced each innovation.

Pointing to the 10 doctors on stage who talked about each innovation, "Their job is to find the best technology and use it for patients," said Christopher Coburn, executive director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations, the Clinic's commercialization unit.

"These people are arbiters of innovation on a daily basis. What we've done here is create a process to harvest that capability," Coburn said about the top 10 list.

10. National health information exchange:

A comprehensive system for electronic health records that link consumers, doctors, hospitals, insurers and other health services providers.

This computerized system has the potential to replace paper medical files with digital records that could increase quality of medical care and reduce cost.

"I think that this is the most dramatic and the most revolutionary thing that has occurred over the last five to six years," said cardiologist Dr. Jim Young. "Electronic medical records . . . have been a tough sell to older, traditional, more classic caregivers. However, when you look at how we can manage patients, the efficiencies are absolutely unbelievable."

See the other nine here:

Interesting list I must say!

Fourth we have

Feds launch quality-measures clearinghouse site

Posted: November 13, 2008 - 3:00 pm EDT

Measures used by the federal agencies under HHS for reporting, payment and quality improvement are now available in one location on a new Web site.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse, which it said is designed to advance collaboration and align quality measurement efforts throughout the industry. Healthcare professionals can use the inventory to aid them in quality policy and implementation initiatives, according to AHRQ. The site also features a comparison tool for different measures, summaries of how the measures were developed and expert commentary from the editorial board overseeing the clearinghouse.

More here:

The main page describes the site as follows

“You have accessed the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse™ (NQMC).

NQMC, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a public repository for evidence-based quality measures and measure sets. To learn more about the key components of this site and other user-friendly features, visit About NQMC.

NQMC offers an Expert Commentary feature on issues of interest and importance to the quality measure field.”

Full site here:

This is all good stuff!

Fifth we have:

Dutch healthcare system rated Europe’s best

17 Nov 2008

The Netherlands has been named as having the best healthcare system in Europe, emerging as the overall winner in the Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI) 2008.

The Netherlands re-takes the top position that it had previously won in the 2005 Health Consumer Powerhouse survey. The Dutch healthcare system, which was the runner up in 2006 and 2007, is also the sub-discipline winner on Range and Reach of Services Provided.

The Dutch system was closely followed by the Danish in second and the Austrian in third. Latvia came in at the bottom of the table of 31 countries in which the UK ranked at 13.

For the first time the ranking included a new sixth sub-discipline, e-health, measuring the penetration of electronic medical records and the use of web-based solutions for the transfer of medical information.

Though e-health was only given limited weighting in the scoring used, Denmark, which scored highest on the measure of e-health, significantly boosted its standing. France, meanwhile, was marked down for its poor performance on e-health measures, coming in at 10.

Health Consumer Powerhouse said: “The Netherlands is the really stable top performer in all our indexes and we find that its healthcare system truly is Europe's best! The Netherlands have worked long on patient empowerment which now clearly pays off in many areas.”

More here:


Health Consumer Powerhouse

The site is well worth a look – lots of information on the real status of e-Health in Europe. The best make us look a bit sad I must say!

Last we have:

Patients to get Facebook-style Communicator

18 Nov 2008

From March, patients will be able to carry out email consultations with GPs and other clinicians using a Facebook-style tool called Communicator.

E-Health Insider has been told that Communicator will be launched as part of ambitious development plans for HealthSpace, the online organiser that gives patients access to their NHS Summary Care Record.

Communicator will resemble Facebook in that patients will be able to form an affiliate relationship with their doctor, nurse or therapist, which will allow them to carry out a trusted ‘email’ consultation.

The system could be used in the management of patients with long-term conditions, repeat medication requests, medication reviews and pre-registration assessments.

Communicator will be piloted between April and October next year. Initially, clinicians will have to be on the secure N3 network to use it. In later phases, it will be more widely available.

Dr Gillian Braunold, director of the Summary Care Record and HealthSpace, told EHI that there would be no financial incentive paid to GPs to use Communicator. She said she believed the technology will be so compelling that there will be no need to make financial incentives available.

“The business benefits are so great that we won’t need to incentivise GP use,” she said. “GPs want to provide the best possible care to patients.”

Dr Braunold also stressed that the technology will be aimed at a wide range of clinicians. “Communicator won’t be just for GPs. Patients will be able to communicate with their nurses and other professionals.”

More here:

This is a really big deal as it creates a patient portal with access to really useful information and will evolve into a portal of the sort now exists in Denmark and which we in Australia can only dream about having a decade from now – given the current level of investment, understanding and insight.



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