All posts by Catherine Bryceland

Public consultation on draft Global Strategy on Digital Health

The World Health Organization has today opened a public consultation on the first draft of the Global Strategy on Digital Health.

The Strategy aims to identify areas where WHO, its partners and stakeholders should most usefully focus their efforts. The draft document has identified four strategic objectives and a proposed framework for action.

They request input to help shape this strategy to be as meaningful and relevant as possible - for all countries globally.

Review the draft and provide any and all comments or feedback here.

The consultation period will close on 30 April 2019.

GeHCo was established to work with health informatics and harness worldwide expertise to work in areas such as:

  • system architecture
  • schema
  • tooling
  • educational resources
  • health informatics standards development
  • testing and evaluation
  • associated implementation approaches

Contact us to find out how we can help with your digital health projects.



Argonaut Australia and HL7 Australia

GEHCO was present at this HL7 Australia event last week, hosted by Telstra Health.

The Argonaut project is an international project where vendors and HL7 FHIR standards are developed to meet specific EMR use cases and needs.

Australia is the first National Affiliate of HL7 International to establish a national approach to Argonaut and may serve as the template for other countries to undertake a similar approach.

This is the first event of the New HL7 Australia.  This new organisational structure will take HL7 into a more appropriate and modern legal structure to protect the organisation and the members.  This organisation is now a company limited by guarantee, and membership will be available shortly.

An update was presented on the day by Vince MacCauley, CMIO for Telstra Health. Key out takes include:

  • Rolling out real-time prescribing – to reduce multi-drug issues and overuse.
  • EMRs integration between primary and secondary care is one of the focus points.
  • FHIR is being used in:

o   Smartforms

o   MEDview – national medication reconciliation

o   Enterprise Provider Director (EPD)

o   Terminology server implementation in conjunction with CSIRO national Terminology Server

o   National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR)

o   Clinical Decision Support Service

o   Real time Prescription Monitoring (RTPM)

Participation through working groups and future events will alllow you to get involved. Any questions or queries email at 

Unleashing the power of global health data

This informative article outlines two key ways to harness the power of health data in order to tackle exist healthcare problems and improve healthcare delivery.

The first point refers to a lack of standardisation across ehealth technologies. While technology exists to capture data they still operate in silos, have different frameworks and standards, and store information in varying formats.

"If healthcare is to truly leverage the power of data, it is vital that standards are developed to break down silos, thus improving the accessibility, utility and scalability of healthcare data." it states.

The second point refers to "the fragmented healthcare data landscape" and recommends a data standards framework be implemented with the following levers:

1. The creation of a global vision and person-centric principles for a global health informatics architecture to increase value in healthcare

2. Landscaping existing health informatics standardization initiatives to identify gaps and overlaps in ongoing work

3. The coordination and endorsement of ongoing standardization initiatives based on how closely they fit with the global vision and person-centric principles

4. Use cases to demonstrate how health data standardization can create value in healthcare

5. Implementation and policy recommendations to enable learning from past effort and implementation at scale

GeHCo collaborates with a growing team of available eHealth experts from Australia and around the globe to identify where health IT can be meaningfully used within the eHealth environment, and to solve practical problems in eHealth development and implementation. 

Contact us to find out more.

Read the full article here.

Training Tools – the secret to coding accuracy

The impact of accurate coding today goes beyond reimbursement with accuracy leading to organisations using this data to assess outcomes, provide company profiling and other valuable business development insights.

"Accurate coding has become more important to healthcare organizations and more critical to their bottom lines than ever before", states  Scot Nemchik, Vice President of Coding Education and Auditing at Ciox.

However, training methodologies and practices need to change, giving coders an active coding learning environment.

"By training in an active coding learning environment, coders learn by doing, a proven method which accelerates learning and optimizes retention. Through a hands-on learning approach, coders can put their skills to the test and learn from any mistakes in real time," Scot Nemchik states.

Read the full article here.

We have devloped eHRol™ to solve these real-world problems with a groundbreaking eHR and clinical coding simulator platform.

Find out more here.



OpenEHR for policymakers

This is an informative article that focuses on the aspects of openEHR that are relevant to policymakers, but may also be relevant to many people in other roles in healthcare.

This article makes suggestions including introducing a standard computing platform so there is "... common lingo for developing applications and expertise can be shared and disseminated across providers since openEHR allows all applications to be developed based on a ubiquitous clinical language."

It suggests that allowing SMEs to offer solutions, training, and education targeting the health computing platform, which connects to vendor solutions via messaging standards such as FHIR.

This strategy will allow healthcare providers to become innovators and competitors on their own.

"This approach does not require the vendors to commit anything beyond the messaging APIs, most of which already claim to support. It allows policymakers to go with big vendors without unintentionally blocking the SMEs. It allows the providers to compete with the vendors directly, to develop in-house know-how without having to acquire extremely specialised technical skills, which is provided by openEHR platform implementations."

Read the full article here.

Interoperability at the centre of NHS IT

With his initial technology strategy, secretary of state for health and social care Matt Hancock has made it clear that interoperability needs to be at the heart of NHS IT.

Outdated and obstructive digital systems will become a thing of the past with a set of mandatory standards the order of the day, to ensure systems can speak to one another.

For GP and IT leader Amir Mehrkar, the big change needed is less about the process and more about values.

“For the NHS, I don’t believe the challenge of interoperability is technical. The technology exists – across the world, information is flowing,” he says.

“But I don’t think we in the NHS often think about the values around information sharing. Values are intrinsic to the way that we [as humans] behave but one of the problems has been that sharing patient information isn’t seen as an obvious value.”

Mehrkar is co-founder and co-chair of INTEROPen. The organisation is bringing together the NHS, industry and other stakeholders to work collaboratively on accelerating the development of open standards in the health and care sector.

Read the full article here.

NHS launches digital vision for mandatory open standards

data-imageThe UK Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has launched his technology vision in 'The Future of Healthcare'.

The vision outlines plans to introduce minimum technical standards that current and future IT systems and digital services in the NHS will have to meet.

Having these open standards in place means systems will be able to talk to each other securely, and easily. It will lead to greater interoperability and help unlock potential technology innovations.

Read more here.

Health IT safe practices for closing the loop

ehealth toolkitThis informative report from the ECRI Institute highlights ways that information technology (IT) can reduce and eliminate medication mix-ups and errors from diagnostic testing.

The report highlights three safe practice recommendations for closing the loop on test tracking and medication changes:

  • Develop and apply IT solutions to communicate the right information (including data needed for interpretation) to the right people, at the right time, in the right format
  • Implement health IT solutions to track key areas
  • Use health IT to link and acknowledge the review of information and the documentation of the action taken

They have provided a useful toolkit that includes detailed implementation strategies that will assist with communication and tracking and an informative literature review.

Find out more and download the report here.

Talk to us about how we can help your organisation with health informatics and your health IT solution implementation.

The role of data in helping to improve health outcomes

A new report released by CSIRO highlights the role of technology and data in helping to improve the health of the Australian population.

The 'Future of Health Report' states:

“Barriers to an integrated health services model include multiple and complex funding arrangements, siloed data streams, ever-evolving regulatory requirements, and dated infrastructure," said CSIRO director of health and biosecurity Rob Grenfell

The report also states that as more data is created and exchanged through apps and other systems, improvements to data storage, standardisation, access, ownership, integrity, interoperability, and security need to be central concerns for the sector.

Read the full report here.

Why we need an open platform

Dr. Evelyn Hovenga, the CEO, and Director of eHealth Education and GeHCo, presented a paper on 'Why we need to consider adopting an open platform' at the Victorian Healthcare Week conference in Melbourne.

The paper emphasised the importance of exchanging, linking and sharing data and information to "maximise collaboration, automate performance monitoring, routine reporting and the use of professionally developed algorithms supporting decision making at various levels."

However, such functionality requires a high-level of semantic interoperability and preferably a vendor-neutral clinical data repository.

Dr. Hovenga presented examples of exemplary implementations and detailed transition strategies that will enable the continuing use of current EMR systems whilst improving semantic interoperability, and clinical data usability to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.

She states: '....the adoption of an open platform along with an agreed EHR structure optimally supports all clinical processes associated with professional clinical practice and patient centred journeys through the health system".

For further information contact us.