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Health Bulletin

RK Health Insights 21 November 2017

The latest insights from our Health Law team.

In this edition:

Learn more about Russell Kennedy's expertise in the Health sector here.

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High-tech trauma specs a vision of the future

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The National Trauma Research Institute at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne has partnered with a technology company to develop voice-activated, heads-up display glasses that integrate with the Trauma Reception and Resuscitation System in the form of Google Glasses.

The new technology will allow trauma teams to see vital patient information in real time on the glasses (including heart rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure and more) without having to look away from the patient.  The glasses will also enable trauma teams to connect with medical specialists offsite. 

Read the Victorian Government Health Information Media Alert here.

Improving communication between health services and doctors

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The AMA has released a guide which contains 10 minimum standards designed to improve communication between health services, general practitioners and other treating doctors.

10 Minimum standards for Communicating between Health Services and General Practitioners and other Treating Doctors covers key performance criteria, such as timeliness of communication and its content, communication processes, the interface with practice software systems, good quality referrals, better discharge processes and secure electronic communication systems.

The AMA hopes the new standards will be implemented in all State and Territory health departments as well as private hospitals and has written to same urging them to use the standards. Implementation of the standards will encourage the development of policy and improve the standard of care being provided to patients.

Read more about the standards here.

How important is cyber insurance for health providers?

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The increase in the number of data security breaches for health organisations in 2017 (for example, the National Health Service in England) and the introduction of Australia’s mandatory data breach notification laws in 2018, makes it a pivotal time for health providers to reconsider their cyber insurance.

According to a recent article, globally the health industry is the most expensive for data breaches, with health care organisations needing to spend $380USD per record – more than 2.5 times the average across other industries. In addition to the cost, the personal nature of the information held by health providers means data breaches can cause serious reputational damage.

Cyber security threats are constantly evolving, requiring organisations to periodically review their cyber insurance. While it may seem that cyber insurance is the domain of an organisation’s IT department, responsibility for ensuring adequate cyber insurance is in place in fact lies with the board, other executives and the Chief Financial Officer. People in those positions have the greatest insight into the level of cyber risk across the organisation to ensure the right policy is in place.

Cyber insurance carriers are constantly updating their offerings and it is particularly important when putting in place cyber insurance to ensure the policy covers current threats and reflects the evolution of new “crimeware”.