Rest In Peace, BEACH

To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science ~ Albert Einstein.

Here’s a little quiz. True or false? (Answers below)

  1. Herpes Zoster (shingles) in Australia continues to increase over time.
  2. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease imposes a high level of societal and financial burden on the community in Australia.
  3. Of all GP consultations conducted in a language other than English, more than eighty percent are conducted by multilingual GPs who speak the patient’s language.
  4. For 15% of people living with schizophrenia in Australia, ongoing management is provided by their GP alone.

Before you scroll down to the answers, you need to know that the common source of this information is the research program BEACH, short for Bettering the Evaluation of Care in Health.

For the past eighteen years BEACH has provided us with important information to improve patient care and primary care services in Australia.

Government funding for the research program will cease which means BEACH will be closed. The government will also stop funding the Primary Health Care Research & Information Services (PCHRIS).

This has caused another shock wave through Australian general practice and primary care.

A sad day for patients, GPs and health providers.

Answers: 1 true, 2 true, 3 true, 4 false (this should be 30-40%)

The 2013 PCEHR Quiz for clinicians and managers

Reliable information about the issues surrounding the PCEHR is not easily accessible, unless you read the 93 pages of the PCEHR Act 2012. How good is your knowledge of the national eHealth records system and are you aware of the pitfalls and risks? Do the 2013 PCEHR Quiz to test yourself.

1. Who has access to the data in the PCEHR?

a. The consumer and their clinician(s)
b. The consumer, their clinician(s), the system operator, health care organisations, repository operators, portal operators and contracted service operators
c. The consumer, their clinician(s), and the system operator in case of emergencies

2. The PCEHR Act 2012 allows secondary use of PCEHR data for the following purposes:

a. Public health emergencies
b. Statistical analysis of de-identified health data
c. Law enforcement purposes, health provider indemnity insurance cover purposes, research, public health purposes, and any other purpose authorised by law

3. Once practices or health care organisations have signed the participation agreement, their clinicians become liable for unauthorised access and data breach penalties. Are these penalties covered by all medical indemnity insurances?

a. Yes
b. No

4. If a clinician accidentally uploads information to the PCEHR (against a patient’s advice), what civil penalty is applicable?

a. $2,400
b. $12,400
c. $20,400

5. A clinician who has contravened a civil penalty provision may need to pay the government a pecuniary penalty of up to:

a. $20,400
b. $52,000
c. $102,000

6. The participation contract can be varied at any time by the government. What happens if a practice or health care organisation does not agree to these changes?

a. The government will not change the contract unless both parties agree
b. The PCEHR registration of the organisation will be suspended or cancelled
c. An independent mediator will be engaged to resolve the conflict

7. The PCEHR is opt-in. If consumers or health care organisations change their mind after they have signed up, is opt-out possible?

a. Yes
b. No

8. Once clinicians upload information to the PCEHR, the government owns the IP rights and grants all other participants rights to use the data. Do clinicians get their IP rights back if they cancel the participation contract?

a. Yes
b. No

9. What happens if practices or health care organisations cancel the participation agreement?

a. 7 of the 14 clauses survive termination of the agreement
b. Nothing in the agreement is valid anymore
c. The uploaded patient data will become inaccessible

10. How long will the information in the PCEHR be accessible after cancellation or death?

a. Up to 130 years
b. Up to 10 years
c. 28 days

Answers: 1B, 2C, 3B, 4C, 5C, 6B, 7B*, 8B, 9A, 10A.
*You can cancel but you don’t get your data (rights) back and you remain liable etc (see Q9)

Disclaimer: As with any contract, get independent legal advice.