To all, very best wishes for 2015, I do hope you all had a great break, as is usual at this time of the year, time to look back, review promises made and consider some more good intentions for the next 12 months!
For Houston the first significant event in 2014 was the Ellerslie Races where we joined other industry leaders in sponsoring a race in aid of the Macular Degeneration Foundation. Houston was delighted to host 8 guests for a great day at the races and the foundation raised $20,000. The event is to be repeated again this year and once again Houston is pleased to contribute.
Anyone, Aussies included, who would like a complimentary day at the races, Valentine’s Day, February 14th please let me know! Strictly first come, first served.
With Auckland Eye and Eye Doctors at Ascot moving to Houston our market share now exceeds 50% in NZ and is still growing.
Across the Tasman, on January 19th 2015 it will be exactly 16 years since a small single doctor practice in Melbourne selected a small Hamilton company to look after their clinical and financial records. They have grown and so have we, now in 2015 the largest ophthalmology practices in both countries entrust Houston with their records which is an enormous vote of confidence and one that is not taken lightly. When looking at the delegate list at Port Douglas for the AUSCRS conference I noted that one in every three was already a Houston client!
Another important milestone was Houston VIP.net being the first, and as far as we are aware, still the only medical practice software to be a Xero add-on partner. Xero put us through a strenuous testing process before we were allowed to proudly display their logo. Now VIP.net can automatically export all the financial information at a pre-determined time to Xero and immediately have bank reconciliation, Activity Based Costing, an updated balance sheet and P & L all ready for morning coffee! As part of the Xero eco system now clients can have staff scheduling, automatic input of creditors and, if in Australia, payroll all included. (Xero does not yet have payroll for NZ).
For the Xero and Tryo EFTpos testing and integration acknowledgement and thanks is due to Dr Richard Smith and Marcus Wilson of Surgical Partners and the Focus Eye Clinic in Richmond, Sydney.
At the invitation of the Australian Trade Commission in October I attended the Health Informatics conference in Singapore. Everywhere the emphasis was on integration and connectivity. As the company that provided the first “electronic” transmission of lab results between pathology and general practice using the HL7 standard back in 1993, albeit on a floppy disk sent by courier I could only wonder why has it taken so long! There is not, and I believe never will be one size that fits all but what is essential is a common interface for the exchange of information. Five years ago I prophesied that by now the fax machine would be gone for re-cycling along with the telex and the dial telephone, how wrong I was but maybe, just maybe I might be proved correct by 2020? The seamless interchange between different systems from different suppliers without compromise, wouldn’t that be a breakthrough worth celebrating and perhaps the new FHIR standard will make it happen.
I tried the Google Glass. A small screen about 3mm square in the corner of your eye presented everything you would see on a 23” monitor. An American surgeon gave a great address on how he used Glass for teaching with a live broadcast to students seeing exactly what he was seeing and while writing this I received this (edited) internet feed:
January 8, 2015 | By David Weldon, Fierce Health IT
For healthcare, Google Glass training value is crystal clear
Another industry going gaga over Glass is healthcare, where surgeons and university professors are hailing the device as the best training tool they have seen in quite some time.
As proof, a recent roundtable sponsored by Wisegate on BYOD and wearables saw healthcare information security professionals dominating the discussion, while everyone else just sat back and took it all in. The reason: while several industries are still years away from really adopting Google Glass on a large scale, healthcare is using it now, and loving it, according to Wisegate’s editor Elden Nelson, who moderated the event.
Google Glass has very much become the second-sight for many physicians in the surgical suite and for professors conducting demonstrations.
“They are doctors and professors who want their students to be able to see first-hand–or as close to first-hand as is possible–how they are doing things; how they are doing a surgery; and so forth,” Nelson explains. “It’s a fantastic first-person perspective to use Google Glass. They’re getting tremendous value out of it.”
“It’s not a question of whether to use the device–that bridge has been crossed. They are wearing these devices while performing procedures, talking students and each other through it, while being able to simultaneously stream and transmit all kinds of information.”
Sounds great. However, “the problem is that they have to be absolutely certain that they don’t bring in an out-of-the-box Glass device, have it paired to a phone, and wind up having video streamed to a Google server.
BUT… How about with Voice Recognition notes going directly into VIP during the op or procedure. Now there’s a thought!
In Singapore I commuted each day using a great taxi app which Aussies would welcome to beat the exorbitant 10% Cabcharge. Press the icon on the smartphone, your location is transmitted and you instantly get a list of available cabs, select one and you can track its progress real time!
But a cautionary tale, what are we giving up?
Car-sharing service Uber got caught up in a controversy of its own making when BuzzFeed reported that a company executive remarked that Uber could use information it collected to conduct opposition research on pesky journalists who annoy them – in other words, that the service could tap into the vast amount of trip data that it collects from the service and use it against its customers.
The uproar that ensued stirred up more questions about Uber practices, including the re-airing of a story that Uber employees even displayed user location information at a party. In fact, many employees apparently had access to this “God View,” the internal name for the real-time view of who was taking rides, when and where. After a round of apologies and some time, the story died down, but the PR disaster was one that seriously bruised Uber’s reputation.
While this newsletter features ophthalmology, there has also been big development for our other specialties including a joint development with FujiFilm for NT Cardiology and in General Practice, with Pegasus in the South Island, ERMS for electronic referrals goes live this month. The VIP.net development for Allied continues along with the continuing upgrade of Houston Hosting but much more about that later.
Corinne and I finished the year with Christmas on Norfolk Island. Entertainment from Trent Christian, direct descendent of Fletcher. If Fletcher had had such a beautiful voice I am sure Captain Bligh would have put away the lash and countless movies and books would never have seen the light of day! But for us, lots of sunshine and stirring stories of the unbelievable brutality visited on the convicts in the second settlement.
Wishing you and yours all the very best for 2015
Here’s looking at you!!!