Recent News and Information 1. EHR System 2. Sydney Addiction Seminar 3. New iMIMS

 Developing a 21st century electronic health record system

Minister for Health Sussan Ley today announced the Committee that will oversee the rebooted personalised My Health Record system for patients and doctors as part of a $485 million package to deliver Australians an electronic medical record system.

Ms Ley announced the appointment of Ms Robyn Kruk AM as the independent chair of the eHealth Implementation Taskforce Steering Committee responsible for the establishment of the Australian Commission for eHealth.
“A functioning national electronic medical records system is essential to ensure doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare providers across the country had instant access to the information needed to treat patients safely and efficiently without having to gamble on unknowns in their medical history,” Ms Ley said.

“As patients, we’ve all been in the situations where we’ve had to attend another GP surgery because we were out-of-town or couldn’t get an appointment with our regular doctor. It can be a time consuming and often frustrating experience for patients and doctors alike.”

In the 2015-16 Budget, the Coalition Government announced $485 million for the redevelopment of the My Health Record system to strengthen and transform national digital health governance through an Australian Commission for eHealth.
Ms Ley said the Implementation Taskforce Steering Committee brings together clinicians, public and private healthcare service providers, consumers, health informatics and analytics specialists, technology innovators and people experienced in delivery of digital health services.

Ms Kruk will be assisted by the skills and expertise of Dr Steve Hambleton, Dr Ewen McPhee, Dr Chris Pearce, Mr Richard Royle, Dr Eileen Doyle, Ms Jan Donovan, Mr Peter Cooper, Mr Mike Walsh, Mr Stephen Moo and Mr Paul Madden.

“In this modern world where technology makes information sharing boundless, it is essential Australia has a national digital health system and My Health Record makes up an important part of this system,” Ms Ley said.
“Ms Kruk has held several significant public service positions at the state and federal government level in health and environment, most recently, as chief executive of the National Mental Health Commission.

“The implementation taskforce steering committee will design, implement and oversee the transition of functions and resources from the Department of Health and the National e-Health Transition Authority to the Australian Commission for eHealth.

“The Australian Commission for eHealth will simplify and streamline the current governance arrangements and will ensure better accountability, greater transparency and improve stakeholder engagement throughout.”

The Australian Commission for eHealth will also oversee the operation and evolution of national electronic health systems and will be the system operator of the My Health Record System.
Ms Ley said next year, the Government will conduct trials of different participation arrangements for My Health Record, including opt-out, to identify the best approaches for increasing participation in the national digital health system.

“It’s important that all Australians are signed up to ensure we have a functioning system and trialling an opt-out model means we can do it carefully, methodically and ensure the appropriate protections are in place to give patients peace of mind,” Ms Ley said.

“If automatic registration for a digital health record in the opt-out trials leads to higher participation in the My Health Record system, the Government will consider adopting optout on a national scale.”

The Health Legislation Amendment (eHealth) Bill 2015 was introduced to Parliament recently and includes the allowance of opt-out trials of the My Health Record system to be conducted. Members of the Implementation Taskforce Steering Committee are: Ms Robyn Kruk, (Independent Chair), Dr Steve Hambleton (Clinician), Dr Ewen McPhee (Clinician), Dr Chris Pearce (Health Informatician), Mr Richard Royle (Private Health Sector), Dr Eileen Doyle (Governance and organisational design), Ms Jan Donovan (Consumer matters), Mr Peter Cooper (Information Technology and Innovation), Mr Michael Walsh (Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council), Mr Stephen Moo (Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council), Mr Paul Madden (Commonwealth).


Sydney Addiction Seminar, Wednesday 14th October, 2015
“Alcohol – from ED to the GP. What has changed?”
Prof Paul Haber

While tobacco smoking causes the largest number of deaths of any drug in Australia, alcohol causes the largest number of hospital bed days and the highest costs to the hospital system. Alcohol-related health problems may present in hospitals, general practice but also to community pharmacies, in the workplace and to the police and courts. Continuity of care between hospitals and general practice is an opportunity and a challenge.

In this seminar Paul Haber will provide an update on the detection, assessment and management of alcohol related problems, including the latest on pharmacotherapies. The contribution of mental comorbidity to alcohol problems will also be described. With case studies.

Professor Paul Haber is the Clinical Director, Drug Health Services Sydney Local Health District and Head, Discipline of Addiction Medicine, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney.

Objectives: At the end of this seminar the participant will be able to:

  1. Show awareness of the range of possible hospital and non-hospital health presentations related to alcohol use, including “hidden” presentations.
  2. Demonstrate ability comprehensively to assess alcohol use and related health problems.
  3. Show familiarity with brief interventions for hazardous and harmful alcohol use.
  4. Demonstrate an informed approach to the use of medications for alcohol withdrawal management and relapse prevention.
  5. Show awareness of the impact of alcohol related cognitive impairment on the management of alcohol dependence. 

Questions already submitted:

  1. In light of DSM V, is alcohol dependence still an acceptable diagnosis?
  2. Are there alternatives to the use of benzodiazepines for alcohol withdrawal management in the community?
  3. How do we manage alcohol withdrawal if inpatient “detox” services are closed?

Is there a case for GPs prescribing baclofen for alcohol dependence? What about topiramate?

  1. “I can’t sleep without alcohol…” – how should the GP manage this problem?
  2. Is it ever justified to use maintenance benzodiazepines for alcohol relapse prevention?
  3. Should doctors recommend 12 step groups to people with alcohol use disorders?
  4. Is hair testing for alcohol use valid?
  5. From a GP: “I’ve never met an patient yet who said that Campral is any use, but it is still recommended and subsidized. Why is that?” 

For pre-reading we recommend the summaries of two previous seminars:

We aim to make these seminars as interactive as possible. Please email your questions  

Venue: Scott Skirving Theatre, RPAH, Camperdown 

On the street parking is ticketed for $1.10 per hour from 6-10pm.  There is limited free street parking around the area as well.  The KGV car park is $5.00 per half hour up until 3 hours then a flat rate of $30.00.

6.30pm for introductions and refreshments, session starts 7pm. No booking necessary, but to assist with catering and to request parking voucher (limited number) please RSVP interest to or call Drug Health Services, RPAH (02) 9515 6419.

The seminars are video-recorded and can be viewed at

This seminar series attracts 2 points/hour for RACGP QA&CPD (activity number 715352).  The seminars are kindly sponsored by Indivior, and Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Office of NSW Health.

October 2015

iMIMS Now Even Faster and Easier to Use

The ever popular iMIMS has just been released after redevelopment to make it faster and easier to use.
is an innovator in the Australian market – the only locally installed source of Australian medicines information,
meaning it can be references wherever you are without concerns over internet connectivity.

Popular with doctors, nurses and pharmacists, it is used to help make better and more informed medicines information
regardless of whether you are in a hospital, aged care facility or on call in a remote location.
The aim of the redevelopment was to make it even faster and more intuitive to use.
To achieve this everything 
from the initial download to monthly updates to the user interface have been redesigned.
Increasing the speed
of the initial download and monthly updates means that users can be on their way sooner with the comfort
of knowing they have the latest information accessible at their fingertips.

The new user interface is bolder, featuring more colours that makes it easier for the eye to identify where to go next. Users of iPads and iPadminis have also been catered for – the new iMIMS is optimised for presentation on these screens saving time
from pointless scrolling down screens.
The upgrade is available at no additional cost to individual and corporate subscribers.
It can be accessed as

an update from iTunes.
From October onwards, users will need to upgrade to be able to continue receiving

their monthly updates.

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