The following popped up late yesterday.
NEHTA lead attacks e-health contracts
By Josh Taylor, ZDNet.com.au on October 26th, 2010
No vendor with half a brain would sign a developer contract with Medicare to work on software as part of the government's e-health agenda, National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) national clinical lead Dr Mukesh Haikerwal said this morning.
When asked at an Australian Information Industry Association e-health forum in Sydney this morning why just 14 out of the 80 software developers who had a developer's kit had signed a developer's agreement with Medicare, Haikerwal said he wouldn't hide from the problem.
"I think the contracts — and this is on the public record and I've said this to the people responsible — the contracts the vendors have been asked to sign are not the sort ... that anyone with half a brain would want to sign," he said.
"If you're going to be fair dinkum about getting the vendor involved in this space you've got to make a contract that they can adhere to. [A contract] that is reasonable and is deliverable and you can't put belts and braces on them and hold them back and tie both hands behind their back and then say, now you've got to play in this space," he added.
"So I wholeheartedly agree there are problems with the contracts. And we've got to make it better. My job is to make it better. If they don't like me saying it, they can sack me that's fine. I'm very happy to go somewhere else."
Despite teething problems with getting developers onboard, the benefits e-health offered would be immediate for clinicians, Haikerwal said. In his own clinic he identified that secure messaging offered by e-health could potentially save up to $30,000 a year in the cost of scanning and sending patient documents manually.
Haikerwal admitted that delivering personally controlled e-health records in just two years was a big ask, and said that NEHTA needed help from the IT industry to meet its goals.
More worrying material here from a thorough coverage.
I really don’t think there is much to add here. We have the NEHTA sponsored blogger spinning away saying how good all this is - but, as quoted, I find it very hard to see there is much good news for NEHTA and Medicare here.
My view, if their Clinical Lead finds it necessary to speak out like this there is ‘trouble at mill’!