The following formal report on the AIIA briefing appeared a few days ago.
The announcement of the session appeared here:
By Beverley Head
Tuesday, 22 February 2011 15:58
With the clock ticking on its race to spend $467 million of Government funds by June next year the National E-Health Transition Authority (Nehta) is close to announcing the composition of its first vendor panel, nominating the companies which will be involved in the first of its e-health implementations.
Nehta signed a contract with the Government on the last day of 2010 which defines its role during the e-health implementation programme as the Commonwealth’s managing agent, seeing it oversee the spending of the $467 million.
Speaking at an Australian Information Industry Association e-health update in Sydney, Lisa Smith, head of implementation for Nehta, said the first vendor panel was likely to be announced in March.
Australia’s progress toward a national e-health system has been fraught with controversy and slow. Six years after Nehta was first established there are many in the IT and health sectors who question its slow progress and opacity.
However as the first implementation sites are rolled out more clarity is anticipated.
The first wave of Nehta implementations will be in three GP practice groups in Brisbane, the Hunter district of NSW and Melbourne East. Contracts were signed with those first wave sites at the end of January according to Ms Smith.
Detail on exactly what is likely to be implemented in each of the first wave sites remains scant, although it will be components of the planned personally controlled ehealth record (PCEHR).
Nehta is also now ploughing through the 97 applications it has received from health care sites (including a number of private health care providers) which want to be considered as so called second wave implementation sites, all up for a slice of the $55 million funding for second round pilots.
Ms Smith said that Nehta hoped to have a shortlist of these second wave prospects by the end of the month, and have selected the final dozen or so sites and be ready to start second wave implementations by the end of May. That leaves it with a very tight timetable as under the terms of its engagement all the implementations under this round of funding have to be complete by the end of June 2012.
Lots more here:
Ms Head's headline certainly covers a good deal of the apparent motivation of many providers as far as the PCEHR is concerned.
I also was sent some informal notes from an attendee:
----- Begin Notes
Notes from this morning’s AIIA/NeHTA love-in re PCEHR implementation.
Lisa Smith, NEHTA Head of Implementation spoke for 20 minutes and took questions for 30.
About 80 people attended.
Not too many questions, let alone curly ones.
The following is a cryptic snapshot of what was said.
Vague about what exactly is the long term model, i.e. post June 2012 fate for NEHTA.
COAG funding for NEHTA is only for 2 years. $466M is all Federal money controlled by DoHA.
DoHA (not NeHTA) have engaged Powick from Deloitte as Strategic Adviser (i.e. over seeing NeHTA).
(NEHTA does not seem all that impressed by this).
Asked was the PCEHR spec available – The answer was it goes on the web site today (Has not happened as of Thu, 24 Feb).
Predicts that legislation additional will be needed to support PCEHR/HI
No comment on what happens to all of this if the Government Changes
AIIA raised risks in a sensible way but the answer was motherhood
Wave 1 is the big guys, Wave 2 is the smaller sites (about 10) which will share the $55 mill. Closes early March, have 97 applicants and trials will end June 2012
A consumer representative asked a lot of questions with no detailed response from Ms Smith.
Ms Smith Kept talking about the ‘Adoption Partner’ and the ‘Benefits Partner’ (and I think a 3rd Strategic Partner) as in NeHTA will delegate all responsibility and blame to them.
Said there would not be one government data repository, rather many private and public innovation drivers filling the role.
Asked was there any Press in the room - no – so the response was – ‘that’s good’ (Comment - seems Ms Head was there!)
Asked if the UK failed why won’t this.
Answer – we are smaller and are not picking winners (ho ho). UK was too big. NeHTA is a fast follower and will learn from the UK experience.
Question on Google and Microsoft. Answer will sit by side with PCEHR as different offering (huh?).
Private enterprise will lead innovation according to Ms Smith.
Lisa Smith kept repeating that NeHTA is the ‘Managing Agent’ for DoHA and will supervise all the Wave 1 and Wave 2 sites as this ‘agency’. - (re defining their relevance I guess)
Asked about anti-competitive behaviour and mandatory accreditation by SMEs the answer was mother hood quoting learning from practical experience as we toddle along the journey.
Wave 2 was signed on 31 Jan, Wave 1 on 31 Dec.
NeHTA’s Managing Agent role expires on 30 June 2012 – a fact that obviously is a concern to them (mentioned three times)
NEHTA are creating a Vendor Panel for Primary Care Software Innovation. Ms Smith was asked was this a matter of picking winners. Answer No.
Then Lisa said (a lulu to my mind) the sector panel will be based on building up the innovation of NeHTA’s ‘products’
A huge clue that they intend to remain as a IP owner in one way or another!
----- End Notes.
Another correspondent provided the following comments (in part):
----- Begin Comment
If NeHTA don't deliver this - they are dead. In fact they (or some elements at least) may be dead before that, if it looks like they are the problem rather than the solution.
NASH is 3 months late and growing and has been removed from 1st wave requirements. The First wave sites rather than delivering by 1.Jul.11 are now being talked about as some vague later date.
The PCEHR concept of operations is a month late.
The HI service is still looking very rocky.
----- End Comment.
Obviously I was not there but the reports seem consistent. Accept the information included here as just impressions rather than Gospel Truth! I have to say none of this really conflicts with what readers here have been posting in comments over the last month or two.
I note the implementation plan for the HI Service did also seem to suggest some slippage.