Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Well The Delivery Clock Is Now Really Ticking. What Odds Do We Give Them?

As alerted a couple of months ago it has now been confirmed that NEHTA has chosen IBM to help them get the National Authentication System for Health (NASH) up and going.

The official announcement is here:

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/mr-yr11-nr-nr032.htm

IBM Selected for E-health Authentication Service

The National E-Health Transition Authority has selected IBM to design and build the National Authentication Service for Health, a key building block in developing personally controlled e-health records for Australia.

1 March 2011

The Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, today announced that the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has selected IBM to design and build the National Authentication Service for Health (NASH).

The National Authentication Service is a key building block in the development of personally controlled e-health records for Australians and is fundamental to the Gillard Government’s determination to equip our health system for the future.

Minister Roxon said that NASH will improve the security of electronic health communications, such as referrals, prescriptions and personally controlled electronic health records (PCEHR).

“It is critically important that when our doctors and nurses use e-health systems they know that they are sending and receiving communications to and from the right people,” Minister Roxon said.

“This system will put in place strong access control mechanisms for PCEHR so that patients will be able to grant access to their information – and be able to track which providers have accessed their records.”

Minister Roxon said that today’s announcement is another step towards PCEHR being available to Australians who want to sign up from 1 July next year.

”The NASH will be designed in consultation with both clinicians and consumers to ensure that it meets the needs of the Australian health care system and its patients,” Minister Roxon said.

This system will support the implementation of robust audit and monitoring processes for both local health provider systems and national e-health services.

NEHTA undertook an open tender process to enable industry participation and clear evaluation of the options for the design and build of the NASH.

As part of the contract, IBM will utilise its combined hardware, software and services capabilities to manage the project delivery of the NASH system for Australia’s healthcare providers. This includes industry and technology consulting expertise, security and access management technologies, and IT infrastructure management services.

The NASH will be built to meet the standards and requirements of the National e-Authentication Framework, the Gatekeeper PKI Framework and the National Smartcard Framework managed by the Australian Government Information Management Office.

Here is the release from NEHTA on the same topic:

http://www.nehta.gov.au/media-centre/nehta-news/823-nash

NEHTA Selects IBM to Secure the National E-Health Agenda

1 March 2011. IBM awarded $23.6M dollar contract to develop nation-wide authentication system for electronic health records.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has been awarded a $23.6M dollar contract with the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) to design and build Australia’s National Authentication Service for Health (NASH) project.

The NASH will provide the first nationwide secure and authenticated service for healthcare organisations and personnel to exchange e-health information. The project will act as a cornerstone in transforming Australia’s health system including the establishment of a Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCeHR), and will help drive the smarter use of data, information and communications in healthcare delivery.

Under the agreement, IBM will utilise its combined hardware, software and services capabilities to manage the project delivery of the NASH system for Australia’s healthcare providers. This includes industry and technology consulting expertise, security and access management technologies, and IT infrastructure management services.

In order to facilitate the rapid adoption of NASH by the healthcare software community, NEHTA is providing a software development kit (SDK) that will allow existing healthcare systems and deployments to quickly and seamlessly integrate with NASH. This SDK will also ensure that transactions are properly authenticated and audited in accordance with Australian standards.

Together with clinical terminology, messaging standards and unique healthcare identifiers, the NASH will provide one of the fundamental building blocks for a national e-health system, as well as providing security credentials for use at the organisational and local level.

“Our agreement with IBM enables NEHTA to build a system that will give healthcare professionals timely and secure access to appropriate patient information,” said Peter Fleming, Chief Executive Officer, NEHTA. “In turn, the NASH program will take us one step closer to broader healthcare access for all Australians.”

Andrew Stevens, Managing Director for IBM Australia and New Zealand, said the agreement represented a vital step in promoting the broader take-up of e-health, enabling a more patient-centric healthcare system and improved health outcomes for Australians

“This programme will benefit over 600,000 Australian doctors, nurses and allied health providers and accelerate the delivery of smarter healthcare across the entire healthcare system,” said Mr Stevens.

“By partnering with IBM, NEHTA gains access to IBM’s deep healthcare industry expertise and proven record in delivering complex business transformation projects,” Mr Stevens added.

IBM’s work with NEHTA is another example of how IBM is building powerful new systems around the world that improve the delivery of healthcare. IBM is creating smarter, more connected systems that deliver better care with fewer mistakes, predict and prevent diseases, and empower people to make better choices.

This includes integrating data so that doctors and patients can share information securely, seamlessly and efficiently. IBM also helps clients apply advanced analytics to improve medical research, diagnosis, and treatment to improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs.

NEHTA was established in 2005 by the Australian federal, state and territory governments to identify and develop the foundations necessary for an e-health system.

-ENDS-

For more information on NEHTA please visit: www.nehta.gov.au

For more information on IBM please visit: www.ibm.com

Here is the short blog that ‘pre-announced’ the outcome.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Rumor Central - Who Will Deliver NASH for NEHTA?

I wonder if it is true but it seems IBM may have won the tender. I expect we will see an announcement that tells us if I was right or wrong over the next few days!

We await a working NASH!

David.

All I can say is things do move more slowly than one might imagine!

There is a heap of coverage:

Go here:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/ibm-wins-government-e-health-security-contract/story-e6frgakx-1226013765428

and here:

http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/378207/ibm_secure_e-health_records/

and here (if keen - it’s all the same stuff!)

http://www.itwire.com/business-it-news/networking/45484-ibm-wins-24-million-e-health-gig

What is yet to come is any discussion of what is actually said in all this.

There are some real contradictions and questions I reckon especially about who is going to do what.

I find the release NEHTA release confusing.

Is this saying that IBM will deliver NASH or will project manage delivery and that there will be a whole lot more costs to come.

Compare:

Sydney, Australia – 1 March 2011: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has been awarded a $23.6M dollar contract with the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) to design and build Australia’s National Authentication Service for Health (NASH) project.

With (a few paragraphs down):

Under the agreement, IBM will utilise its combined hardware, software and services capabilities to manage the project delivery of the NASH system for Australia’s healthcare providers. This includes industry and technology consulting expertise, security and access management technologies, and IT infrastructure management services.

Which is it either or both?

We then read

“In order to facilitate the rapid adoption of NASH by the healthcare software community, NEHTA is providing a software development kit (SDK) that will allow existing healthcare systems and deployments to quickly and seamlessly integrate with NASH. This SDK will also ensure that transactions are properly authenticated and audited in accordance with Australian standards.”

How can they do that until the NASH is designed and built? It seems to me there are 3 major jobs here:

1. Design and build (and presumably test, trial implement and pilot)

2. A procurement task for the requisite smartcards and card readers.

3. A major implementation and change management task for the proposed 600,000 users.

In the background there are all sorts of organisational issues establishing the entity to issue, revoke and replace credentials and so on once you get rolling.

I wonder who is doing what and how much is going where. Of course, yet again there is no public business case.

It is utterly clear that implementation will be a multiyear effort to cover the providers (600,000) and what about the public? I am not at all sure they are actually involved in any real way other than the Health Minister wittering on saying:

“It is critically important that when our doctors and nurses use e-health systems they know that they are sending and receiving communications to and from the right people,” Minister Roxon said.

“This system will put in place strong access control mechanisms for PCEHR so that patients will be able to grant access to their information – and be able to track which providers have accessed their records.”

If we are going two factor authentication for the public I reckon IBM has underbid to blazes!

The real test will be what happens from here.

We will need to see a detailed implementation plan to work out just what they are doing, what the timelines are and how the costs stack up. Ms Roxon’s timelines look pretty rubbery to me.

Of course I guess all that will also be secret so the first we will know about how it is going will be when the larger clinical community gets to see what they are being stuck with.

I wonder will IBM make NEHTA behave. All I can do is wish them luck!

Who was it who said the only thing better than winning a Government contract as losing it!

David.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like "No one got sacked for choosing IBM" is just as true as it ever was.

It would be nice it the people running the show had some idea about what they were doing however.

Anonymous said...

I'm aware IBM was involved with the SBR (Standard Business Reporting) initiative run by Treasury & the ATO.

SBR involves lodging documents and forms electronically with government (business to government)via "AUSkey - single secure sign-on or common authentication system for government online services".

I believe this gives IBM some serious credentials for developing the NASH service.

Anonymous said...

Lets see if they can do a better job than the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. The plainning of this agency was a joke and still is!!
Bill

Anonymous said...

Well IBM wasn't involved in the implementation and data cross matching of AHPRA in the same way it was arms length removed from the QLD Payroll stuff-up. Therefore it would say whatever went wrong was not its responsibility. !!!! !! That's the way big vendors work - big cuddly arms to hold you tight until they let go!!!! !!