Monday, August 15, 2011

Rumours Confirmed On Winner of PCEHR National Infrastructure Tender. Condolences and Congratulations!

The following reports appeared today.

Accenture-Oracle bags major PCEHR deal

  • Karen Dearne
  • From: Australian IT
  • August 15, 2011 9:34AM

AN Accenture-led consortium has won the pivotal contract to deliver a national IT infrastructure for the Gillard governments $500 million personally controlled e-health records system.

The team includes Oracle and Orion Health, in a reprisal of the Accenture-led consortium that last year won a $146m contract to deliver Singapore’s e-health records program.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon has promised that by July 1 next year, every Australian who wants one will have access to a personal e-health record, leaving a very tight timeframe to complete the project build.

The contract -- originally due to commence last month -- involves the detailed design and construction of the whole system, integration with existing health IT infrastructure across the nation, and testing.

Accenture began hiring for the project last week, seeking staff with experience in Oracle’s service bus integration engine, identity management architecture, business intelligence enterprise suite and Siebel OnDemand customer relationship management.

Orion Health will supply its Concerto medical applications portal, which sits on top of existing information systems and gives doctors a single point of access for patient records, lab results, digital images and service orders.

Accenture has been boosting its health IT credentials for some time, with a particular focus on the public sector.

More here:

There is also coverage here:

Exclusive: Accenture wins national e-health IT contract

Oracle software to back Federal Government's e-health record system.

The Department of Health and Ageing has awarded a consortium led by Accenture one of the biggest IT deals to be offered in Federal Government this year: a contract for development of Australia’s personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) system.

The contract, awarded this week for an undisclosed amount, would be worth a sizeable chunk of the Federal Government’s $466.7 million investment into the records.

The tender, which had been delayed for several months in late 2010 and early 2011, called for a "national infrastructure partner" to design, build, integrate and test the PCEHR.

This involved the build of an operations centre and core ICT infrastructure for the PCEHR program, the development of portals for healthcare suppliers and consumers for access to e-health records.

It would also be required to build a call centre to handle inquiries about the system.

More here:,exclusive-accenture-wins-national-e-health-it-contract.aspx

I have to say all one can do is with them luck. They are being driven to deliver an unworkable solution which will wind up being an enormous waste of money. If I were a vendor this is a contact I think I would have liked to lose!



Anonymous said...

The real winners therefore seem to be:

ORION (NZ company and California-based with 300 employees and 22 projects in 12 countries and experience in health information exchanges across US, Canada, Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific) (The Australian K Dearne 15 Jan 2011 - Oracle in the right place)

Concerto (Orion's single point of access medical applications portal)

Rhapsody (Orion's middleware, integration engine)

HealthLink (Orion's secure messaging provider and primary care integrator)

and, based on the Singapore National e-Health Records Project (one health record for 5 million citizens):

IBM (with its Initiate Identity Hub & records locator service from Initiate Software)


Accenture as the leader of the consortium.

Any losers?

Well, NEHTA has a managing agent role and when confronted by that lot above it is fair to say NEHTA will be subsumed and totally irrelevant.

The states? They had better start co-operating with the big picture exponents and stop pussy-footing around with their fragmented jurisdictionally insular localized projects.

In short - what we see here is DOHA going for critical mass. Throw everything at the problem big-time, break down the barriers, bury the naysayers.

There are only two possible outcomes – critical mass OR critical mess.

You’re a braver man than I am Gunga Din.

Anonymous said...

My crystal ball reckons a very expensive mess! With significant negative effect on the delivery of health to the public!

Anonymous said...

Any losers?

Every local health software provider in Australia

Every local services or consultancy company in Australia

Everyone who's ever contributed to standards development or health informatics in Australia

Every health provider who wasn't consulted, but apparently are having this built with their participation

Every consumer who thought there would be some real progress in health reform enabled by eHealth

Every taxpayer whose tax is wasted on this white elephant

Anonymous said...

Government does not solve problems; it subsidises them.

Anonymous said...

and so say all of us

Anonymous said...

Orion Health's involvement in this project is like deja vu all over again. In the late 1990s they (Orion) were wheeled in at the last minute to provide a 'solution' for Health Connect in Tasmania. They also 'won' the NSW Health-e-Link project, by all accounts a $30 million dollar fizzer. Has it been switched off yet?

It seems as if they can always come up with an 'out of the box standards-based solution' (oxymoronic I hear you ask?)in order to save the day for embarrassed governments that discover the task at hand is a little harder than it looks.

The success of this approach should be judged on the eventual outcomes.

One other matter. The correspondent above describes HealthLink as 'Orion's secure messaging provider and primary care integrator' this is an incorrect depiction. It is true that Orion does have a large stake in HealthLink but they are quite separately run companies and I happen to know that there is a lot of tension between them, especially over shared record strategies.

However I will leave that to them to confirm or deny.

Hmmm, a solution based approach or a standards based approach, lets see what happens next?

Anonymous said...

Given the deadlines, I don't think that there was any option other than to select an existing (and highly successfull) Integration Package. If anyone can pull this off, it will be Orion and the stakes are so high that they will pull out all the stops.

Orion do use standards - the nature, and world-wide implementation base, of their products mean that they have probably implemented every standard in the E-Health playbook and will be able to implement NEHTA's adaptations of these standards faster than most.

Since when have solutions and standards as mutually-exclusive concepts in software development?

Anonymous said...

Just for fun - lets be another Anonymous but with a twist. If you are going to bag something put your name to it otherwise shut up. I can be Anonymous because i believe in the PCEHR and whilst it might be a bit slow or rocky at first surely better to start. It must be easier to iron out wrinkles than spend bloody ages discussing what an iron is !! If anyone is going to bad mouth this then put your name to it - at least Geoff did that.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

2 Questions.

Who is Geoff?

Why are you not using your name?

I am you will note, and for the record I think the PCEHR is an ill conceived pile of 'dog poo' that is doomed to failure and I hate massive and obvious waste of my taxes.

If there was a reasonable plan I would be keen as mustard but this is just a rubbish plan in my view!


Anonymous said...

Dude the reason we do not put our names to the entries is we work in the industry. Sad reflection on the industry - but as an insider, it is 100% true that if my name was on this, it would effect me personally.

If the PCEHR was not such a massive political reach, I can assure you I would not be throwing rocks but debating the finer points of the project.

I am a great believer in EHR's, and this breaks my heart as what we have is a flawed model. Not something to iron out the wrinkles, what we have is something that is simply not going to work.

I repeat it will not work is the most commonly held view I hear by those both inside and outside the castle walls.

A lot of the valuable info will simply not be on, why are GP's going to be using this GP told me they would not bother using it as they are only interested in their notes, plus they already have a delivery system for DS's with the major hospitals.

Medicolegally - it is very unclear, and finally the AMA aint on board which is a 6 inch nail in the coffin.

Doubt all you like - if the proposal was robust and David was attacking it, I'd have no issue in coming on here and defending it. The proposal model is flawed, and I see this harming an industry I care about.


Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...


It's worse than that. This will set e-health back a decade and it can only be someone who doesn't really understand that does not realise that.

"I am a great believer in EHR's, and this breaks my heart as what we have is a flawed model. Not something to iron out the wrinkles, what we have is something that is simply not going to work.

I repeat it will not work is the most commonly held view I hear by those both inside and outside the castle walls."

This is just not a useable EHR for docs or patients.. That simple!


Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

"Anonymous said...

Dude the reason we do not put our names to the entries is we work in the industry. Sad reflection on the industry - but as an insider, it is 100% true that if my name was on this, it would effect me personally."

Of course DoHA and NEHTA should be held accountable for their approach to openness and free speech. Frankly is just sucks!

Come the revolution these jerks will be the first to go I certainly hope. They have exercised power in a very nasty and sad way as far as I am concerned.


Anonymous said...

The root cause of the problem is the Occupational Psychopaths hard at work in NEHTA and having so much fun watching you all squirm. Impossible to get rid of them

Anonymous said...

I assume that you were one of those that work in the industry that did not get a piece of the pie? Perhaps it is your model that is flawed? As a practicing clinician (and i with hold my name purely as it would affect my business also!) i am most concerned that you and others NOT involved continue to complain. The GP's in my region have a system that will be both contributing to and receiving information from the PCEHR and they seem more than happy to do this and see great value. Perhaps again your GP friends are not part of one of the Wave 1 programs and too are moaning at missing out? If this program helps any clinicians improve the level of information available to us to better treat our patients then surely this is good. If the model is flawed as you suggest then we have wasted money - which we do right now by practising under the "i know nothing" method so lets do it all again just to be safe !! Given a choice .....

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:16 - Happy to take that deserved backhander, and acknowledge you raise some fair points.

Like a lot of us, I am quite passionate about e-health ...this is both a blessing and a curse in the industry. I would think most of the criticism here is not based upon who got or missed out on work, there is a lot of work on the go and I don't know too many unemployed health or health IT consultants.

No this GP practice is certainly not a Wave 1 site, and perhaps all will be won over.

I would love to see more positive comments and defense of the PCEHR on here, from what I can see it is open to all comments. I read these blogs to keep in touch, and my view is a long way from being set in stone.

I am not sure the model I favour is the right one either, however from my professional viewpoint - politically developed rather than industry models tend to strike problems downstream.

I'm concerned the AMA is on the outside of this process, I'm concerned that the people I have professionally dealt with appear to talk a good talk but there are a few leaps of faith that I may take as a consultant but as a taxpayer I shake my head.

The do nothing model has a significant downside too, as you rightly pointout.

Who knows? ....Hope I'm wrong!

Anyway good to see a divergent view.


Anonymous said...

We all know the field needs to progress but "Doing Something" is not enough to justify half a billion. We would all like it if they were "Doing Something Sensible" rather than a political exersize that actually works against the long term good.

I doubt anyone who posts her is against eHealth, but to spend a fortune on a doomed plan is not good enough. Many of us have been doing a lot for > 10 years and to devise a plan that most in the industy think is fatally flawed should ring alarm bells. The sensible path for those in the industry is actually to ignore it and continue to do sensible things rather than waste energy on this bunch of drongos. However they have attempted to shut down even the volunteer eHealth Standards process to try and cut off the oxygen to alternatives and that smells of desperation and a sick culture of power and arrogance. The Hollow men are in full flight.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

"We all know the field needs to progress but "Doing Something" is not enough to justify half a billion. We would all like it if they were "Doing Something Sensible" rather than a political exercise that actually works against the long term good."

I could not have put it better myself!


Anonymous said...

As the Dr who posted at 9:16 - thanks for the bit of support. Whilst i too agree that $477M is a lot (most going to Accenture i see) it is going to take significant funding and time to do this. If anyone expect Rome (or eHealth for that matter) to be built in a day - lets' at least learn from tha past! We have to start - no more time for talking or planning - we are wastin huge funds and clinical time right now. If i as a doctor get just the ability to see that a patient has even had a visit to another facility somewhere i did not know about i am already far better informed. I know to look and ask more - sure it will take 5 mins longer but Hey - if i treat my patient better it's git to be better for them and that's why i entered medicine. If every single point raised about the CONOPS was considered when would we start ? Let's give it a go and lets see. If everyone got onside then the tide would be a positive one and i reckon more funds would be made available and all those other IT companies and people that want to be involved could be and do stuff at a more loacl level - just like the Wave 1 & 2 sites.