Sunday, December 11, 2011

Here Are Some Weasel Words To Make One Absolutely Cringe As Tassie Health Swings an Axe at E-Health! How Did I Almost Miss This!

The Google alert system spotted this for me early this week. It has been around for a few days.
As I read I just became more and more amazed at the brazen spin I found myself reading.
Greg Johannes
Acting Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services - Tasmania
Tuesday, 29 November 2011


The Department of Health and Human Services is to restructure its use of information technology to improve services to patients and clients.
Acting Secretary Greg Johannes said the plan to restructure the DHHS Care and Business Solutions branch had been under discussion with staff and unions for several weeks.
The plan was further communicated to affected staff today and would be refined through consultation over coming weeks.
“There are a number of important national reforms being rolled out, and how we use information technology to enable eHealth will be a key part of making sure the reforms are successful.
“In order to play our part in reform, we need to make sure our use of information technology and associated staff resources is innovative and responsive to the needs of patients and clients.
“By its nature, information technology has to be cutting edge and innovative – so the staff structures we use should mirror that.
“The structural changes communicated today will help make our organisation more efficient and more sustainable, while delivering required budget savings.
Mr Johannes said staff and unions have been consulted through the review process.
“We have taken a measured and planned approach and will have a leaner structure that will focus on essential services for Tasmanians.
Mr Johannes said that the restructure mainly affected the Care and Business Solutions branch, which on the first of October 2011 employed 67 staff.
The new structure will see a net reduction in full-time equivalent positions of up to 42 positions.
The Care and Business Solutions branch has traditionally been responsible for project delivery and consultancy services across the Agency.
“It’s also important to bear in mind that some staff will be able to be transferred and others may leave voluntarily – so the final number of impacted staff is still to be determined.”
Mr Johannes said that the restructure also opened up a number of opportunities for staff which would be explored further.
“We anticipate that some current staff will not have a position in the new structure, and we will work hard to redeploy staff across the State Service as quickly as possible.”
The full release is found here:
Now let us parse what is actually being said here. The key points are:
1. We have taken the axe to our Care and Business Solutions Branch.
2. The reduction in staff will be 63% i.e. only 37% of the staff will remain.
3. These changes will make the Branch sustainable
4. We have decided to focus on essential services.
5. Losing 63% of our staff will save money and at the same time make everything more efficient.
There are only two conclusions that can be drawn from this. One is that the Branch was grossly overstaffed and management simply did not notice or two is that we are going to stop providing at least half the services we used to (implying they were not needed).
In a time when we are apparently seeing a transition to the use of more e-Health to try and preserve front line services and improve safety and efficiency this is a just appalling and more shockingly transparent piece of political spin.
No wonder the Minister does not have their name attached to such a stinking piece of rotten fish.
This was not a restructure - it is an out and out massacre!


Anonymous said...

There are a few interesting dots to be joined down here:

DHHS has a new Chief Information Officer, Belinda Quinn.

She arrived from the NHS, without much external fanfare, after being picked by ex-Secretary David Roberts (also from the NHS)

This: looks like Belinda's LinkedIn profile

Check out the health and IT components of her CV

Her main claim to fame seems to be this:

Not sure where this is headed, but it doesn't look good!

Anonymous said...

I can hardly say I am surprised at the brutality that the story implies. Ms Quinn has a left a formidable trail of broken dreams and unhapyy staff in her wake in the UK. She has an almost pathological hatred for internal IT resources and rather than trying to manage through difficulties and coach and mentor a team she throws all the toys out of the sandpit on a regular basis. The project she was "leading" at Royal Berkshire Hospitals is a disaster with most clinicians refusing to engage or use the tools in their practice. The Trust is tied into outsourcing contracts it will be unable to afford and costs have overrun out of control as a result of mismanagement of the patient record project she was responsible for.

Anonymous said...

Nasty bit of work, a disgraceful misguided sad individual, obvious problems accepting her own mental and physical limitations, universally despised, regarded as unstable, yet she thrives, bless her. Voted "most likely" at the NHS to have her head shoved down a full toilet. She has the same people skills as Pol Pot, but without the subtle approach.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are describing the classic workplace bully otherwise described as an occupational psychopath.

Anonymous said...

This was the disaster that was anticipated in this blog. Having engineered the demolition of the existing IT business services team, Quinn left after a year having upset too many people. With the payouts to the existing staff to leave, her "restructure" would have cost dearly while at the same time robbing the organisation of years of corporate and IT project management knowledge. What is truly troubling is the lack of accountability for her actions and those that employed her. The new CIO is now rebuilding the structures and processes and although it's early days they have an eerie resemblance to what was there before. Clearly the previous managers knew what they were doing.

Anonymous said...

Grapevine says she is now in WA working on the Fiona Stanley project. Anyone know if that's true?

Anonymous said...

She has dropped off the radar. I see she stopped telling people she was a medical doctor after she moved to Oz but now she has deleted her LinkedIn profile. I wonder if anyone will ever catch up with her.

Anonymous said...

Quite apart from who wielded the axe there is "What is truly troubling is the lack of accountability for her actions and < those that employed her >." ....what kind of person brings in someone to carry out such actions?? And are they still in place?

Anonymous said...

I think this says it all: