Sunday, February 12, 2012

I Have An Answer For What the Senate PCEHR Committee and Minister Plibersek Could Do To Sort Out the DoHA / NEHTA / E-Health Imbroglio!

While chatting with a colleague it hit me!
What the Government needs to do is mobilise its internal resources - already mostly paid for - to take a look at NEHTA and the PCHER. Program.
There are 2 key resources they might use.
First we have:

The Australian Government Information Management Office

The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), Department of Finance and Deregulation is working to make Australia a leader in the productive application of information and communication technologies (ICT) to government administration information and services.

e-Government Strategy

The strategy charts how the Government is building on progress in e-government to date, and how the Government is progressing towards the vision of connected and responsive government by 2010. Activities are in four main areas:
  • meeting users' needs
  • establishing connected service delivery
  • achieving value for money
  • enhancing public sector capability.

ICT Reform Program

AGIMO programs

Further information on AGIMO programs is available on the following topics pages:

Recent Publications

More here:
Looking at those AGIMO programs - who better to advise Senator Collins and the Committee on the quality and so on of what has been done by DoHA and NEHTA in the PCEHR Program.
Better still this organisation reports to the Finance Department led by Penny Wong!
The other entity is, of course the Auditor General.
Read what these people are intended to do!

About Us

The Auditor-General is responsible, under the Auditor-General Act 1997 (the Act), for providing auditing services to the Parliament and public sector entities. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) supports the Auditor-General, who is an independent officer of the Parliament.
The ANAO's primary client is the Australian Parliament. Our purpose is to provide the Parliament with an independent assessment of selected areas of public administration, and assurance about public sector financial reporting, administration, and accountability. We do this primarily by conducting performance audits, financial statement audits, and assurance reviews. The ANAO does not exercise management functions or have an executive role. These are the responsibility of entity management.
We also view the Executive Government and public sector entities as important clients. We perform the financial statement audits of all Australian Government controlled entities and seek to provide an objective assessment of areas where improvements can be made in public administration and service delivery. We aim to do this in a constructive and consultative manner. This includes working co-operatively with those with key governance responsibilities in entities, including Audit Committees.
As part of its role, the ANAO seeks to identify and promulgate, for the benefit of the public sector generally, broad messages and lessons identified through our audit activities. The ANAO's Better Practice Guides disseminate lessons on specific aspects of administration. In addition, our newsletter, AUDITFocus, captures succinctly some of our experiences that are likely to be of general interest to public sector managers.
The ANAO has extensive powers of access to Commonwealth documents and information, and its work is governed by its auditing standards, which adopt the standards applied by the auditing profession in Australia. In accordance with these standards, our performance audit, financial statement audit and assurance review reports are designed to provide a reasonable level of assurance. The actual level of assurance provided is influenced by factors such as: the subject matter of the audit, the inherent limitations of internal controls, the use of testing and cost considerations.
The ANAO adopts a consultative approach to its forward audit program, which takes account of the priorities of the Parliament, as advised by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, the views of entities and other stakeholders. The program aims to provide a broad coverage of areas of public administration and is underpinned by a risk-based methodology. The final audit program is determined by the Auditor-General.
The ANAO plays an important professional role by contributing, both nationally and internationally, to the development of auditing standards, professional practices and the exchange of experiences through participation in various peer and professional organisations.
Here is the link!
Assessment and review by these two agencies of what has gone on, who has done what with whom and why, how well it has been done, is it reasonable and safe to proceed, where we now are and so on is what the Committee needs. With this expert advice the Senate Committee can then decide what comes next.
Even if the reporting of the Committee was delayed for a month or two, in the grand scheme of things it would not be any real problem and we could also all know that there were sensible hands on the tiller going forward!
How annoying I did not think of this when writing this late last week.
Silly me!
I apologise in advance if such referrals have already happened for offering gratuitous advice!


Anonymous said...

AGIMO are already involved but I'd love to see ANAO go thru it with a fne toothed comb!!!!!

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

I hope AGIMO have a wide brief and that ANAO equally can get at this for real. Thanks for the hope!


Anonymous said...

Without Audit Office involved any examination will be fruitless. In addition, the Audit office will need to take on board some independent ehealth expertise well versed in the industry to fill holes in its knowledge base. This business is so complex it is terribly easy to pull the wool over anyone's eyes without trying too hard.

PG said...

Not only is this a good idea it is imperative that the health sector embrace and adopt existing industry wide platforms (notably PKI, Web security, encryption even document exchange)rather than eternally reinventing the wheels into exponentially larger and complex failures. Give it all to AGIMO and a council of IT experts to harmonise e-health practices into the real world

Anonymous said...

I think that the real problem Nehta faces is dealing with all this criticism. Imagine if you were in their position! How can they be expected to work when they are always fighting for their existance.

What is required is a legislative commitment for decent funding for a decent period of time. Say $1 Billion over 7 years. During that time the senior mangement should be given accademic like tenure with unbreakable contracts so that they can focus all their energy at the job of hand.

Also during that period, Nehta needs to have the privacy that all corporations require. To only disemintate information when they consider it to be in a fit state to be diseminated.

And finally, at the end of the period, Nehta should write a report into their activities and successes. This should be tabled just after their next seven years funding has been approved.

Disclaimer: I am a contractor that does very well out of Nehta.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

All I can say that your self interest has made you deaf and blind to NEHTA's failings.

Your suggestions are just nonsense in my view!


Anonymous said...

Errrr, David. I'm not the author of the previous comment but I'd hazard a guess that it was written with more than a touch of irony.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Possible - indeed likely - but I felt the need to make it clear I felt it was drivel - even though the hoped for outcomes were pretty extreme - suggesting such motivation!

There are still a deluded few who think NEHTA is flawless remember - especially those with their noses deepest into the trough!


Anonymous said...

The sad part is that in the late 1900's Australia led the world in terms of ehealth adoption with HL7v2 messages being transmitted into the general community with good success.

This was well in advance of other industry developments. Its been the "help" given by governments in the form of HealthConnect and Nehta that has derailed a healthy industry. Even now we have widespread adoption of systems capable of delivering the benefits of the grand plan that can't get any airplay because they make Nehta look silly. Thats not a hard job mind you. We don't need other industry experts to come in and advise, thats been tried about 4 times but healthconnect and Nehta. We need the industry itself to be rewarded for compliance with existing standards and try and pick up where we left off about 12 years ago!!!

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

The Industry may not need help but the politicians do to really understand what has gone on - and to work out what to do! That is the view I am putting.

They need serious help to really understand all the issues - including those associated with the industry!