Thursday, August 09, 2012

It Seems NEHTA Finds It Helpful To Pay People To Turn Up and Listen To Them. They Must Have A Great Message Or Is It Something Else?

The following appeared today.

E-health bureaucrats spend $5m on travel

THEY'VE produced an e-health record that so far can't be used by doctors, but the bureaucrats in charge last year spent more than $5 million on travel and on stakeholders in five-star hotels.
The National e-Health Transition Authority, with 257 employees, told a Senate estimates committee it spent $4.3m on travel in 2011-12 and more than $1m on events, conferences and dinners in five-star hotels.
Liberal National Party senator Sue Boyce said that after five years and hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers' money, all NEHTA had managed to deliver was a toll-free number.
"It's clearly time for an independent review of the performance and expenditure of NEHTA," she said.
Opposition primary healthcare spokesman Andrew Southcott said despite a budget of $218m over three years, NEHTA had still to deliver an e-health record that could be used by patients and doctors.
The revelation comes after NEHTA pulled out of a roadshow for Australian surgeons in Kuala Lumpur after inquiries by The Australian.
Earlier this year, NEHTA told the Senate it had spent $37,000 on entertainment between July last year and February.
This week, the agency revealed that amount did not include more than $1m it spent on stakeholder engagement events, conferences and dinners. One event at Sydney's InterContinental Hotel in April was attended by about 100 people who were offered steak and seafood, creme brulee or a chocolate dessert, and wine.
Read more about the extravagances and excess here:
For even more interesting information you can go direct to the source of the story found here:
These are NEHTA’s responses to Questions on Notice following the Budget Senate Estimates hearings a month or so back.
There are about 51 questions and most are just ducked and or rather arrogantly ignored.
Question 49 is just a ripper!
Senate Community Affairs Committee

ANSWERS TO ESTIMATES QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

National e-Health Transition Authority (NeHTA)
Budget Estimates 2012-13
Question: 49
OUTCOME 10.2: e-Health
Topic: Practitioner training for the PCEHR
Senator Boyce asked:
During Estimates Mr Peter Fleming was asked a very specific question and I quote; “How many Practitioners will be trained to use the PCEHR as of June 30 2012?”
The question wasn’t answered, it’s a number between 0 and 10,000, could you tell me the exact number please?
Answer:
3,629.
If that is true - there are pigs flying past my study as I type. Given not a single practitioner has software to connect to the PCEHR as yet what does this answer mean? And how would such an exact number have been determined?
We won’t even discuss that it seems the blogger (Question 1) who opposes what I do seeking openness and transparency in Australian e-Health, and doing it for nothing, is being paid by NEHTA on a ‘commercial in confidence’ basis. I wonder is the public getting value for money for these funds?
It seems to me NEHTA treating the Senate the way they are is likely to lead to some very sudden vacancies there should the next Federal Election turn out as presently seems almost inevitable. Pretty gutsy behaviour I reckon.
David.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

"A Health Department spokeswoman said yesterday more than 4950 consumers had registered for an e-health record, which they could access and update."

They can access and update their record, with what? Seriously in isolation of any clinical information, is that really worth what we have spent?

For $5m expenses in a year, that is a thousand dollars for each person signed up.
For the big number , well that is $100,000 for each person signed up (assuming they stop this nonsense tomorrow).

This needs to be halted and reviewed now before we spend loads more money justifying this consumer-unusable system.

The harsh light of reality is starting to shine from the pollies, they can no longer hide between the cause and the effect! They need to spill the learnings!

But hang on what is that I can hear in the distance, the sound of a big multi-national consulting company coming to the rescue to fix all this and make it right for another $100m. Or is it the sound of the alarm bell waking me?

Anonymous said...

This commenter is either stupid or dishonest. The pcEHR is still coming up. most of the money went to features that aren't yet available, but are coming. Then we'll know whether we got our money's worth

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous 5:58:00 PM said...
This commenter is either stupid or dishonest. The pcEHR is still coming up. most of the money went to features that aren't yet available, but are coming. Then we'll know whether we got our money's worth"

That's so funny. Pay on delivery is a better idea. Makes it happen. And we don't lose interest on our money.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said .... "The pcEHR is still coming up. most of the money went to features that aren't yet available, but are coming." So is Christmas, year not specified!!!!!!
Most of us are not going to hold our breath waiting for anything to turn up any time soon - that will be usable anyway. Meanwhile, more taxpayers $$$ are going up in smoke with nothing to show for it.

B said...

Anonymous said .... "The pcEHR is still coming up. most of the money went to features that aren't yet available, but are coming."

How the system is to be built and implemented is as important as what is to be built.

There seem to be large slabs of the system that are not covered in the ConOp and there is no publicly available plan detailing the implementation.

All we are left with is the plea "trust us, we know what we are doing".

Unfortunately, the track record of DoHA and NEHTA does not engender trust and the available evidence is that they don't know what they are doing.

Sad.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting moment isn't it? If you have been a PCEHR fan, and beating up on the 'negative' critics, how long do you hold on to this perspective before you accept that the critics might have been right? Here is a suggestion PCEHR fans - get a piece of paper, write on it what you consider would be a 'fail' - eg how many australians are using PCEHR, or what functions are available, or by how much care has been improved - and a date for calling that as a pass or fail - and put the paper away until the date. Open it up on the day, and make your judgement.

J said...

"We won’t even discuss that it seems the blogger (Question 1) who opposes what I do seeking openness and transparency in Australian e-Health, and doing it for nothing, is being paid by NEHTA on a ‘commercial in confidence’ basis. I wonder is the public getting value for money for these funds?"

He certainly promotes more balanced discussion compared to the constant shrieking coming from this blog.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Hello J,

No one is forcing you to read here. Feel free to get your views elsewhere!

David.

Bruce Farnell said...

I was quite appalled at the very poor quality response to the questions from the Senate.
I thought the response on Q12 was interesting in what it didn't say. This was an opportunity to discuss the qualitative research underpinning the PCEHR.
From the feeble response we can safely assume there wasn't any research undertaken - which is no real surprise.

J said...

Hi David. So are you saying that you don't really want a balanced discussion? I come here in the hope that you, and others, provide us with both the good and the bad but I'm constantly frustrated at the overly negative criticisms that I read. Comment 2 on this thread is a good example - someone provides a differing view and is immediately cut down by a number of people, despite making a good point.
I'm sure some people turn up here, have a read, then go away with a distorted view of what's really going on. That's the problem I have. You are obviously very passionate about this stuff but I just think that passion could be directed a bit better.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Hi J,

I believe my views on this is evidence based and well informed. I have been saying for a long time this is the wrong project being done the wrong way.

You are entitled to your view and me mine!

Time will tell who is right.

David.

Anonymous said...

Dear J
I think the difference on this blog is that the comments are primarily from people who have worked long and hard in eHealth, and so they know what the issues are, and they enjoy having an open, non-censored, non-sterilised conversation about their concerns. If you think about it, it is a good thing - people need to voice their disappointment and sadness at missed opportunities somewhere. It is therapy for the true believers in ehealth and its benefits. You should not keep your grief bottled up, it isn't good for you. Anyway - you are also whinging about this blog!

Anonymous said...

"Comment 2 on this thread is a good example - someone provides a differing view and is immediately cut down by a number of people, despite making a good point."
@J I don't think a good point is made by starting a comment by saying someone is stupid or dishonest. As David says, this project is showing all the hallmarks of a great idea gone horribly wrong. You can put lipstick on the pig, but it is still a pig. IMHO, the only reason that there is so much negative comment here at the moment is that there is little to be positive about wrt the PCEHR.

Anonymous said...

"Comment 2 on this thread is a good example - someone provides a differing view and is immediately cut down by a number of people, despite making a good point."

Actually this person started with an insult saying the first comment was by someone who is "stupid or dishonest". In what way is an ad hominem attack "making a good point"?

Has it occurred to you that perhaps the 'negative' folks actually just might be right?

J said...

Come on people you know what I meant with my comment about comment 2. My apologies for not discounting the opening sentence but I still think that saying "...The pcEHR is still coming up. most of the money went to features that aren't yet available, but are coming. Then we'll know whether we got our money's worth", is a 'good' point. :)
David also says "Time will tell who is right", which I agree with. This baby has only just been born, we should probably let it grow a bit before we say it's useless.

Anonymous said...

It does seem kind of silly to me that some of the same people who complain that they don't get consulted also complain when NeHTA does consultation. There are plenty of real things to complain about without just complaining about stupid stuff.

Anonymous said...

"The pcEHR is still coming up. most of the money went to features that aren't yet available, but are coming. Then we'll know whether we got our money's worth"
@J - this would be fine if we had spent half a mill or so - not 500 - 1000 Mill (depending on what numbers you look at). For this amount of cash paid to consultants and NEHTA, I would expect a system to work out of the barrier - not in some undefined time scale!

Anonymous said...

"It does seem kind of silly to me that some of the same people who complain that they don't get consulted also complain when NeHTA does consultation. There are plenty of real things to complain about without just complaining about stupid stuff."

Someone may really need to read the article, or at least read it again properly and thoroughly.

Undoubtedly the commenter believes themselves to be exempt from leaving comments complaining about stupid stuff.

Pray tell, what real things seriously need complaining about if the context and content of the article is not sufficient and substantive enough for you, and do share them with this BLOG's avid readership instead of just complaining about stupid stuff.

As an aid to the misguided but solicitous, any real complaints regarding NEHTA, it's NEHTA, not NeHTA for a start.

B said...

J said...

He certainly promotes more balanced discussion compared to the constant shrieking coming from this blog.

I'm wondering what a "more balanced discussion" means.

Is J suggesting that individual bloggers express their opinions in a "balanced" way?

I express my opinions based upon my experience and the available evidence. I'll certainly change my opinion if the evidence changes.

Is J suggesting that David manages the postings so that both sides of the argument are balanced? Or to put it another way, is J suggesting that David censors the postings so as to give a "balanced" but distorted view of the opinions of the commenters?

I suggest that far from "constant shrieking", this blog largely represents the opinions of informed and experienced observers, some of whom have an emotional or other attachment to the NEHRS.

IMHO, on balance, the opinion of the contributors to this blog is that the PCEHR is in deep trouble.

The only way to change the group opinion is to prove them wrong - with evidence, not promises, unsubstantiated claims or accusations of bias.

Anonymous said...

Yeah that is after all what blogs are for. If you want sugar coated, then go to Doha and Nehta or the Paid blogger. If you want balanced then read them all.