This blog is totally independent and has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
More Spin Than A Texas Twister. That Is What NEHTA and DoHA Are Giving Us It Would Seem.
THE National E-Health Transition Authority has redefined "delivery" in relation to technical specifications released to the software industry, whereby "delivered does not mean complete".
A NEHTA Specification Dashboard provided on March 14 to the ICT Implement Group managing the introduction of the personally controlled e-health record system included an unusual disclaimer.
"'Delivery' does not mean complete in the sense of all components of the specification bundle. NEHTA has provided partial releases of the 'specification bundles' in some situations to support market access to specifications as soon as possible. For example, some Conformance Profiles are yet to be published. Otherwise, components required for software vendors to commence work on NEHTA Specifications are present," it says.
The ICT-IG comprises senior representatives of the Health Department, NEHTA, Medicare and three industry bodies -- the Medical Software Industry Association, the Australian Information Industry Association and the Aged Care IT Vendor Association.
The Australian understands the confidential document, prepared by NEHTA's head of PCEHR architecture on February 2, was provided to the industry representatives at the meeting, but they were not permitted to share it with their members.
Macquarie Dictionary defines "deliver" as: to give forth or produce; to make a delivery of services; to perform a task competently and professionally; come up to expectations.
A Health Department spokeswoman said the dashboard document tabled was provided "as a draft to that meeting to test the appropriateness of the content and presentation for material intended to be shared with the members of the industry associations".
"There were some refinements to this document as a result of the discussion, and the specifications dashboard has since been published," she said.
"The term 'delivered' and the accompanying reference to 'complete' was an acknowledgment that more supporting materials would continue to be delivered.
"The technical specifications have been and remain complete, and materials such as conformance profiles, the Conformance, Compliance and Accreditation tests and test cases continued to be refined with industry representatives at the time the document was discussed in March."
According to the dashboard document, the only PCEHR specification bundles fully available for use were the advanced care directive; the B2B gateway including repository services and conformant repositories; template services and the PCEHR common specifications.
The eDischarge summary, eReferral, event summary, shared health summary and specialist letter each had a specification "delivered", but the implementation guidelines had all been withdrawn pending revision.
The Electronic Medications Management specification was "delivered" by virtue of being a spec produced in 2010; this was withdrawn by NEHTA on February 28, pending development of a revised specification and was available "for information only".
A version of the PCEHR Architecture specification was "delivered" in November 2011, but a revised version is currently in production.
An existing specification for secure messaging was "delivered", but is not currently usable due to a lack of infrastructure, yet to be provided by NEHTA.
The PCEHR consolidated view January forecast for delivery was not met. The core security policy, December 2011 forecast for delivery was not met. The conformant consumer portal January forecast for delivery was not met.
And the National Authentication Service for Health February forecast for delivery was not met and a new time line is still under negotiation.
More spin, if you can stomach it, is to be found in the rest of the article here:
What is really amazing is that all these ‘deliveries’ have not actually been subjected to the real test of having been implemented and used for a period to see whether they actually work or not.
One can only marvel at the way success can be carefully plucked from delay and under performance.
I am sure that we would wind up doing much better with our efforts and make much better use of the funds involved if we had a great deal more openness and focussed the NEHTA media unit of the facts, not the spin.
As always it is the governance and leadership approach that is adopted that is a key determinant of project success or failure with things like the NEHRS. Sadly that is still lacking in my view.