Sunday, January 13, 2013

This Is Simply Not Acceptable For An E-Health System. It Is A Design Disaster.

This is what we see when we visit the Australia.gov.au site today.

Service availability and scheduled outages

Service                                                                                 Name    Status
Australia.gov.au
Australia.gov.au will be unavailable between 8pm Saturday 12 January and 6am Sunday 13 January 2013 AEDST. System upgrades are occurring during this period.
MyAccount
The MyAccount system will be unavailable between 8pm Saturday 12 January and 6am Sunday 13 January 2013 AEDST.
During this time users can login to existing Australia.gov.au accounts and access linked agency accounts (DHS, eHealth and DVA). However creating new Australia.gov.au accounts and linking to agency accounts will be unavailable.
There is a short interruption to the MyAccount system between 1.00am to 1.15am Saturday 12 January 2013 AEDST.
During this time users will be unable to login or create Australia.gov.au accounts, or link to agency accounts. However users already accessing agency accounts will be unaffected.
System upgrades are occurring during these periods. We apologise for any inconvenience.
For eHealth related issues contact the helpline on 1800 723 471 for assistance during these periods.
For more information see the links below:
·         Department of Human Services
·         Department of Veterans' Affairs
Mapping          
Mapping will be unavailable between 8pm Saturday 12 January and 6am Sunday 13 January 2013 AEDST. System upgrades are occurring during this period.
Search
Search will be unavailable between 8pm Saturday 12 January and 6am Sunday 13 January 2013 AEDST. System upgrades are occurring during this period.
The link were this is (was?) found is here Sunday (11am 23/01/2013):
It seems it is just tough if you (or a carer) need access to your NEHRS when these planned 10 hour outages are happening. On what basis would a decision be made to have access to the NEHRS provided by a portal that was not designed for 99.9999% uptime. What is happening is simply not fit for an e-Health system.
People do not stop having strokes, fits and heart attacks on the say so of the idiots who run this portal. Just what are NEHTA and  DoHA thinking in using this clearly unsuitable portal as a gateway to a billion dollar system. Why is there not a purpose designed portal? Hopeless clowns are what these policy makers are in my view.
On the list of stupid this decision this is right up there with the IBM’s view that the world would only ever need 10 computers - until it realised it was wrong and got rolling on a few more.
This design ‘feature’ of the NEHRS needs a re-think - and now!
For a great page of design wisdom - have a look here:
Might help guys.
These two especially appealed:
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. - Thomas Edison
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. - Richard Feynman
I wonder will the B2B and other routes to the NEHRS work when we are having these outages?
David.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

David, the notification does state that "During this time users can login to existing Australia.gov.au accounts and access linked agency accounts (DHS, eHealth and DVA). However creating new Australia.gov.au accounts and linking to agency accounts will be unavailable.".

It is still the most user unfriendly system I have ever seen for anything, but at least it will available for existing users (and there aren't many of them, for obvious reasons).

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

So how do you get there with australia.gov.au not available? It is just a mess.

David.

Anonymous said...

I think Accenture is the party at fault, NEHTA does not run the operations and the less we focus on Accenture the more entrenched they will become in ehealth,

Terry Hannan said...

This posting reminds me of my early days with the the Centre for Clinical Computing System in harvard and the Regenstrief System in Indiana. "The clinical system has priority over all other systems and it has been designed that there should be NO DOWNTIME! I belive they have been able to achieve this as has the HELP and Brighams & Womens Hopsital systems. When was this achieved? 1990s!

Anonymous said...

The outage page is reasonably clear in terms of impacts on PCEHR:
consumers could not register or create a link to PCEHR during this period, but those who had already registered could log on and use the PCEHR consumer portal.

Provider portal and B2B do not use aus.gov and were not impacted.

Are you suggesting that there would otherwise have been a significant number of people who would have registered for a PCEHR between 8pm Sat night and 6am Sunday?

There looks to have been a short period, 1am to 1:15am, where new logons weren't accepted to the consumer portal. Again provider portal and B2B not impacted.

On the other points, the use of aus.gov is government policy, it is a whole of govt solution that is not provided by Accenture nor NeHTA.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

If australia.gov.au is unavailable as they say how do you log on?

To quote:

"Australia.gov.au will be unavailable between 8pm Saturday 12 January and 6am Sunday 13 January 2013 AEDST. System upgrades are occurring during this period."

Seems clear to me.

David.

Anonymous said...

To quote from your own blog post:

"During this time users can login to existing Australia.gov.au accounts and access linked agency accounts (DHS, eHealth and DVA). However creating new Australia.gov.au accounts and linking to agency accounts will be unavailable."

I'm not sure how that could be more clear.

My understanding was that it behaved as described during this time period - you could log on and navigate to PCEHR. You couldn't create a new account.

Anonymous said...

"Are you suggesting that there would otherwise have been a significant number of people who would have registered for a PCEHR between 8pm Sat night and 6am Sunday?"

Errr,

The Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record System is currently unavailable for new registrations.
Please keep referring to this page for any updated messages on availability

As of this post according to the link in the main body. So what is going on? Still can't register now? Thought it was going out Saturday back on Sunday?

Looks like a design bug to me to rely on this. They can make all the excuses they like, but is is obviously broken and not thoroughly tested, which for the price paid just sucks! What a crock!!

Can Accenture really design and build IT systems that can guarantee the availability needed for health? This is one of many disappointments, including the price!

There are well documented risks with IT projects that have been studied since the 60s. Two of the major risks are trying to do too much too soon and requirements validation. Small projects with real end users and sensible time frames can overcome this and succeed. Large software projects (disgustingly large at $100m in 1 year) with unclear requirements and uninvolved stakeholders say so much about the expertise and ethics of those commissioning and executing them?

When will this mob stop looking after their top end of town mates at the expense of our taxpayer $ ? They are an embarrassment.




Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Seems new users are still not welcome as of 1pm.

http://www.ehealth.gov.au/internet/ehealth/publishing.nsf/content/availability

This page identifies scheduled outages to the eHealth record system.

The Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record System is currently unavailable for new registrations.

Please keep referring to this page for any updated messages on availability.

David.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 12:03 - did Accenture build australia.gov.au? If not, what is the relevance of your comment?

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

NEHRS Outage seems to have been solved as of 5pm 14/01/2013.

David.

Trevor3130 said...

It may be worth glancing over some changes at AGIMO. The CIO role has been split.
Archer refers to two documents, one of them the Williams Report on restructure of AGIMO, which includes
In this context, however, AGIMO is currently working with DHS to encourage its online account holders to move across to australia.gov.au. As a result, the number of accounts has risen significantly from 69,000 in January 2011 to 354,000 by October 2011 and, as DHS is hoping to move all of its customers across by December 2012, the further increase is likely to be very considerable. Work is also underway with DoHA to use australia.gov.au to provide access to individual electronic health records, which will result in a further significant increase in the number of accounts.
[Apology if this is old news.]

Anonymous said...

Accenture are not at fault here. They had no control over the use of australia.gov.au. which as has been pointed out is govt policy.

The fault lies with those who didn't allow for alternate paths for registration when the primary was not going to be available for lengthy periods.

If the thing ever gets up to speed - the same outcome is likely for logons.

Anonymous said...

"Accenture are not at fault here. They had no control over the use of australia.gov.au. which as has been pointed out is govt policy."

IMHO his is typical of the attitude that the large generic consulting companies have, they are experts at this, not solving the real problem. Scope management for millionaires, mission accomplished, we'be been paid!

Perhaps for the $100m and $23m per year support they might think and come up with something like:

1. Put a page up that takes some details and email you back when the system is available.
2. Put up a chat icon that lets someone from a call centre talk you through the process on your behalf.
3. Put up a call centre phone number for you to call.
4. Put up a second page that takes your details in the same way and sends them via a web service to the failed system when it is back up.

Any of the above is preferable to the "sorry but sod off" web page that we get, and the first three cost nothing, with the fourth costing less than a couple of months to implement.

Excuses, when solutions are available, is very old world thinking, time for a change of guard I think.

When are DOHA going to start supporting local agile health industry companies rather than large generic consulting companies. Instead we get something that doesn't meet expected signup rates, is difficult to use and quick to cry "Not my problem" when things go sideways.

I am starting to feel for the client.


Anonymous said...

With this attitude towards the customer, it's no wonder DOHA don't have regard for the local software industry.

I guess it's a choice do the stupid you're told to do, or stand back and complain