Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I Wonder Will We Ever See Accountability Like This. I Won’t Hold My Breath.

The following appeared a few days ago.

Bipartisan bill would slash iEHR funding

May 16, 2013 | Erin McCann, Contributing Editor
Members of Congress are lauding a bipartisan bill that limits funding for an integrated electronic health record system between VA and DoD and requires aggressive progress updates from both agencies, which have, in recent months, come under fire for the dilatory pace at which they're moving forward with the iEHR. 
At a subcommittee mark-up hearing Wednesday, John Culberson, R-Texas, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies, called the bill a bipartisan success. "Our bill this year has dealt with the failure of DoD and VA to develop a single unified medical record in a very straightforward, commonsense way," he said.   
The bill, Culberson explained, will limit the funding toward the iEHR to 25 percent — of the $344 million requested. The agency will not receive the remaining dollars until they can prove to both agency subcommittees that they're actually implementing a plan to create and roll out a single, unified medical record.   
Just this February, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and then DoD Secretary Leon Panetta announced that plans for a fully-integrated EHR between departments would be scrapped due to cost concerns.  
Original estimates for the iEHR were pegged at $4 billion to $6 billion. However, in September 2012, the Interagency Program Office revised its previous estimates, figuring the final price tag to be from $8 billion to $12 billion.   
Following fierce criticism from policymakers and prior to a Congressional hearing on the agency's iEHR progress, VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker and Chief Technology Officer Peter Levin submitted their resignations.
Congressman Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., and ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, & Related Agencies, also expressed positive remarks toward the funding restrictions. "I'm very pleased," he said in the hearing.   
 Lots more here:
What a good plan - provide a reasonable amount to start a major project - and then pay for success. If success does not come then change those charge and turf the old lot out on their ear. There is something we might learn from all this.
David.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dream on!

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

re: "Original estimates for the iEHR were pegged at $4 billion to $6 billion. However, in September 2012, the Interagency Program Office revised its previous estimates, figuring the final price tag to be from $8 billion to $12 billion."

When estimates change by that amount it usually means they have not thought through the problem and potential solutions.

Compare the approach described in this report
"Mater CIO shows QLD Health 'how it's done'"
http://www.itnews.com.au/News/343627,mater-cio-shows-qld-health-how-its-done.aspx

Quote:

The CIO of Brisbane’s Mater Hospital has set out the case for the hospital’s staff to take over the failed Queensland Health payroll project.

A KPMG report into the bungled project, which required a major boost in staff numbers to ensure employees got paid, has suggested it will eventually cost $1.25 billion to fix.

But Mater Hospital has challenged some of the report's assumptions about the unique complexity of Queensland Health’s payroll, arguing it could be fixed for $172 million.

Mater Health chief information officer Malcolm Thatcher took to the stand yesterday at the commission of inquiry investigating the failed payroll project.

Thatcher told the commission Mater Hospital’s payroll replacement project, which was similarly complex to that of Queensland Health, took five years to scope, build and deliver, at a cost of $9.1 million.

...

He (Thatcher) told the inquiry the hospital spent nine months scoping the rostering solution, and an additional six months scoping and planning the payroll project.

“In the case of payroll, that 
was actually a 12 month process of just planning for the implementation before the project commenced,” Thatcher said.

end quote

In other words, they thought it through before going to market.

IMHO, it's always a good idea to know what you want to buy before you go out to buy it. Otherwise you buy on impulse, emotion and in hope.

Not a good strategy when dealing with large scale information systems.