Friday, September 13, 2013

An Interesting Report On The Benefits Of the Huge UK National Program For Health IT (NPfIT)

This appeared a little while ago.

DH reveals final NPfIT benefits

2 September 2013   Lis Evenstad and Rebecca Todd
The Department of Health released its final report on the benefits of NPfIT in June, six days before it told the Public Accounts Committee that it would not be available until September.
EHI has discovered that the DH website says the ‘Final Benefits Statement for Programmes Previously Managed Under the National Programme for IT’, was published on 6 June.
The statement is the DH’s response to a request by the committee in August 2011.
At a meeting on 12 June, PAC chair Margaret Hodge asked Tim Donohoe, the senior responsible owner for the local service provider programmes at the DH, when the benefits statement would be made public.
“We are working through to validate because we do not want to put in the public domain information that is incorrect. I think that we are probably three months away from being able to publish,” he answered.
Despite it being a final benefits statement on a government programme worth more than £12 billion, the report appears to have been published without a press release or media alert about its existence.
When Donohoe was asked at the meeting if he had a figure for the benefits of NPfIT to March 2012, he said: “I apologise to the committee that we do not yet have that figure. I will present it as soon as it is available.”
The final statement’s foreword by NHS England chief executive Sir David Nicholson says that an estimated £3.7 billion in benefits had been realised to March 2012, but the DH predicted that a total of £10.7 billion could be realised by the end of life of the systems.
This is against an expected cost of £9.8 billion over the same period.
The report acknowledges that benefits reported to date have been, in many cases, disappointing, but says the release of benefits should “increase significantly over time as the systems bed in and are able to be utilised to their full potential”.
 “NPfIT was a classic example of believing that if you spend enough money on IT, the savings will automatically flow. But that’s wrong thinking - IT expenditure has to be locked in to what is to be achieved in terms of clear strategic and operational objectives,” he said.
Bywater advocated a more locally owned approach.
“NHS organisations should be much more pragmatic and go for smaller more practical steps with specific responsibility at local level for achieving clearly defined strategic objectives,” he said.
Full article is here:
The last three paragraphs say it all. Remind anyone of an Australian project.


Anonymous said...

Does the "Australian Project" even know what a Benefit looks like, let alone knowing how to measure one??

Wasn't there a few tens of millions of PCEHR Taxpayers' money spent on a "Benefits Realisation" consultancy?

Has anything actually been produced and published for the "benefit" of Australian Taxpayers yet??

Fair shake of the sauce bottle NEHTA and DOHA.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

Benefit is different from value. A benefit is a characteristic of a solution. It is up to the person with the problem to determine if that benefit has value.

Example: If a car has a benefit that it can seat six people then that may or may not have value to a potential purchaser. If a couple is looking for a car, seating six people may have no value. In fact a six seater car may be too big to fit in their small garage. A benefit to one person may be a deal-breaker to another.

Vendors sell benefits, buyers want value. It is up to the buyer to determine if a benefit translates into value.

Benefits realisation is a technique employed by the naive and ignorant. IMHO. What really matters is if the solution solves the problem and doesn't cause too many problems of its own.

In the case of the PCeHR, the problem is ill-defined and the problems it has created are myriad and potentially costly.

Anonymous said...

"Price is what you pay, Value is what you get!" (Warren Buffett)

Both "Benefit" and "Value" are in the eye of the beholder, and neither materialises until the beholder appreciates the "Value" and/or realises the "Benefit"...

One man's trash is another man's treasure, as the saying goes and very insightfully so.

The bigger problem here is that the Taxpayers have paid a consortia of consultants:

* McKinsey & Co.
* Ocean Informatics
* Trilogy Information Solutions
* University of Queensland


How many "millions" of Taxpayer money ($5.8M ??) and what exactly is there to show for it over two years later??


DOHA and NEHTA need to come clean and publish whatever this consortia of consultants have produced to-date on Benefits Realisation for the PCEHR and not hide behind any veils of "Commercial in Confidence" or engineered protection behind FOI laws and regulations...

If they don't publish what the Taxpayers have unjustly paid for, then the punters can only assume there's something unsavoury to hide!

The LNP can add this to their growing list of questions as part of their upcoming “Review of the PCEHR”…

Anonymous said...

I cannot remember seeing anything at all about this component of the pcehr program (benefits realisation). Also, I could be wrong, but ocean informatics seem to have been included on some of the winning consortia lists, but then completely ignored. Big pity because they were meant to deliver a key bebeficial component of eHealth to enable interoperability- from the concept of operations, the template service. That all seems to have been swept under the carpet now. So now we have just another non-interoperable silo. Note to reviewers: what happened to the template service?

Anonymous said...

Lots of little companies get selected as part of a 'consortia' bid where usually the Prime Contractor is a major vendor or consulting organisation. That's the easy bit. The little vendors get overlooked, neglected, left behind, ditched overboard, while the big vendors like IBM, HP, TELSTRA, ACCENTURE, ORION get the gold. Always has been, always will be.