Sunday, April 20, 2014

You Would Have To Say Government Seems Pretty Awful At Doing Technology. Victoria Seems To Lead The Way!

This appeared today.

Plug pulled on schools' disastrous Ultranet computer system

Date April 20, 2014

Farrah Tomazin

The Sunday Age's state political editor.

After $180 million in taxpayer funds and years of political angst, the most bungled computer system to hit Victorian schools has finally been switched off.
The state government has confirmed the IT experiment known as the Ultranet has officially ceased, ending one of the most controversial projects ever rolled out in public education.
The software was intended to transform the way students learn by providing parents with information about their child's lesson plans, giving teachers a place to collaborate and share their curriculum, and allowing students to set personal goals and get feedback online.
Instead, it was plagued with tender problems, blew out by three times its original budget, and ultimately proved so clunky only 4 per cent of the intended 1.5 million teachers, parents and students decided to use it.
…..
It is not the only technology disaster to cost Victorian taxpayers millions of dollars over the years. The myki ticketing system was more than three years late and $350 million over budget. The HealthSMART program, which was meant to ''revolutionise'' the way hospitals dealt with patients, and the LINK police database were also plagued with problems and cost blowouts of $140 million and $100 million respectively.
And in the education portfolio yet again, a student administration program for TAFEs to keep records of their enrolments and finances came under the spotlight last year after blowing out from $66.9 million to almost $100 million within four years.
Full article here:
What a fantastic collection of failures! Some one really needs to tell them to stop trying the way they presently are!
I wonder will we see the PCEHR as a national example in a year or two’s time. These sort of projects seem to be very hard to bale (or is it bail) out of!
See here:
Happy Easter.
David.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't be too sure about that - VIC and Federal Governments have just placed a $48 Million order for US developed Epic (uses Intersystems technology) at the Royal Children's Hospital. Perhaps its time for a new boy on the block with an impressive track record.

Curious that the Feds are contributing 50% to the cost.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

If the track record of other US entrants into our market is to be taken seriously we have to assume the implementation will cost more than budgeted and take longer than planned.

Their reputation is excellent I agree but this seems like an unusual move for them given the rather limited market that is available. And the first installation in any new country always throws up unexpected problems in my experience.

I may be wrong but I don't recall reading of them actually doing installations outside the US and Canada so it will be interesting to see how it goes.

David.


Anonymous said...

From experience, there are always problems with Australian statutory and other reporting requirements, patient billing an claiming, clinical costing and activity-based funding; and depending on the scope, integration with other applications (internally, and externally - e.g. PCEHR).

Anonymous said...

For the foreseeable future your concerns 4/21/2014 11:32:00 AM are relatively inconsequential. The first steps are implementation planning and staged roll out of the Epic system including modifications and enhancements required to meet RCHs needs. Patient billing and claiming, clinical costing and activity-based funding including PCEHR interfaces come much later in the piece. Getting the basics deployed first is Epic's goal to lock the customer in to a long term pathway for 20plus years.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Sorry most recent anon but that is rubbish! If you do not have a plan to conform to the local environment upfront you risk the whole project.

We oldies have seen it all before!

David.

Anonymous said...

Hi David
EPIC is being installed at the Cambridge Trust in the UK and there are/were some small site in Netherlands.

Statutory reporting in Victoria is a huge problem for imported Clinical Systems. It rather dulls the effectiveness of the system when they have to run auxillary or parallel systems for local statutory reporting.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness - don't they have any other activity / site in Australia - somewhere in SA maybe? Surely the RCH is not going to be the very first site in Australia. Are we about to witness a repeat of the Cerner saga?

But then, hey, come to think of it - what are the options? HealthSmart's CSC (iSoft) Lorenzo? Or TrakCare another Intersystems system.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

All good questions!

David.

Anonymous said...

"HealthSmart's CSC (iSoft) Lorenzo?"

Even if they were giving it away??

Tell 'im he's dreamin'!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dik_wnOE4dk

Anonymous said...

Dear 4/22/2014 09:39:00 PM - thanks. I was just being provocative. I agree with you. Which brings me to the $48 million question I would like to put to you and David's readers - Under circumstances prevailing in the Australian market and overseas is there a better alternative than EPIC that RCH should be considering notwithstanding the potential risks ?

Anonymous said...

From all reports it sounds as if EPIC has fortuitously got itself to the stage where doctors accept it as a workable EHR.

With all the others the risk is that the doctors will not be accepting of the system or will require a lot of work to get them on board.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Don't be deceived. EPIC has also had at least one or two stormy and difficult implementations in the US as far as I can recall - as have pretty much all other providers.

This Google search shows you.

"Epic EHR problems"

David.

Anonymous said...

Yes, financial risk would have to be a big one with EPIC.

$48 million plus extras is a staggering amount of money for one hospital - in another universe compared to what most of us are contemplating.

Still, HealthSmart spent more than 10 times that with not a lot to show for it.