Sunday, September 13, 2015

Now Here Is A Comment (Or Two) That Really Need More Comment and Exposure!

This popped up a few days ago:
It was a comment posted on a blog I posted on the apparent shambles we have seen with the DHS aged care portal.
Here is the original blog:
Here are the comments

Karen Dearne said...

Well this portal's lack of functionality is not due to a lack of money ... a quick check of AusTender shows that around $24 million has been spent on it to date.
The Department of Social Services, which inherited this project from DoHA, has recently increased the value of its contract with service provider APIS to $12.8m, for the period Jan 2014 to June 2016; this started out at $4.26m so that's good going just 18 months into a 2.5-year contract.
APIS has been paid a further $5.6m for its work on this project, dating back to 2012. DoHA was responsible for almost all of the development work and contracts.
PwC pocketed $4.6m for change and benefits management; KPMG got $324,000 for "provision of options" for linking the service and Healthcare Management Advisors received $241,450 to develop a cost model for aged care assessment through the gateway (a DSS contract).
McGrathNicol did the probity advisory services for $148,500; Oakton helped out with additional support for $225,300, while a Talent business analyst earned $91,000 for six months work along with a Clicks recruit who made the tea for $19,300.
Interestingly, ThinkPlace Unit Trust was paid $79,420 to create an operational blueprint for the gateway in early 2013, another $32,180 in June to finalise the operations manual "to reflect increased scope", and in July another $32,180 to get it out the door, presumably.
Seems as though they didnt bother asking any doctors, aged care people or consumers....
BTW, a quick search of tenders for "portal" or "gateway" puts this one right up there with most expensive. And it doesn't work. Genius! From the people who brought us the PCEHR
A second comment followed which also contained more than a germ of truth:

Dr Ian Colclough said...

Seems as though they didn't bother asking any doctors, aged care people or consumers....
I often wonder whether those responsible for such healthIT fiascos (heaven knows there is no shortage of them) have any idea who they are developing such systems for. Is it possible they have no idea what and who comprise their target market and potential users.
Or is it simply that they are just incapable of engaging with end users to ascertain their needs, incapable of asking questions or incapable of interpreting any information that is received if they do ask questions. Or perhaps it's simply that the air these people exist in is so rarefied that their brains, if they have any, are deprived of the vital oxygen required to sustain life
Amusingly we have now had DHS confess they messed up:

Govt admits to botching aged care website

Tessa Hoffman | 8 September, 2015 |
The Federal Government has admitted its new online aged care referrals system is flawed and has caused longer waits for vulnerable elderly patients to access vital services.
The new MyAgedCare website, launched on 1 July, was supposed to simplify referrals for aged care assessments and Home Care Packages.
But it has faced a barrage of criticism from GPs, who have labelled it unsafe and clunky.
Criticisms include that the three-page online form for aged care assessment team assessments is clunky and time-consuming because it does not marry up with practice software, forcing GPs to enter three pages of data manually, and it does not conform to national secure message delivery standards.
Last week, the RACGP hit out at the Department of Social Services (DSS), saying mistakes could have been avoided if it had consulted with grassroots GPs when developing the site.
In a statement sent to Australian Doctor on Monday, the DSS acknowledges the site’s shortcomings and says it wants to further develop MyAgedCare to assist GPs, who it says are integral to aged care.
“The department acknowledges there have been some implementation issues with the MyAgedCare rollout, including longer wait times and delays in referrals being issued.
“We are committed to improving the current approach to referrals by developing a web form specifically designed for GPs and other health professionals to make referrals, which is expected to be available in 2016," the statement said.
More here including DSS statement.
Yet again we have a Government Health related web-site that has cost lots (thanks Karen for all these fantastic details) for what is very simple functionality.
Dr Colclough is dead right - there is severe oxygen starvation surrounding the people giving us all such rubbish! I wonder will things ever improve?
David.

2 comments:

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

“We are committed to improving the current approach to referrals by developing a web form specifically designed for GPs and other health professionals to make referrals, which is expected to be available in 2016," the statement said.

A portal? With a web form? To be filled in manually? By highly paid and skilled health professionals? And that's an improvement?

And nobody who has been trying to implement such a brain dead idea has had the guts or smarts to point out the flaws in this?

Some ideas are so bad they should never have seen the light of day, and this is one of them. If the problem of inter-system integration is so difficult that the best solution is the lowest common denominator of typing data into a web form then that says to me that the state of this country's health information systems is bad, very bad. And adding another bad system just makes it worse.

Anonymous said...

what's the point in wasting delicious commentary if nobody is going to bring the government to account for the behaviour of the bureaucrats? Where's the outcome?