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Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Friday, February 15, 2008

Useful Reaction to E-Health Tender in the Financial Review.

Just a brief heads up that the Financial Review has published two articles on the National E-Health Strategy Tender.

They can be found at:




Your humble blogger is mentioned along with some other e-Health contributors.

The summary is that the need to do the strategy is agreed but that there are some major issues with the approach proposed and the timeframes.

I hope some common sense will prevail. As a colleague often says in the Health Sector “there is no time to do things properly, but always time to do the same thing again”

It would also be very interesting to see the Australian Health Information Council (AHIC) report e-Health Future Directions which is a driver for initiating the tender but has not been made public. Why on earth would that be?

Finally – just why isn’t the Commonwealth Department running this tender and why is the Victorian Preference Policy in place on a national tender?



Anonymous said...

It is frightfully embarrassing for a public servant or a politician to acknowledge that nearly all healthIT projects underway around Australia are in a mess. In the face of such failures it is even more embarrassing to have to admit that the much hoped for strategy that was going to 'solve' so many of these problems has in itself been a grand failure. That alone accounts for why there is so much secrecy. It is driven by a terrible fear of being wrong again and an inability to find new ways of addressing the issues no matter how embarassing they may be.

Now look what's happened - they want to cobble together an ehealth strategy for the entire nation in 3 short months. It is little wonder so many are so concerned.

Anonymous said...

Hi David,
I hope that whoever wins the tender to develop a national e-health strategy has a good look through your blog, as it provides some very good material – and it is free!
Reviewing the objective of the e-health project:
“The objective of this project is to develop a national e-health strategy through the identification of a national vision and goals for e-health.”
Focussing on your point that a business case is needed, and we need to have a health outcomes/benefits focus, then there may be little to be gained in developing a strategy for ‘e-health’ per se. Do we want more of it, or less of it? Or do we want to invest in the infrastructure components (a la Nehta?)so that people can actually do e-health applications better?
At least HealthConnect, with all of its failings, initially anyway, had a focus on applying e-health to the development of a national electronic health record. But even HealthConnect could not work out exactly what its application of e-health was – i.e. who would use/access the electronic health record under what circumstances, what level of detail would be required, and who would benefit. MediConnect was a more focussed application, and might have resulted in something useful, except that it was “generalised” up to “a component of HealthConnect”. And now it seems that it has all been generalised up to ‘e-health’. Unfortunately, the way the e-health strategy tender is written and the short time frame allowed, smacks of technology trying to find a project.
It will be interesting to see what they come up with this time. For the rest of us, it seems like ground hog day.

Anonymous said...

David, both commentators make very good points, but with all due respect to the last it simply is not good enough to say: ...... "It will be interesting to see what they come up with this time."

It's not a matter of waiting to see "what they come up with" ... it's a matter of getting it right and getting it right by doing it properly and competently this time - NOW.

Aus HIT Man said...


They need to work very hard to get it right. Appropriate, implementable, consultative and practical would be up there in my view.


Jim Cocks said...

I'm confused as to why a whole of nation project has been farmed out to the Victorian State government to handle. The fact that VIPP policy is included immediately cuts out a large number of potential responders, and leads one to suspect that the document has been hurriedly cobbled together to an external timeframe. It is also startlingly vague as to outcomes and objectives.

Anonymous said...

The AHIC report is being made available to bidders to help them develop their responses. Any one got it yet?

Aus HIT Man said...


But it is a State Secret - have to burn before reading etc etc. Sadly it is a remarkably un-inspired document in my view so you are not missing out on much. The summary points I published months ago are spot on and cover what it says pretty completely.


Aus HIT Man said...

For AHIC Recommendations see blog of October 23, 2007. They are exactly correct a far as I can tell.