Quote Of The Year

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

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Professor Patrick Releases a New Version of His Review of the Implementation of Cerner FirstNet.

About two weeks ago I published a comment on a blog posted in the US expressing concern that this report had been censored.

The original post can be found here:


There we many comments and discussion on the topic both on the blog and elsewhere.

Today Prof. Patrick has released a new upgraded and expanded version.

In part his announcing e-mail reads as follows:

"Dear Colleagues

I wish to advise you that I have released Version 5 of my essay on the use of Firstnet in NSW hospitals. It can be found at my Laboratory's web page in the section on Essays. It is item number 6.






The document has been much expanded and contains much more discussion. It is well worth a read. Other details of the saga are also found at his website.



Anonymous said...

OMG eerie deja vu! Is there anyone else out there who remembers the Gerber Ally/FDC implementations in NSW Health back in the ?80s/90s - same problems - US based vendor not listening and the reports were not able to be produced, etc. (That will be extra!) I can't remember how it ended - either NSW Health pulled out, or the vendor went broke. Anyway the dear old legacy system (HOSPAS) had to be hauled back up and reimplemented, and stayed around for many years - green text on black screens and mouseless! History repeats itself...

Anonymous said...

Oh yes there are a lot of us out there who remember it well - 'the old days' no less. Let me say this - Gerber Ally (First Data Corporation) piloted at Royal North Shore. Like all US s/w vendors they were going to have a very rough time of it - and they did. They actually saw the light and politics at the time allowed them to 'extract' themselves from their NSW contract obligations without the Gov't having to pay an onerous penalty for 'terminating' the contract. It was in both parties interests to part ways and put it all down to experience. Cerner, like GA, didn't want to listen to 'the customer', "we'll show you how we do it in Ameeerrrriccaaaa and that's they way you should do it too'. So stubbornly Cerner persisted with its inflexible ways whilst Gerber went home with its tail between its legs. Which one made the right decision?

Anonymous said...

I was employed with a small, viable, technically advanced health s/w company at when Cerner and Gerber Alley were selected by 'tender'. Our company was not the only Australian health s/w developer excluded from consideration. No matter how good we were, how satisfied our customers, how viable our business we were carte blanche excluded up front. We were not the only Australian company to be treated in this way. Two such companies I recall had exported their software overseas. But the state healthIT bosses at the time wanted US solutions so they set up impossible pre-selection barriers to rule us and others out of contention. One of the most contentious and unfair barriers of all was the need to demonstrate we had annual revenues in excess of a 'set level' ($50 million or thereabouts from memory)which virtually excluded all Australian-based solutions. Enormous damage was done to our local industry and we bear the pain of it today.

Jim Cocks said...

Ahhh....memories, memories!! Dear old HOSPAS indeed, along with GA and Cerner. I actually came across a large regional Base Hospital in rural NSW two years ago still using HOSREP!!

Did we miss the Queensland offering of Burroughs BTOS (I'm not joking) along with McDonnell Douglas systems on which large amounts of additional money were spent on a fully staffed unit who had the job of 'customising'the solution? This in addition to the hardware and sofware acquisition and implementation costs.

Part of the problem is that the State Health systems are large (in NSW 200+ hospitals, never mind community health, public pathology, and related services), so the market is potentially huge and very profitable. When public servants evaluate tender responses they are a bit nervous about accepting responses from smaller companies which may have limited large scale rollout and implementation resources, not to mention that if the smaller company fails financially, the Health services then have to takeover the company's source code, and expend large amounts of money on providing ongoing support and maintenance of the system internally.

This is not to say that the exclusion for tender referred to in the last post is desirable, but it is understandable.

Jim Cocks said...

A second quick comment occurred to me - is there any reliable information on software used in the private hospital sector in Australia?