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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 05, 2010

NEHTA Says AusHealthIT Blog is ‘Out of Touch’.

The following appeared today.

NEHTA rejects criticism of UHI project

Shannon McKenzie - Friday, 5 February 2010

THE National E-Health Transition Authority has defended its Unique Health Identifiers (UHI) project, following the leak of an independent review that raised serious concerns over the project’s management and progress.

The review, conducted by technology consulting firm SMS Technology in March 2009, gave a damning critique of the project, pointing to a lack of project management, a “dysfunctional project team environment” and “a lack of clarity on all aspects of the project”.

The report was leaked to health IT consultant Dr David More, who posted the executive summary on his blog, Australian Health Information Technology.

NEHTA clinical lead Dr Mukesh Haikerwal labelled the blog as “out of touch”.

“The study was done a year ago. We conducted the review, we spotted the problems and we dealt with them... Our UHI project is now ready to be delivered,” he said.

More here (registration required):


Great to hear I am totally disconnected etc.

I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to answer the following.

1. What is the motivation for any healthcare provider to use the IHI given the time and inconvenience it imposes?

2. How can the HI service start before national registration of healthcare providers is operational and bedded down? Does not even start until July 1, 2010

3. What is the actual implementation plan for the HI Service – why secret 5 months before it begins?

4. Why is ‘spin’ needed to introduce this if it is such a wonderful idea? (see blogs over the last few days)

5. Who is funding the modification of all the software in client systems that is meant to look up the HI Service?

6. When NEHTA folds in a year or two are forward funds committed to support the HI Service? If not what happens next?

7. Just what exactly will be delivered by 1 July 2010 and how many lives do you expect it to save each year once it is operational?

8. Which clinicians have committed to use of the HI Service by July 1, 2010?

I look forward to the answers on all this! Public clarification would be good!



Anonymous said...

NEHTAs clinical lead Dr Mukesh Haikerwal labeled the blog as “out of touch”.

Dr Haikerwal said “The study was done a year ago. We conducted the review, we spotted the problems and we dealt with them... Our UHI project is now ready to be delivered”.

Of all people Dr Haikerwal should be very well informed. It is his responsibility to all his medical colleagues everywhere to ensure that he is. Having spent a year, or is it nearly two, as NEHTAs Clinical Lead he has had the opportunity to work very closely with NEHTA and to monitor its work and its progress. He would not speak up in public like this if he had not been totally reassured and convinced that the UHI is ready to be delivered.

He is not naïve and he knows that if he is wrong or found to be not telling the truth the repercussions for him personally would be very great. It is not possible for him to say later that he was misled if he is found to be ‘wrong’. If his claim above is a falsehood would he not have opted to remain silent rather than mislead us all?

Dr David More MB, PhD, FACHI said...

Looking at the SMS Review of the HI Service and what was said in Senate Estimates in the same month it seems the Government itself has in the past been totally misled.

See here:



Anonymous said...

Here we are 11 months later in February 2010.

In March 2009 Ms Halton said "I will tell you two things: firstly, I am trying not to make the same mistakes that I have seen other people make elsewhere, and I have seen people spend an awful lot of money for no outcome—a huge amount—so we are actively trying not to do that."

In the light of what we know today Ms Halton some things are crystal clear:

1. no-one else anywhere in the world had made the same mistakes that you have made and they would not want to.

2. as for spending an awful lot of money for no outcome you really should take a long had look in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

It looks more like Dr Haikerwal who is out of touch. I think you have done him a favour bringing NEHTA's shortcomings to his attention. Hopefully he will try and do something about it. He should have plenty of creds at the top of government. I'm sure Kev07 would give him a hearing. Health is his big election platform so he should at least be informed of the facts.

Anonymous said...

NEHTA's goals and objectives pivot around market engagement. It has realised that regardless of however many truckloads of documents it churns out they will all be to no avail unless it can achieve market engagement and commitment from large users. No matter how it twists and turns it cannot get away from the fact that the jurisdictions pay for its meal ticket and they call the tune based on their immediate needs. The major software developers help drive NEHTAs thinking - they are the hospital vendors. Who else is there that has any real voice?

Dr David More MB, PhD, FACHI said...

Sadly for NEHTA the NEHTA Board and the CIOs represent less than 1/2 of the overall health sector and the sooner they grasp they are actually meant to be serving the whole health sector the better.

Sadly after 5 years the chances of that happening seem remote or it would have already happened.


Anonymous said...

It matters not how much of the health sector the CIOs represent as they, through their Departmental heads, control the funds. There is no way the jurisdictions are going to hand over control to focus on an area on which they have no real interest and which they do not fund. Same old story - we will only pay for what we can directly control. It's the fundamental flaw in the whole concept of NEHTA and the way it was set up to operate in the first place. If I recall correctly comments were made to that end in your blogs at the time.

Anonymous said...

And if I recall correctly some of your early commentators made similar comments to that end, although it could be difficult to dig back to the beginning of time to find those comments. Pity there is no key word search available on your blog archives.

Dr David More MB, PhD, FACHI said...

The search on the left side of the blog - not at the top - will search the content very well - and show results at top of blog. Sadly it does not seem to search the comments - which is not helpful as the comments are a really valuable part of the blog.


Anonymous said...

Hi David, it also searches the comments eg. enter - career ending - and you will find it comes up with a single comment. This is a useful search tool.