Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Can DoHA, Medicare and NEHTA be Rescued from Their Incompetence and Mismanagement?

The following appeared a few hours ago.

60 Health Software Experts fly to Sydney to progress Australian eHealth

Monday, 10 May 2010 13:17

Medical software industry leaders have arranged to fly to Sydney to help the Government resolve the technical issues associated with the Healthcare Identifiers program.

Over 60 CEOs are meeting in Sydney on Monday to resolve the remaining technical issues for the Australian Governments key Healthcare Identifiers Service. The intent is to help the government meet its deadline to launch this ground breaking eHealth initiative on 1st July.

Contrary to media reports that the project was seriously in trouble and flawed the members of MSIA who are engaged with the government believe that the issues are largely technical and with this level of expertise gathered in one room, the solutions will be found,

This eHealth initiative is a first step in supporting healthcare providers to improve the quality and safety of healthcare in Australia.

Dr Geoffrey Sayer, President of the Medical Software Industry Association, (MSIA) says “this shows fantastic commitment and willingness from industry to support the government’s reforms in e health”. Dr Sayer said he believed this was “the biggest gathering of healthcare software leaders” ever in Australia.

Dr Sayer said he was delighted that senior executives from Department of Health and Ageing had agreed to attend and provide a briefing to industry on the policy levers around the legislation. This will certainly assist industry in ensuring a fast up take of the Healthcare Identifiers. There have already been a range of collaborative meetings amongst key stakeholders to ensure a smooth roll out on July 1st.

The Department of Health and Ageing is finalising a commitment to industry including NEHTA and Medicare and the MSIA welcomes that initiative.

“However international experience has shown that if we are to effectively deliver improved safety and quality of health management in Australia it must be adequately funded” said Dr Sayer. “We are therefore urging Minister Roxon to include sufficient capital investment in eHealth within 2010-11 budget allocations.”

For More Information:

Contact: Bridget Kirkham CEO MSIA

The MSIA is the national peak body for the medical software industry. With a growing membership of over 100 members the MSIA is recognised as the official “voice” of the industry. It represents its members in a range of forums, working groups and committees and has negotiated a range of important changes with government and other stakeholders. www.msia.com.au

This release is presumably a response to this which appeared on Friday.

Emergency e-health meeting called

  • Karen Dearne
  • From: Australian IT
  • May 07, 2010 4:51PM

LEADING medical software-makers are meeting on Monday to hammer out policy and technical concerns over the Rudd government's Healthcare Identifiers project in a worsening crisis as the proposed July 1 launch date looms.

It's understood more than 70 members have agreed at short notice to attend a full-day industry roundtable in Sydney, as Health Minister Nicola Roxon's departmental chiefs and Medicare officials hustle to fix key regulatory matters threatening to derail enabling legisation for the HI service in the Senate.

The Medical Software Industry Association has requested a briefing from senior Health and Medicare staff on flaws in the regulations that threaten to shut down existing e-health programs and force IT service providers to employ a health professional in order to meet eligibility requirements.


My take on all this is simple.

NEHTA and DoHA simply condemn themselves from their own mouth by having to attend such a meeting six weeks before launch of a project that has been under development for a very long time (at least 27 months by my count).

They mark themselves as just plain incompetent and un-consultative - to have not noticed and remedied the problems ages ago!

Whatever the outcome and no matter how hard the MSIA work they really have just run out of runway. Clearly Project and Risk Management 101 is not well studied by this lot!

This is meant to be the lead item of key e-Health infrastructure for Australia and look how badly it has been handled. All those involved (on the Government side) in this need to be excluded from any significant further role and a new better style of leadership, governance and delivery quickly developed. Not a single extra cent should flow their way!

Has anyone else noticed that the IHI is planned for a 2-3 year roll out so, while important to get moving, all this fuss is just pure spin - presumably worrying about the outcome of the vote this week in the Senate. There is no way it should pass in my view until the concerns expressed in many of the most recent submissions are properly addressed. Let's do it once and do it right!



Anonymous said...

Hey David,
For once get your facts right.
The meeting you are referring to is a MSIA CEO meeting not a NEHTA/DoHA meeting.
I for one am tired of your shooting from the hip opinions.
You act as if you are the world’s sole expert on all matters e-health. Funny when I last checked, the other e-blog www.ehealthcentral.com.au I found another expert who appears to have single handed solved the secure messaging agenda. Between you and him you’ve got the whole eHealth agenda covered.
Your solution is to get it right and then roll it out. If that was to happen nothing would happen. Ever heard of PDSA?

The issues the MSIA have raised are complex and in some circumstances are more about obtaining a competitive advantage or protecting an entrenched position than HI service design issues and your blogs haven’t even begun to identify the real underlying issues.

As a final note may I add that in the world where many of us live, those that can do and those that can’t proselytise. It’s so easy to criticise from a distance but so much harder to achieve.

Perhaps we should all become armchair critics - sounds appealing - but then I wonder who would do the actual design and building???

The ewatcher

Dr David G More MB PhD said...

Hello e-watcher.

If you don't like my views, don't read. It is that easy!


Dr David G More MB PhD said...

Hello e-watcher again.

One question. If you are such a great 'doer' how come all these issues that are 'so complex' have not been resolved after all this time.

Not much successful 'doing' obvious to me! Maybe you should start a blog to explain to us all where we are getting it wrong!


Anonymous said...

There you go again David taking cheap shots from the comfort of your armchair. All care and no responsibility.

The ewatcher

Dr David G More MB PhD said...

And you fail to answer the question. Last post I plan to approve from you unless you can show you can offer a useful alternative view rather than just be rude to me!

What do you actually do and what would you do if given the opportunity to have some influence?


Anonymous said...

E-Watcher is of the opinion that in regards to the issues raised they are "in some circumstances more about obtaining a competitive advantage or protecting an entrenched position". He goes on to referto "the real underlying issues".

There he falls mute unable (or unwilling) to expand on what he thinks are the real underlying issues" and in the process of not doing so undermines his entire credibility. I have no doubt all your readers would welcome hearing from E-Watcher as to what he sees as the "real underlying issues".

I might be wrong but I believe the core of the problem lies in the resistance, reluctance, inability of so many competitive software vendors to work together to solve a common problem and to differentiate themselves in other ways apart from a technology solution - like services, support, functionality, value added offerings, competitive pricing, etc.

Anonymous said...

Monday, May 10, 2010 6:01:00 PM has accurately highlighted the core of the problem. MSIA and its members have tried on more than one occasion to work together in years past but all they seem to get is one big headache from knocking their heads together and arguing about the best way to develop develop the technology solution. That approach will never work. I seem to recall a couple of years back someone proposed a novel consortium concept underpinned by an attractive risk-reward equation. It made a lot of sense from what I recall but was probably too scary for government and developers.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has actually been a part of this process, here's a thought...

The government should just shut up, and put up an RFP with a multi million dollar bounty on a suitable solution and let the commercial concerns kill each other over it.

As for Dr Dave, it's a blog, read of it what you will, for all you know he could be the Zimbabwean Health minister ;)

Dr David G More MB PhD said...

"for all you know he could be the Zimbabwean Health minister ;)"

Nope, bad guess!