Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Wonder Is There a Lunatic Out There Who Would Take This On?

Health and Ageing: Employment Opportunity N.N. 10485856

Department of Health and Ageing Closing date: Monday, 26 July 2010

Executive Division

Job Title: Chief Information and Knowledge Officer

Job Type: Ongoing, Full-time

Location: Canberra | ACT

Classification: Senior Executive Service Band 3

Job Description


The Department of Health and Ageing is seeking to appoint a Chief Information and Knowledge Officer to assume responsibility for the ongoing transformation of its technology and information capabilities as it proceeds to implement the Government’s recently announced health reform agenda.

Reporting to the Secretary of the Department, and as a key member of the Senior Executive Group, the appointee will have leadership responsibility for information and knowledge management across the portfolio. This will include an organisation-wide focus on data, performance and information to improve health outcomes and to support advances in the development of e-health, including recent Australian Government investment in a personally controlled electronic health record system. The successful candidate will be expected to work closely with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders while developing and coordinating systemic approaches to harnessing information, knowledge, records management and intelligence.

The appointee will have a comprehensive understanding of information and knowledge management and integration processes, preferably from a health perspective, including an understanding of the importance of electronic health solutions. He/she will also have a strong track record in leading and delivering major change programs in large, complex and politically sensitive environments. High level strategic policy advisory skills, outstanding stakeholder management capabilities and the personal capacity to make a major contribution at a strategic level within the portfolio will be required.

The full advertisement is here:

The good things about this is that it is at the right level for what needs to be done – reporting directly to the Secretary of the Department and that there is probably enough money to get started (the $446 M over 2 years).

The bad is that it is probably not paid enough – the level goes to about $250,000 p.a. or so – and that there is only 2 years to show any outcomes and that there is currently not a capable delivery organisation to lead in place (meaning it will need to be built).

I have to say taking this on without having some major understandings about governance, discretion and authority – as well as clarity about just where NEHTA fits would be courageous.

My preferred outcome is that this position would actually lead the organisation contemplated in the Deloittes National E-Health Strategy.(See page 66)

Impact on NEHTA

The establishment of a national E-Health Entity will directly impact the role of NEHTA. NEHTA, a collaborative enterprise owned by Australian, State and Territory Governments, was established to identify and jointly develop foundations for E-Health such as the definition of an agreed set of key national E-Health standards and specifications. This constitutes a subset of the functions proposed for the E-Health Entity. NEHTA’s organisational charter expires in June 2009 and hence there is an increasingly urgent need to address the future of the organisation.

In light of the proposal for the establishment of a national E-Health Entity with a significantly broader set of accountabilities and functions than NEHTA in its current form, there are three implementation options that have been considered:

NEHTA to form the basis of the new E-Health Entity with a broader remit

Establish a new legal E-Health Entity and integrate NEHTA’s current execution functions into its structure

Establish a new legal E-Health Entity and allow NEHTA to operate as a separate organisation with accountability for the delivery of core E-Health foundations.

The first option is for NEHTA to form the organisational basis of the new E-Health Entity. This would require the existing NEHTA organisation to extend its accountabilities and functions to allow effective governance of the national E-Health Strategy and the execution of the national components of the three strategic work streams. This option would necessitate changes to NEHTA’s constitutional basis to extend the range of organisational responsibilities and to end the transitional nature of the authority. It would also require changes to the organisation’s brand and operating model.

The advantage of this approach is that the existing NEHTA organisation including legal structure, resources, capabilities, funding and governance arrangements, could be relatively quickly leveraged to support the establishment of the new E-Health Entity. One disadvantage is the extent of work required to restructure, refocus and reskill the organisation. The other is the need to overcome the historic and reasonably widespread perception in parts of the health sector that NEHTA’s progress to date has been too slow and not inclusive enough of the care provider community.

The second option is to establish a new legal E-Health Entity that would integrate NEHTA’s existing execution functions into its structure. The advantage of this option is the establishment of a new national E-Health Entity with a clear set of accountabilities and which is unencumbered by history. The key disadvantage is that the structure and constitutional and legal basis for this organisation must be designed and created from scratch which is likely to be a lengthy exercise and therefore could delay meaningful progress towards national E-Health outcomes.

The third option is to establish a new legal E-Health Entity and allow NEHTA to operate as a separate organisation with accountability for design and execution of national E-Health foundations. In this option, NEHTA would report in to, and seek strategic direction and funding from, the E-Health Entity. This option will minimise impacts to the existing NEHTA work program, but will also create delays associated with the establishment of the new entity. It will also create the significant potential for overlap, duplication and poor coordination between the two organisations, ultimately risking the coordinated delivery of national E-Health outcomes.

----- End Extract.

Option 1 is the go in my view!

Unless all this is sorted this job is a real ‘poison chalice’!

I note in passing that an earlier e-Health head has apparently moved on to the AHIW.

Lisa McGlynn

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Bruce | ACT

Senior Executive Service Band 1

No one seems to stay very long in e-Health in DoHA. It might just be that herding cats is just too hard!



Anonymous said...

The job is yours, David.
First task is to find out what will happen to the NHS, now they've pulled the plug on the special deal with Microsoft that powered nearly one million of their desktops.

Anonymous said...

and it looks like iSoft is in trouble

Anonymous said...

I understamd Reinecke is free, now he's completed the (secret) gershon implementation review

Anonymous said...

Reinecke might well think it time to come in again and try to fix the problems at NEHTA from on high. It would certainly give him enough authority to point out to Flemming what he (Reineke) thinks NEHTA is doing wrong. That would be fun to watch although very costly.

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

I have to say he would be last person I would ask - but that is probably just me!