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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NEHTA Is Offensively Silent On Just What The Problems Are With The PCEHR. I Wonder Just Why That Is?

A couple of quotes from yesterday.

NEHTA presses pause on e-health records

The implementation was stopped after internal checks detected issues in the specifications
..... (most of article deleted)
When contacted by Computerworld Australia, NEHTA declined to comment on the reasons for the delay in funding or whether the delay would cause any setbacks to the project going live by 1 July.
DoHA had not replied at the time of writing.
and here:

Specification issue halts health software

ZDNet Australia made a number of queries about how the issue with the specifications had been created, and what the situation means in real terms for developers; however, NEHTA declined to comment further.
So just why are the technical sites not told just what is actually wrong?
You can read the official NEHTA statement (obfuscatory though it is) here:
Here is what is said:

NEHTA pauses implementation in pilot sites

24 January 2012. National E-Health Transition Authority CEO, Mr Peter Fleming has announced that following a detailed internal review and analysis, NEHTA is temporarily pausing implementation of Primary Care desktop software development around its specifications for the eHealth pilot sites.
"Our specifications are subject to rigorous assessment processes and this has highlighted some technical incompatibilities across versions. We have identified problems with the specifications and have made the decision in order to avoid any risks," Mr Fleming said.
The pilot sites were established to test and deploy software and eHealth capability in real world healthcare settings prior to the introduction of the personally controlled electronic health record system. While the pilot site and national infrastructure projects have operated in parallel, neither is a critical dependency for the other project.
This pause will impact work currently being undertaken by The Primary Care eHealth Network Sites (Metro North Brisbane Medicare Local, Inner East Melbourne Medicare Local, Hunter Urban Medicare Local and Accoras (Brisbane South). Greater Western Sydney, St Vincent's, Calvary, Cradle Coast, NT and Mater will be impacted on the primary care elements of their projects. This issue should not impact delivery by Medibank, FredIT and JEHDI.
NEHTA is acting after internal checks detected issues in the latest release of its specifications in November 2011.
"This is about quality control to ensure absolute confidence in the software being used in the eHealth pilot sites. One of the reasons for having these sites was to test software and 'iron out the bugs' prior to the national infrastructure go live," Mr Fleming said.
The changes required to be made to specifications will be completed over coming weeks and are expected to be finalised mid to late March. As the scope of changes is being determined NEHTA is working closely with the sites to verify all activities and target completion dates.
"In large projects of this scale it is not unusual for problems of this type to arise. We are working to manage this situation to ensure the programme is delivered."
"We remain committed to these sites and to progressing the national eHealth programme," Mr Fleming said.
So just where are the technical details of what is wrong, how long it has been present, what is needed to fix it, and so on.
This is a public organisation that is basically saying ‘up-yours’ to the Clinical Health IT Community and the public in general.
Is their CEO just too high and mighty to respond to a concerned and interested media?
Along with their paid spruikers we hear nothing but spin from this frankly awful and non-transparent organisation.
Just dreadful!

1 comment:

EA said...

Could be a simple matter of commercial interest. Follow the money, ie, who stands to gain if any of NEHTA's innovations are marketable? What would NEHTA be worth if it was floated with an IPA?
If NEHTA is neither an integral part of national infrastructure, nor a potentially viable commercial entity, then what is it?
The first journalist to ask the Minister "Is the Secretary too big to fail?" should get the Order of Merit.