Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It Is Time For the Readers Of This Blog To Do Some Work And Help With Australian E-Health Openness and Transparency.

As I reported a few days ago we are in the twice yearly process of Senate Estimates Committee hearings.
This is an opportunity for Senators to ask bureaucrats and responsible Ministers probing questions on just what is going on behind the scenes in their Department and to try and winkle out some information and accountability.
Both NEHTA and the E-Health Team from DoHA attend and are questioned for about 1 hour. It is likely this will be happening in the sessions between Monday  28 May to Thursday, 31 May 2012.
It would be fair to say that my experience of having watched the live feeds of the last few years of these Q & A sessions suggests the bureaucrats are really first cousins of Sir Humphrey Appleby of ‘Yes Minister’ in terms of their capabilities to talk for the hour and say essentially nothing despite the best efforts of those asking the questions to have some light shone in the dark internal holes of the Department.
From this I have concluded that what is needed are precise questions that require a specific number or a simple yes or no answer to gain the maximal information for the listeners and readers of the Hansard transcript.
You challenge is to provide me with some questions for DoHA or NEHTA which are well informed and which will actually elicit some information we would all like to know.
Obviously your suggestions will be available for use by the Opposition and the Greens both of whom find to some degree they struggle to actually get answers that are useful from these Committee hearings.
I will be able to pass any suggestions on to both teams for consideration as well as providing a copy to the committee Chair representing the Government via the blog.
Thinking caps on - well informed questions that might flush out hidden abuse, fraud or malfeasance are especially welcome.
Thanks in advance.


Anonymous said...

The silence is "deafening" and disappointing.

One question:

Please demonstrate, in fine detail, what exactly has the Australian Public received for the many millions spent by DOHA and NEHTA on eHealth and communicate these benefits in observable, measurable terms. No spin please, just the facts.

Andrew McIntyre said...

Given the focus on all the adverse events that the PCEHR is going to avoid can you tell me if your Medication Terminology (AMT) supports Allergy checking at the level of drug class. If not then how is this terminology safe for use.

Paul Karen said...

Do Ms Plibersek, Ms Gillard and Dr Muckesh AO et al. have enough faith in this eHealth project to sign up for their own PCEHRs after July 1, and will they be encouraging their families to do so as well?
What, exactly, will be the monetary loss (ie in PIP funding) to the average GP and their practice if they decline to participate in the PCEHR?

Anonymous said...

"can you tell me if your Medication Terminology (AMT) supports Allergy checking at the level of drug class. If not then how is this terminology safe for use."

Andrew - what a question! You know AMT is not supported by NEHTA for such wildly out of scope uses as decision support, so your question is by definition "out of scope". AMT is however certified "in scope" for use in so very many wonderful, practical and altogether beneficial uses I can scarcely be bothered to list them all here. Yes, many other useful ways. For example, and I am fairly sure of this, I think you can categorise your recipes by it. Yes that's true, that's in scope, I'm sure. I'm very sure about that. Klacid coulis, methicillin mash. What you are expecting it to do is something so pie in the sky ... so, er unspeakably decision supporty ... why really. Look, if a patient is on 'penicillin' they are on 'penicillin' exactly - precisely that and nothing else. All those amoxicillins and the like. Can't you see they are different? A spade is a spade and never a diamond. Silly boy. This is the perfection of IT projects. You get to define your scope and deliver precisely to your scope, and the rest of the world, what with all its endless peripheral "needs" and "use cases", why it does not matter a jot. Indeed, off with their heads I say! Now please excuse, me, I have no time for any more of your MSIA nonsense, I'm late for a very important date with the Queen of Hearts, a 1 July tea party m'thinks .

(hops off, exit stage right, drinks something from a bottle, scope shrinks further, until it forms a little dot, then pops out of existence. Mysteriously, stage left a grin appears out of nowhere, under the tree labelled "expensive international consulting firms").

Anonymous said...

Here is a question or 2 - I don't know the answers but they certainly are swirling around and could be answered once and for all so we can all move on: Did the selection of the first 3 wave sites, which occurred without any tender process, leave other potentially competing vendors or consortia unfairly disadvantaged? Will being a Wave site confer a first to market advantage for those companies involved? Was there any relationship between those behind the successfully selected Brisbane Wave 1 site and any NEHTA senior staff, for example did they previously work together e.g at the now defunct DSTC?

Anonymous said...

It's called corruption, incompetence and self effacing aggrandizement.

Anonymous said...

This may help “flush out hidden abuse, fraud or malfeasance”

NEHTA Annual Report Consultancy Spend:

2009/10 - $43.5M
2010/11 - $33.1M

Recent NEHTA Reported Top-10 Consulting Spend to QoN from Senate Inquiry:

2009/10 - $2M
2010/11 - $35.1M

Anyone see a problem here?

And for those that don’t (DOHA/NEHTA), this is the discrepancy between annual reported numbers and QoN Response numbers:

2009/10 – 4.6%
2010/11 – 106%

Surely this requires some further investigation and inquiry, and if not, no one need question how bent this deck of eHealth cards is being dealt in an ongoing fashion.

Paul Karen said...

1. Can we see the financial statements for NeHTA ie their debit/credit statements for the previous financial years?

2. Approximately $130M of taxpayer funds were allocated to the twelve Wave 1 sites by the DoHA/COAG. Are the Wave 1 balance sheets available for perusal? What happened to those funds that were left over following the pausing of the Wave 1 site activities? Are the Wave 1 sites thus accountable for the unused funds, and will they need to return these unused funds to the government?

Anonymous said...

Here is another suggestion.

Please provide
- a list showing start and end date and name of each Clinical Lead
engaged by NEHTA.

- on an annual basis the total amount of remuneration paid to the
combined group of Clinical Leads.

- from the lowest amount to the highest amount in $50,000 increments the
number of clinical leads in the above total which fall into each category.

Please detail the top two most significant achievements of each Clinical
Lead during the period of engagement with NEHTA.

Anonymous said...

Was I the only one surprised in the last budget to see "healthconnect" still being funded, given that it was a long abandoned program? I would love to see an explanation of what happened between the death of health/medi connect - what 5 years ago? - and this ongoing appropriation for a defunct program? Is this the funding part used to cover gaps in the PCEHR pot, or is it a convenience for DOHA to allow it to fund its now apparently huge e-health team in canberra?

Anonymous said...

Given the PCEHR will is expected to go live in July 2012, and the wave sites ('lead ehealth sites) have not yet gone live, if they go live later than the PCEHR does, will they have to change their name to the 'follow ehealth sites'?