Sunday, November 04, 2012

This Level Of Spin From NEHTA Really Takes The Biscuit - Astonishing Stuff.

The following short article was slipped out late on Friday.

NEHTA job cuts gather pace

The federal government’s lead agency for executing its ehealth agenda is undergoing further restructuring with cuts to nine percent of its total workforce.
The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has confirmed a program of staffing reductions has been in place since the Personally Controlled Electronic Record (PCEHR) system went live on 1 July to accept individual registrations. understands this program has gathered pace in recent days in reponse to the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) assuming the role of Systems Operator and the recent round of federal government budget cuts.
“NEHTA increased its staffing levels over the past two years with both fixed-term contractors and permanent staff in order to deliver the Commonwealth’s Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (eHealth Record) system,” a NEHTA spokesperson said in a written statement sent in response to questions.
“Following the successful delivery of the programme to the Department of Health and Ageing, NEHTA has made the decision to align its workforce to meet the needs of its work programme over the next two years.”
More here:
It is important to follow the link and read the rest of the article to see just how blatant the spin we see is.
First this is just gobsmacking!
“Following the successful delivery of the programme to the Department of Health and Ageing, NEHTA has made the decision to align its workforce to meet the needs of its work programme over the next two years”
This is clearly just rubbish and NEHTA, DoHA and Accenture know it. The system is still in development and is still not even standardised.
From NEHTA’s web site - as of today Nov 4, 2012 - we read:
Importance of Standards
Standards are relevant to all areas of our work, and provide rigour as well as a means of validation with external expert groups. The lack of clear standards makes it difficult for vendors to develop software applications that can support a broad range of communication within the health community. Vendors face developing their own solutions and accepting the risk of industry adopting a different approach. Where widely supported standards are available to vendors, the lack of agreement at a national level about their use can preclude their adoption.
Standards also benefit those who purchase and implement health software applications. Knowing which software products conform to agreed standards can greatly simplify the purchasing process, and increase purchaser confidence that the selected product will be fit-for-purpose. Standards also offer the potential to avoid vendor 'lock-in'.
The PCEHR Standards Catalogue currently being updated and will be available soon.
See here:
So any claim the work NEHTA was meant to deliver is done is just ridiculous.
The quote also shows that the commitment to the NEHRS Program has been dramatically weakened.
Second the reductions in head count has been much more that 9%. What has happened is a progressive loss of consultants and contractors has meant few are now left - with all essentially being gone by Christmas. These people have been at least 40% of the workforce. The 9% is forced redundancy of ‘permanent staff’.
While it is hard to know what impact this loss of so many skilled staff - some, I am told, against the wishes of their line managers - will result in as far as progress on the broader e-Health agenda and the NEHRS is concerned. I have a suspicion that there is going to be a slowing in all sorts of activities.
It is also likely the head count will continue to fall - since, as of today, there is not a single job on offer on the NEHTA web site.
See here:
I am not sure the lead paragraph on the page is as true as it one might have been:
“NEHTA is a dynamic company that draws together highly motivated professionals committed to getting the job done, and done well. We are looking for people who apply to their work a rigorous approach to analysis, design and evaluation, and who are keen to really make a difference.”
Third it is my view just unacceptable that NEHTA has not come out, as a public entity, and explained just what is going on, what more is planned, what the budget reduction has been as so on. Really it is just not good enough.
On a final note this Friday pseudo-press release is really not news:
See here:
And here:
The impact - and the internalisation and concentration of implementation in DoHA - can only make more dodgy an already failed project - the NEHRS - in my view.
This view is confirmed by the fact that the head of the PCEHR program would appear to have gone on a holiday from which he will not return to NEHTA.
We really need to make this dying patient a lot more comfortable!


Anonymous said...

Suggest only honourable, economical and moral treatment is euthanasia for this "patient". Although administered vastly swifter than its elder genetically cloned sibling Health Connect eventually received.

Any other prolonged sustained treatment or palliative care option is only a further crime against the Australian taxpayer.

Will the head of the PCEHR pay any heed to the fact his leave loading and forthcoming holiday has been funded at the expense of the taxpayer with no demonstrable or measurable benefit to show in return?

Any bets on where he will end up next? Odds are favourable to either join the parasitic bureaucratic ranks of DOHA or return home to the Accenture Partner homeland as a reward for successfully raiding the taxpayer funded treasury to line the fat bottom line of Accenture’s consulting ranks larceny.

Anonymous said...

Palliative care is preferable to euthanasia. The patient will quietly pass away over the next few months.

The head of the PCEHR will say that it is time for him to move on as he has successfully completed the job he was asked to do. He states that his job was to ensure that “by June 2012 every Australian would have the capability to sign up to an electronic health record service.”

Anonymous said...

How will the PCEHR be able to pass quietly away over the next few months?

The States and DOHA have now accepted the PCEHR is a failed experiment. The States will resist pressure to further fund NEHTA while DOHA will continue limited funding to keep it afloat for the short term until NEHTA has substantially downsized through its redundancy program.

With the agreement of the States DOHA will then transfer NEHTA’s intellectual property and assets back inside the tent under the control of Medicare.

Just prior to that Peter Flemming will leave NEHTA and receive a handsome payout for a job well done and more redundancies will occur in NEHTA after DOHA and MEDICARE have cherry-picked the people they want to transfer across to the Government’s payroll. Some of those people transferred over will be seduced with highly favourable ‘compensation’ payments in return for their undertaking to remain silent on all things NEHTA.

This will occur between December and February. DOHA will create a new positive spin to justify the last 6 years referring to the UKs failed experiment as justification for bringing everything back in house.

To appease the powerful health lobby DOHA will simplify its ePIP scheme to make it easier for practices to comply without having to be dependent on meeting all of the onerous conditions related to using the PCEHR. Once the dust has settled a new wave of eHealth activity will begin.

Accenture will continue working with DOHA and Medicare to salvage the remnants of NEHTA’s intellectual property.

DOHA’s Secretary will explain to the Senators at the next Senate Estimates what an excellent outcome has been achieved and thank the Senators for their persistence in shining a bright light on NEHTA which has greatly assisted the Government in building a solid foundation for eHealth to move forward in the years ahead.

And the Senators will quietly retire patting each other on the back for a job well done.

Anonymous said...

Yep , large generic multinational consultants.. if you want to waste millions of taxpayer dollars and deliver a failed monument to stupidity that does nothing, we can help you! No doubt a million dollars a day is enough to pay for another partner, watch that space!

When will we start to listen to the local industry bodies and wake up to these generic charlatans?

As soon as this unfit system is left to rot the local ehealth community can get on and deliver despite these parasites who are creaming off our hard earned taxes.

Anonymous said...

An unnamed consultancy asked me to a meeting to get my views on some issues related to their new DOHA contract, early in the PCEHR fiasco.

As they were the ones who got the Doha job and were thus by definition the experts, I was interested to come in, and hear their ideas, and of course as a good citizen given them some of my thoughts.

I arrived at a wood panelled meeting room high above the city, with stunning views, and a barista in a little jacket there to serve me my coffee. Many other very smart people were similarly invited and joined in.

The lead consultant running the meeting was in their early 20s, and was clearly clueless, performing to a script, and not understanding the most basic questions asked of them by those of us who had been invited. The consultants had decided a response for DOHA/NEHTA and just wanted our co-operation with their reading of reality, and wanted us assist by filling out the last slide on their presentation with requisite 'ideas' please.

The fact that the script was fundamentally flawed was not permitted to be argued. The arrogance and immorality of asking us for our unpaid ideas, when their own intellectual cupboard was bare, and yet they were the ones being handsomely paid, never crossed their mind.

A good business model I guess. I could do with a barista where I work.