Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Year Wraps Up With A Whimper With Lots Happening Behind The Scenes. What Have We Learnt?

It seems to me that next year will be a fascinating one where I will be proven either to be pretty much on the money or to have been a raving Luddite!

Either we will see a major start to adoption and use of all the technologies pushed by e-PIP and the NEHRS / PCEHR rise and come together in a seamless and wondrous whole - or it will be a great less better than that. I know where my $2.00 is bet!

With an election coming towards to end of the year, if those commentators on such things are right, it seems likely that no matter who wins there will be a review and assessment of just what has happened over the last few years and whether it should all continue.

My key learning this year is that DoHA and NEHTA really could not care less about patient outcomes. As all their presentations keep saying they are worried about the sustainability of the health budget and for some reason think what they are doing in e-Health will help address that problem. If experience globally is anything to go by they may be very sadly disappointed.

On that same theme my key prediction for the next year is that quite soon it is going to be noticed that the planned move to Activity Based Funding for the hospital system is a great deal more complex from an information standpoint than realised and that the systems to make it work in any useful and effective way are just not in place. This will mean that the hoped for control of hospital budgets and costs will probably not be delivered.

All in all is has been, to me, a year of suppression of the truth and ongoing lack of leadership and governance in the public e-health space. The private system and service providers, starved of funds etc., have still managed to do a range of good things - in the hope it will all come together in the end. For them I hope it does.

Happy festive season. There will be some news tomorrow and that will be pretty much it for the year - major breaking news excepted.



Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...


Thank you for all your efforts this year in maintaining this blog and allowing (encouraging, even) others of various persuasions to comment so freely.

The conclusion I draw from the implementation activities this year re the PCEHR/NEHRS is that it has all the characteristics of a standard, ill-conceived large scale IT project. You know, the ones that the Gartner group give a 60% chance of failure to. They are making all the same mistakes and for the same old reasons. They think its about the technology.

My advice, not that anyone in government is likely to listen to it, is that, until they focus on the information first, any attempt to put in place a technology solution is doomed to fail.

A Merry Christmas and a productive New Year to you and your family.


Oliver Frank said...

Thanks David for continuing to seek out and publishing information about what is happening in health informatics in Australia, beyond the information that other lay and professional media find and publish. You are providing a valuable service.

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous seasons greetings and thanks for a very entertaining year reading your blog - I think there are quite a few anonymous readers out there who remain anonymous on this blog to stay employed.