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Sunday, February 01, 2015

It Looks Like E-Health Standards Setting In Australia Has Gone Down The Gurgler. Just Astonishing!

This e-mail was sent out a few days ago….
From: xxx.xxx [xxx.xxx@standards.org.au]
Sent: Friday, 23 January 2015 2:05 PM
Subject: Invitation to nominate a representative for Standards Australia Technical Committee IT 014- Health Informatics
Standards Australia is currently reconstituting Technical Committee IT-014, Health Informatics which will mirror the work of ISO TC 215, Health Informatics ( Please refer to the attached Terms of  Reference)
xxx.xxx has represented xxx on IT-014 in the past and if you would like xxx to remain as your representative then please advise by email.
If you wish to nominate a new representative please forward the name and contact details of the proposed representative to me before close of business Tuesday 24 February 2015.
Whilst there is no immediate active forward work program for the committee, IT-014 maintains a very important role as the Australian mirror committee to the ISO TC 215.  Work will continue in relation to mirroring ISO TC-215, and access to funding support to attend international meetings may be available under Standards Australia’s Support for Industry Service Organisations.
In the event that IT-014 undertakes work on the development of Australian Standards in the future, or the IT-014 secretary calls a meeting of members, it will be desirable that the Committee Members attend the meetings in person. However we understand that it is not always possible to attend in person. As such, Standards Australia will make audio, video and web-conferencing facilities available to members if necessary. Alternatively, a deputy may attend on behalf of the IT-014 member.
Further information on involvement in Standards Australia committees can be found in our Standardisation Guides, see link below. SG-004, “Roles and Responsibilities in Standardisation” particularly discusses the roles of nominating organisations and their representatives. http://www.standards.org.au/StandardsDevelopment/Developing_Standards/Documents/SG-004%20Roles%20and%20Responsibilities%20in%20Standardisation.pdf
Should you have any further questions, please contact me directly at any time.
Best Regards,
Ms. Xxx.xxx
Project Manager  |  Standards Australia
Level 10, 20 Bridge Street Sydney NSW 2000
GPO Box 476 Sydney NSW 2001
P +61 2 9237 xxxx  |  F +61 2 9237 xxxx  |  www.standards.org.au
----- End e-mail.
IT-14 - The relevant Standards Committee has now been given the following (undated ) Terms of Reference:


Committee No IT-014
Committee Name Health Informatics
 1 Prime Function
1.1 Terms of Reference
On behalf of Standards Australia as the national member body participating in International Standardization Organization (ISO) to provide Australian input and review to ISO TC 215 and any other relevant groups established within ISO. As mirror committee to ISO TC 215 Heath Informatics, IT-014 contributes to standardisation in the field of health informatics, to facilitate the coherent and consistent interchange and use of health-related data, information, and knowledge to support and enable all aspects of the health system.
1.2 Mission
The mission of the IT-014 committee is to contribute to the development of international health informatics standards through participation on ISO TC 215 Health Informatics.
2 Inclusions and Exclusions: (as appropriate)
 3 Participation in International Standardization:
Participation in the work of international technical committees, subcommittees and working groups of ISO TC 215 Health Informatics.
4 Other information
4.1 Liaisons
To liaise informally with other Standards Australia committees whose work relates to aspects of IT-
014, such as:
(a) IT-12 Information Security
(b) IT-21 Records Management Systems, and
(c) HE-31 Traditional Chinese Medicine.
----- End Document.
So what we are being told is we are no longer developing E-Health Standards and have no Work Plan to do so - with our only role being to review what comes from overseas.
You can review the state of play here:
For anyone to think e-Health standardisation is done and all over is honestly astonishing!!!
This is made even more so by the rapid evolution of e-Health Standards we are seeing in the US with things like FHIR.
Government mismanagement and DOH incompetence revealed in spades. NEHTA must be thrilled!


Anonymous said...

One down two to go. I am sure the architects behind the fall of IT 014 will have HL7 and IHTSDO clearly in their sights

Anonymous said...

Hang on a moment, where does that leave all those "Australian"-only standards that NEHTA drove through SA?

Anonymous said...

On a different topic ... let's see how good Telstra is in managing businesses it buys:

Bought for $646million 10 years ago - sell price today estimated to be $10million. And Trading Post is a very, very simple business model. Health IT is much more complex.

That's all we want - Telstra failing as well as NEHTA/PCEHR failing as well as standards setting failing. At least they are consistent- all failures.

We could be world leaders in Health IT failures.

K said...

World Leaders? nah, we're only wannabees. If you want to really lead at fail, you have to spend on the scale of the other English speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere

Anonymous said...

"If you want to really lead at fail, you have to spend on the scale of the other English speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere"

Doesn't make much sense to compare total amounts because countries are so different in size of health system.

I'd be interested in the PER CAPITA national e-health spend here and elsewhere - not the total spent. And I would include the cost of the large e-health branch run out of the Department in Canberra over the years in my total costs, not just NEHTA.

If we assume the last 10 years has seen $2 billion spent federally on e-health (that must be close) then that's $8/person over the decade

The US spend on their HI-TECH/meaningful use program I recall was about US$25 billion in a population of 316 million - which if my zeros are all right is a per capita spend of US 80c ...

The final English spend on NPfIT was 10 billion pounds for a population of 53 million which is 18p per person ....

Maybe I got my numbers wrong but the Australian spend back of the envelope looks an order or two in magnitude greater?

Someone else check my sums please!

Anonymous said...

"If we assume the last 10 years has seen $2 billion spent federally on e-health (that must be close) then that's $8/person over the decade"

No worries, we can cover that with a medicare copayment of 8$ for a GP visit. It's a way for everyone to invest in failing at e-health.

Anonymous said...

And all this has what exactly to do with the demise of IT 014? Nice distraction DoH but the loss and mis management of such a forum should not be counted in dollars spent, but in oppertunities lost and increased risk. IMHO heads should roll over this at Australian Standards, NEHTA and the Department of Wealth

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a general trend in the current government towards accepting and using standards, products, procedures that are international, rather than developing, using and managing our own Australian ones. Developing Australian health informatics standards will likely become a rubber stamping exercise of international/other country standards.

Anonymous said...

There are a few questions to consider around this. Some of them are :
1) Do we support standardisation in principle ? I think most would say yes, particularly with a view to interoperability (cf ONCHIT this week)
2) If we want standards, do we want to aim for global standardisation or local particularism ? Many of the relevant products are already global, and trade agreements commit Australia not to use artificial barriers to trade (such as idiosyncratic standards).
Of course, we do have some genuinely local features that need to be accommodated.
3) After recent experience, where managers pushed the perceived interests of those controlling the funds, rather than following the consensus process, would we trust Standards Australia again ? Or should management of standards be another of the (many) governance issues that need to be resolved in e-health ?