Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Important People Are Being Lined Up To Get The New Digital Health Agency Going.

This brief letter arrived by carrier pigeon a day or so ago
----- Begin Extract
Dear xxxx,
I am writing to you about the Australian Government's commitment to establish the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) and have it fully operational by 1 July 2016. This letter also outlines how the Digital Health Implementation Taskforce Steering Committee (the Committee) hopes to engage, collaborate, and communicate with key stakeholders on the progress of the transition and the new arrangements going forward.
Following the recommendations of the 2013 Review of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record, the Commonwealth Minister for Health established the Committee to oversee the establishment of the new Agency and the associated transition of existing operations, functions and resources to it.
Clinicians, public and private healthcare service providers, consumers, health informatics and analytics specialists, technology innovators and people experienced in delivery of digital health services are all represented on the Committee. The Committee is supported by an Implementation Taskforce which consists of KPMG and Minter Ellison.
Some key high level decisions by Government frame the Committee’s work:
  • the Agency will be funded jointly by the Commonwealth and the States and Territories, and will have responsibility for overseeing the operation and evolution of the national Digital health ecosystems;
  •  the Agency will be the system operator of the My Health Record (previously named the Personally Controlled Electronic Heath Record);
  • appropriate functions of the Commonwealth Departments of Health and Human Services, and the National E-Health Transition Authority Limited (NEHTA) will be transferred, and NEHTA will subsequently be disbanded.
The Committee is working on a particularly tight timeframe and we would appreciate your help to ensure that you understand the transition process, have the opportunity to provide input and are able and prepared to move forward with the new Agency once it is established.
To achieve this, it is critical for the Committee to engage and collaborate with key stakeholders to provide an update on a number of key issues including:
                   our progress;
                   how the Agency is expected to look and function;
                   leadership of the Agency;
                   how key stakeholder groups will be represented; and
                   how stakeholder collaboration will be covered going forward.
Relevant members from the Committee will lead the engagement. We will be in contact shortly to arrange a time to meet and discuss the transition to the new Agency and to understand key issues for your organisation relating to the establishment and operation of the new Agency.
We would also appreciate your guidance on how you can further support our stakeholder engagement and communication activities, including linking into your memberships, networks and peers. This will also help us manage the level of consultation required as we progress through the transition and ensure we are communicating through the best channels.
For your information I have also attached a copy of the advertisement for the Agency CEO, which was recently run in the Australian Financial Review and the Weekend Australian. We will update you on the progress of the Board and CEO selection process as we move forward.
I am excited about the opportunities to drive and enhance the national digital health agenda that will result from the establishment of the Agency, and look forward to our continued collaboration leading up to the its establishment on 1 July 2016.
Yours sincerely,
Ms Robyn Kruk Independent Chair
Digital Health Implementation Taskforce Steering Committee
----- End Extract
It seems the “silly season” is now passed and action is to begin.
If you were wondering who was steering all this the list is found here:
As I said at the time 11 members and one member actually really versed in e-Health.
With the CEO role advertisement closing on the 31st Jan they are really going to have to get their skates on to actually start operations July 1 this year. Additionally the time-frame seems very short if one hoped to attract quality, and possibly international, candidates.
Remember there is a need not just for a CEO but also for a Board that might actually know what it is doing. We have all seen what happens when you have an entity like NEHTA running free with no knowledgeable oversight.  We got NEHTA ! Would be nice if the Board selection process had a rather transparent flavour with maybe even an opportunity for public review - but I guess I am dreaming again
It is important to note this from the letter “The Committee is working on a particularly tight timeframe”.  Indeed this is so - not only are they in a frenzy of setting up - but the Department is busy rushing about consulting on and planning the trials.
This really is all pretty ominous. It sounds like e-Health is Australia is about to suffer an attack of excessive haste which is going to up to risk of total failure to stratospheric levels.
Haste in implementation can cause all sorts of problems - as the Independent Chair is probably aware.
This might all end very badly…


Anonymous said...

From the Everest peak high above a new snowball has been set rolling down the mountain side.

Anonymous said...

From snowball to avalanche ... not looking good from any angle !!

Trevor3130 said...

Minter Ellison "Advised the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) in relation to the privacy impact assessment for the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) system and a legislative compliance assessment for the PCEHR System."
There's plenty of expertise on hand at KPMG, also.
Success is guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

In the interests of transparency it would appropriate to make known the emoluments of the people appointed to the task force.

Anonymous said...

“the Agency will have responsibility for overseeing the operation and evolution of the national Digital health ecosystems” ….. and … “appropriate functions of the Commonwealth Departments of Health and Human Services, and the National E-Health Transition Authority Limited (NEHTA) will be transferred, and NEHTA will subsequently be disbanded.”

This seems to mean the Departments of Health and Human Services are DIVESTING THEMSELVES OF FURTHER INVOLVEMENT in and responsibility for anything to do with eHealth!

NEHTA will be disbanded and assets will be transferred. Apart from the human assets, computer hardware and office equipment, WHAT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY is to be transferred?

Also in the interests of transparency and taxpayer accountability an itemised list of ALL the Intellectual Property that is to be transferred should be published.

Anonymous said...

Re. January 29, 2016 12:54 PM -this looks like house cleaning on a grand scale - some call it a deep clean. Make one Agency responsible for everything! Move all the detritus across and then try to make sense of what they have been given (inherited) to work with.

David, I might be wrong but if memory serves me correctly that mirrors exactly how the Department wriggled out of the mess it created in eHealth pre-NEHTA. As that approach "let's form a new Authority - NEHTA" didn't work last time for some very good reasons why do they think it will be any different this time around?

Anonymous said...

What makes you think it didn't work?

Anonymous said...

What makes you think it didn't work?
If you have been following Karen Deane's reporting when at The Australian and this blog you wouldn't need to ask.

Andrew McIntyre said...

In fact I think the demise of adequately funded journalism is probably a big danger for western society as no one is watching and we now have the inmates running the asylum. What happened in eHealth would be a big story to break if someone actually did the research, but press releases are mindlessly recycled into articles without question. The online advertising boom has inadvertently killed the watchdogs.

Anonymous said...

'what makes you think it didn't work'? .. 'if you had been following this blog...'

umm, from whose perspective are you asking whether it worked or not? It worked just fine for managing the blame. So why not do it again?

Anonymous said...

It worked just fine for managing the blame. So why not do it again? January 29, 2016 4:53 PM

Quite so. As you say - why not do it again? No one is watching so why not - they can't do much harm with $465 million can they?

Anonymous said...

7 months in and it is as you predicted, a hasteful, wasteful unconnected mess where surpression is the norm, collectiveness and advice is a foreign concept, the leadership rot is spreading again and silos are back. The transition was a shame and as ever rewards are given for not trying.

The next 6 months will expose this to its fullest, you can see it in the tender documents that have gone out.