Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I Wonder Why The National Digital Health Strategy Is So Secret. Might It Be It Is Not Very Good?

To me the most important part of the exceptionally partial Board Minutes that the ADHA released covering their June 14 Meeting was the last paragraph of the CEO’s report.

It read:

“National Digital Health Strategy

The Board approved submission of the Strategy in its extraordinary meeting in May. The Strategy – and the supporting Agency work plan – were submitted to the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council for consideration at its meeting on 2 June. The outcome of that decision will be tabled for the Board’s information.

I would like to thank members of the Board who participated in the Strategy Review group for their help in its development.”

So what we learn from this is:

1. There was a Board Meeting in May which has not been disclosed to date.

2. There exists a very advanced National Digital Health Strategy which has been submitted for approval to COAG Health Ministers Advisors.

3. We have not been told (to date) what Health Minsters Advisors thought of the Strategy – suggesting they were less than happy. I assume happiness would have resulted in glad cries and a press release or maybe they have to wait for Ministerial views??

I assume to process would be a draft going to this committee below which reports to and advises the Health Ministers Council (http://www.coaghealthcouncil.gov.au/)

National Health Information and Performance Principal Committee (NHIPPC)
Role: To advise AHMAC on eHealth, information management and performance reporting development, governance and strategies, and to facilitate collaboration between the Commonwealth, states and territories and other key national stakeholders in relation to these areas.
Secretariat: NHIPPC.secretariat@dhhs.vic.gov.au
Contact Number: 03 9096 7301

See here:


The full Council only seems to meet twice a year (next due October - November, 2017 at a guess).

All in all the whole process is 1. Too secret and 2. Too slow.

I wonder just how confident we can be we will get a plan that is actually implementable, suits all the stakeholders, has real evidence based benefits, is not just about the myHR and does not bankrupt us? It would also have been nice for the stakeholders to have seen  late draft - as many of us were promised.



Anonymous said...

The Federal Health Department bears ultimate responsibility for the National Digital Health Strategy. It set up NEHTA, then ADHA and it introduced the My Health record and continues to oversee and dictate MyHR direction and development.

Consequently, regardless of whatever strategy the ADHA comes up with, the buck stops with the Health Department. Therefore, it would be far too high a risk for the Department not to subject the strategy to an indepth confidential evaluation and review. It would be far too late to do so after the horse has bolted.

Dr Ian Colclough said...

David said "how confident can we be we will get a plan that is actually implementable, suits all the stakeholders, has real evidence based benefits, and is not just about the myHR".

Fundamentally speaking David that has been the overarching, high-level thinking underpinning the Health Department's overall goals and objectives for the last decade.

As a consequence, that has been the root cause of failed project development in the face of the huge expenditures we have witnessed over the last decade, and will remain so until the bureaucracy can come to terms with, and comprehend, the dilemma posed by. attempting to "suit all stakeholders" which exhibit multiple, competing, conflicted vested interests and objectives.

The Department's reluctance to comprehend the impact this has had and will continue having on the project is to the detriment of everyone. Hopefully, in time, new ways of thinking may be encouraged.

Dr David G More MB PhD said...

I disagree Ian,

The objective I stated is correct IMVHO and is the only way success can be reached. Sadly the DOH has no idea how to go about it!!


Anonymous said...

Ian, out of interest, what stakeholder views would you consider dropping from the equation? Are we a nation that embraces the inclusion of the lucky few?

Dr Ian Colclough said...

David, I think you misunderstood what I was saying. It seems to me we are in agreement. Yes, absolutely, we do need a plan that is implementable and which suits all stakeholders, can demonstrate real benefits and is not just about the MyHR.

I was endeavouring to make the point that the Department has demonstrated that it fails to understand the complexity of the issues involved in coming up with a strategy which suits all stakeholders.

Dr Ian Colclough said...

Thanks 5:16 Far from it. Stakeholders are important, without them you wouldn’t have project. Understanding them is pivotal. Understanding how they inter-relate with each other and their inter-dependencies is even more important. And still more important is ‘knowing’ where their vested interests lie! Put all that together with eyes wide open and in the back of your head as well as the front and you will come close to being able to draw some intelligent conclusions in regards to prioritization of stakeholders to increase your chances of delivering successful project outcomes with their involvement. Dropping stakeholders from the equation was never a consideration.

Anonymous said...

Quite agree Ian, I misread your intent, thought it was out of sync with your usual considered views. Probably young David's comment influencing me ;)

Anonymous said...

I will be happy if the strategy outlines a way to handle the Internet of health things, if it is solely about MyHR and PDF exchange then they can close shop, how as a nation with this massive and rich pool of data generation be handled and harnessed from devices, how are things to be standardised, simple thing like home blood pressure devices

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

Home Blood Pressure Monitors Wrong 70 Percent of the Time: Study


"Canadian researchers say that home blood pressure monitors are wrong most of the time, and could cause problems for people who rely on them to make informed health decisions."

Looks as though home blood pressure monitors are about as useful as MyHR - i.e. useless to the extent of being dangerous.

The more powerful the technology the more dangerous it can become.

Let's see if the issue of patient safety is properly discussed in the ADHA strategy.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a perfect job for a nation entity, oh wait involves standards and hard work with slow progress and rewarding outcomes. The ADHA will pass that to the keeper

Anonymous said...

There is a very real and present issue that 8:19 AM raises, the expodential rate of medical devices becoming 'networked' is perhaps creating a bigger security and privacy risk than we may think. This sounds like something the ADHA cyber security centre needs to be putting out a position paper and some very real guidelines if not conformance profiles. A few links to other sites and some lightweight guides of late do not cut the mustard, if they want as the say to be world class cyber security leaders they need to lead not stand in the shadows throwing stones at others and tutt-tutting.

Tim time to shape up as they say