Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Another Digital Health Project Goes Very Over Budget And Very Late!
This popped up last week:
By Justin Hendry on Jun 20, 2019 6:50AM
Western Australia’s public pathology service PathWest has been blasted by the state’s auditor for the late-running and over budget overhaul of its legacy Ultra laboratory information system (LIS).
The delay is also risking “potential system failure” with PathWest’s existing legacy LIS, which reached end of life a year before the replacement system project began in 2014.
The state’s auditor-general said [pdf] on Wednesday that the project would be two years late and almost $24 million over budget when the system is finally deployed in April next year.
But “poor budgeting and tracking” during the first four years of the project meant that figure could be somewhat higher.
“PathWest expects the LIS replacement will be 2 years late and cost $50.5 million, an increase of more than $23.7 million against the original approved budget,” the audit initiated at the direction of the health department states.
“However, PathWest cannot confirm the precise cost of work carried out before 2018.”
PathWest, which conducts around 16 million pathology tests across the state’s public health system each year, has been trying to replace is legacy Ultra LIS since a 2011 review [pdf] found the system was expected to reach end of life in July 2013.
Ultra was first introduced in 1994 to order tests, track specimens, prepare and deliver reports and manage billing. and has undergone a series of alterations over the last 25 years to ensure it remains fit for purpose.
There are a lot more juicy details here:
It seems those in the West are struggling with both timing and budget. Close to more than doubling the initial proposed cost is quite a feat I believe.
Here is the direct link to the report:
These lines are pretty telling from the A-G's forward:
“The size and scale of WA Health means that information communication technology (ICT) projects are a core activity in enabling delivery of health services across the State. However, major ICT projects are rarely simple and successful delivery remains challenging, perhaps more so in WA Health with its tiered governance and distributed management accountability.
This is not the first audit into ICT project governance and delivery that my office has undertaken, and the recurring nature of some of the findings is disappointing.”
We need some major learnings and soon!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Wednesday, June 26, 2019