HealthSMART shows the future of HealthBook
Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-04-25
Hot on the heels of my dummy-spit about the 2020 proposal for HealthBook, I receive notice of a Victorian Auditor-General HealthSMART report, dummy-spitting about the competence of managers, especially shoddy business analysis, for the Victorian government project, which is already two years behind schedule.
The Executive Summary includes the following choice snippets – which I’d probably say applies to nearly all government IT programs, state or federal.
- Lack of detailed business case has been a key planning flaw
- Adequate funding of ICT infrastructure within health agencies is an ongoing challenge
- DHS did not have a reliable basis for estimating ‘whole of life’ costs
- Half the budget spent for a quarter of the planned installations
- The ICT implementation most at risk is Clinical Systems
- Our analysis also indicates that the program will not be finalised by its planned completion date of June 2009, although DHS has not yet advised the government of the need to revise the expected completion date.
That last bit is "management in denial", and of course, those (mis)managers and their megabucks-charging contractors and consultancies are bleating about the report being "unduly harsh". Mind you, Treasury and Finance responded with "DTF notes this recommendation… DTF will liaise with DHS to assess the opportunities for future reviews of this program" and I’ve love to be a fly on the wall during the "liaison"!
Government auditor reports are always polite, if not too polite, with their phrasing. The strength of the language inside this audit report indicates that things are rotten.
Has anybody got any reason why a federal initiative such as the HealthBook idea would be any better, without a complete turnaround in management culture?
- Meanwhile, Queensland is (thankfully) chucking a wobbly at TrakHealth and is seeking almost $100 million in compensation (The Australian, 2008-04-22) for a failed e-health contract.
- "Vic gov recordkeeping slammed by auditor" (2008-03-21) – and understanding of recordkeeping requirements is critical (absolutely necessary but not sufficient) to managing eHealth data