Saturday, November 3, 2012

This Level Of Spin From NEHTA Really Takes The Biscuit - Astonishing Stuff.

The following short article was slipped out late on Friday.

NEHTA job cuts gather pace

The federal government’s lead agency for executing its ehealth agenda is undergoing further restructuring with cuts to nine percent of its total workforce.
The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has confirmed a program of staffing reductions has been in place since the Personally Controlled Electronic Record (PCEHR) system went live on 1 July to accept individual registrations. understands this program has gathered pace in recent days in reponse to the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) assuming the role of Systems Operator and the recent round of federal government budget cuts.
“NEHTA increased its staffing levels over the past two years with both fixed-term contractors and permanent staff in order to deliver the Commonwealth’s Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (eHealth Record) system,” a NEHTA spokesperson said in a written statement sent in response to questions.
“Following the successful delivery of the programme to the Department of Health and Ageing, NEHTA has made the decision to align its workforce to meet the needs of its work programme over the next two years.”
More here:
It is important to follow the link and read the rest of the article to see just how blatant the spin we see is.
First this is just gobsmacking!
“Following the successful delivery of the programme to the Department of Health and Ageing, NEHTA has made the decision to align its workforce to meet the needs of its work programme over the next two years”
This is clearly just rubbish and NEHTA, DoHA and Accenture know it. The system is still in development and is still not even standardised.
From NEHTA’s web site - as of today Nov 4, 2012 - we read:
Importance of Standards
Standards are relevant to all areas of our work, and provide rigour as well as a means of validation with external expert groups. The lack of clear standards makes it difficult for vendors to develop software applications that can support a broad range of communication within the health community. Vendors face developing their own solutions and accepting the risk of industry adopting a different approach. Where widely supported standards are available to vendors, the lack of agreement at a national level about their use can preclude their adoption.
Standards also benefit those who purchase and implement health software applications. Knowing which software products conform to agreed standards can greatly simplify the purchasing process, and increase purchaser confidence that the selected product will be fit-for-purpose. Standards also offer the potential to avoid vendor 'lock-in'.
The PCEHR Standards Catalogue currently being updated and will be available soon.
See here:
So any claim the work NEHTA was meant to deliver is done is just ridiculous.
The quote also shows that the commitment to the NEHRS Program has been dramatically weakened.
Second the reductions in head count has been much more that 9%. What has happened is a progressive loss of consultants and contractors has meant few are now left - with all essentially being gone by Christmas. These people have been at least 40% of the workforce. The 9% is forced redundancy of ‘permanent staff’.
While it is hard to know what impact this loss of so many skilled staff - some, I am told, against the wishes of their line managers - will result in as far as progress on the broader e-Health agenda and the NEHRS is concerned. I have a suspicion that there is going to be a slowing in all sorts of activities.
It is also likely the head count will continue to fall - since, as of today, there is not a single job on offer on the NEHTA web site.
See here:
I am not sure the lead paragraph on the page is as true as it one might have been:
“NEHTA is a dynamic company that draws together highly motivated professionals committed to getting the job done, and done well. We are looking for people who apply to their work a rigorous approach to analysis, design and evaluation, and who are keen to really make a difference.”
Third it is my view just unacceptable that NEHTA has not come out, as a public entity, and explained just what is going on, what more is planned, what the budget reduction has been as so on. Really it is just not good enough.
On a final note this Friday pseudo-press release is really not news:
See here:
And here:
The impact - and the internalisation and concentration of implementation in DoHA - can only make more dodgy an already failed project - the NEHRS - in my view.
This view is confirmed by the fact that the head of the PCEHR program would appear to have gone on a holiday from which he will not return to NEHTA.
We really need to make this dying patient a lot more comfortable!