Monday, December 3, 2012

It Really Is A Little Sad To See Just How Bad DoHA Is At Technology Implementation.

The following appeared in the last few days.

PharmCIS delays hamper PBS claims

30 November, 2012 Kirrilly Burton  
Pharmacists are being asked to hold off submitting their PBS claims until their software has been updated after delays on a major upgrade to the IT system for the PBS.
The new system, dubbed ‘PharmCIS,’ to replace over 40 existing systems, was expected to be introduced tomorrow to coincide with changes to the PBS Schedule from December 1 2012. 
However, the Department of Health and Ageing has admitted that some PBS software updates by some vendors would not be implemented by tomorrow due to the “complexity of the transition to the new system.”
An excerpt from a letter sent by the Department to key stakeholders seen by Pharmacy News, said: “While not all prescribers and pharmacies will have fully up to date software for 1 December, the correct PBS prices will be available on: where a print version can be downloaded to enable correct dispensing scripts that were modified by the 1 December changes to the PBS Schedule.”
Consequently, a spokesperson for the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, said not all pharmacies will have fully up to date software that includes correct information on the PBS Schedule from 1 December 2012.
More details here:
Coverage also made it into the mainstream press:

New PBS computer system delayed

THE Department of Health and Ageing has flagged further delays to a new computer system for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme that will impact prescribers and dispensers, but not patients.
The new IT system for the PBS, dubbed PharmCIS, replaces over 40 systems spanning nearly 20 years.
According to the department, PharmCIS or Pharmaceutical Consolidated Information System will support approval and listing of medicines on the PBS and its price determinations.
The system will provide PBS data to Medicare, software vendors and others, and also manage data and information associated with evaluating and listing drugs on the PBS.
The PBS Schedule is released in online format and contains all medicines available under the scheme.
Under PharmCIS, medicine descriptions will be based on the Australian Medicines Terminology, a new national standard set by the National e-Health Transition Authority.
Software vendors rely on "clean data" from PharmCIS to upgrade their products for prescribers and dispensers so information will be at these workers fingertips when they access the system. This work will now have to be done manually and those affected will have to check against the PBS website to ensure scripts are accurately dispensed at the correct price.
Lots more here:
What is really good is that in a letter to the Medical Software Industry Association we read:
“In the letter, the department took the unprecedented step of recognising the efforts of the vendor fraternity amidst the problems.
"The Department of Health and Ageing would like to express its appreciation of the work being undertaken by the medical software community.
"All software vendors have worked to very tight timeframes to maintain their quality assurance and to roll out their PBS supporting software packages for December 2012.”
So we actually have a confession as to who has let the side down here - in the nicest possible way.
None of this is at all new. The Department have known for a while now they were going to miss the deadlines but rather than just keep on with the old system till the new one was sorted they pressed on with the outcome we see. Remind you of any other DoHA initiatives?