blog It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given the ongoing billion dollar disaster that is Queensland Health’s payroll systems overhaul, but news has emerged that the department is also suffering problems with its electronic health program, with the first two tranches of the initiative being at least two years late. The news comes care of a report published last week by the state’s long-suffering Auditor-General (PDF), who, it must be said, has seen this kind of thing many times before. Some sample paragraphs:
“The eHealth Program was to be implemented in two tranches of work, over a four year period commencing in 2007-08, at an initial cost of $401 million.
The implementation of the specialist clinical and administrative systems (Tranche 1) is over two years behind schedule because of unforeseen problems with procurement, contract establishment, systems testing, and recruitment and retention of staff. Half of the Tranche 1 systems have been fully implemented, and significant progress made on the remainder. The balance of work is due to be completed by June 2013.
… Tranche 2, the second stage of work, the development and implementation of the integrated electronic medical record (ieMR), also fell two years behind its original schedule due to delays in the procurement processes. The delays occurred mainly during the approval stages due to additional due diligence to ensure that implementation problems experienced with the payroll system were not repeated.”
I’ve said this before, but pretty much nothing would surprise me about Queensland Health at the moment, given the disaster that was the payroll systems implementation. When you add e-health to the mix (remember that Victoria recently dumped its own project, HealthSMART, and the rest of the jurisdictions around Australia aren’t doing too much better in general), you sort of have to expect that Queensland Health would be having problems in this regard. I’ve said it before, I’ve said it many times: State Government IT is a disaster zone right now. Of epic proportions. Billion-dollar proportions.
Of course, the e-health program at Queensland Health isn’t quite on the same scale as its payroll effort, and according to the Auditor-General things are broadly getting back on track, but at the very least it looks as though things are not as spiffy as Queensland Health planned them to be … by a long way.