blog It used to be pretty rare that Australia would see an IT system implemented or maintained so poorly that it had the potential to cause fatalities or serious injury. But not any more. This year we’ve seen three such cases in Victoria alone, linked separately to failing IT systems at Victoria Police (which actually did result in several deaths), a Victorian hospital and, most worryingly, with relation to children’s safety under the care of the Department of Human Services. Well, last week South Australia got its own potentially fatal IT system. Adelaide news site InDaily writes about the state’s new Enterprise Patient Administration System (we recommend you click here for the full article):
InDaily has obtained an extraordinary letter, dated February 14, 2014, in which the Flinders and Far North Doctors Association warns SA Health CEO David Swan that the e-health system could cause a patient’s death. “We are concerned that it is only a matter of time before there is a significant EPAS related mishap or fatality,” the letter said.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Australia’s State Governments are in crisis right now when it comes to fundamental ICT project and service delivery. Aside from a few bright spots, as a basic rule, our state governments cannot deliver major ICT projects (especially in areas such as e-health and law enforcement), and they cannot provide their departments and agencies with acceptable ICT services. Now that problem is starting to endanger lives. It’s a harsh reality, but one government technologists need to urgently face. Otherwise, as our doctors are warning, there will be deadly consequences.