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Fujitsu, one of the major contributors to the £12.7bn National Programme for IT, the government's enormous project to introduce national patient records for NHS patients, pulled out this week. For such a major company to walk away from around £1bn of that sum must mean there are major flaws or obstacles in the process that were, in their opinion, unsurmountable. I note in this article - click here - that they 'failed to consult doctors and nurses who would be using the system,' so
is this expensive scheme destined to go down the pan along with many others thought up by our venerable politicians? In recent times I really despair of how often they get it wrong! TC.
It's been a disaster from day 1.
But my guess is- the company was bombarded with demands that no IT system could deliver no matter how much money is thrown at it.
The old axiom from day one of computing K.I.S.S
[Keep it Simple Stupid] seems to have been thrown out with the abacus and file cards
"I really despair of how often they get it wrong"
but what gets me is how is it that you hardly ever hear of those who actually got it wrong loosing their jobs over it?.
currently being used in a major London teaching hospital, and I have to say it's a little depressing - antiquated would probably be the word to describe it.
That's the problem - any major overhaul of NHS systems means starting more or less from scratch. The complexities of the requirements of both the administrative and clinical areas of the NHS are daunting, and I imagine that any commercial organisation entering the arena is going to find things frustrating, to say the least.
In essence the plan is an excellent one - any NHS doctor or administrator (with the appropriate level of permission) would be able to access the medical records of any patient in the country from a desktop - no need to move records from place to place, and no need for endless telephoning - it will all be there, accessible with a few mouse clicks.
Sounds simple, doesn't it? The concept is simple, it's the execution that's complicated, involving - as it does - the need to preserve confidentiality of personal data all along the line.
It's an IT nightmare.
Is some part of the new NHS system already running?
Is it that system that I regularly use to contact my G.P. sugary? I use it for such things as repeat prescriptions, appointment to see the doc. or surgery nurse etc.
I realise that if it is the new system that I am using then it is only a small part of the whole new system, or is it?
Whatever system that my G.P. surgery is using it seems to be working very well as far as it goes that is.
More years ago than I care to recall - I took a 'Marketing' diploma - at the behest of the Ministry of Misery- because I had been on their books a tad too long.[If you are student you are employed - are you not?]
To preface my dissertation- I wrote-
Marketing - The activity that interfaces the selling of the un-makable and making of the un-saleable.
This is a typical case I feel - the providers sales team said 'Of course we can deliver' with out due reference to the guys in the factory - or if they did simply overruled them and told them to get on with it.
"It's an IT nightmare."
And it's the latest of many. Do they really expect us to believe that they're capable of specifying, implementing and administering a national identity database holding detailed information on sixty million people?
How many bits/bytes is an individual personal record on a computer file such as the national data base? If this file record is then multiplied by the whole population of the UK, how big is the resulting file? Does anyone know the answer? Answers to the nearest gigabyte please.
If files of this size are then needed to be accessed is it any wonder problems are so common.
You have only to look at the governmental systen as a whole to understand why such a project is unlikely to succeed, or to come in on budjet. You have ministers in charge of departments who have no real expetese of the areas that they are in charge of, and who in genral do not stay in that position for very long, they also have political agendas which very often conflict with what is needed, they very often ignore any expert advice that they get, because it again is in conflict with the politics of the situation, and finally will often accept the lowest quote for the job. The london olympics are a classic case in point, along with the nimrod.
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