The NSW Auditor General’s report into NSW Health has flagged a major system overhaul for the Department, due to go to tender this month (December).
The Auditor-General, Peter Achterstraat, has criticised the NSW Health Department for not having sufficient asset management procedures in place.
“The Department advised various versions of an Asset Management and Maintenance System (AMMS) exist across the health sector, predominantly designed and focussed on supporting the management of built assets, rather than equipment,” he says in the report.
“The various asset systems: are not integrated; reporting capacities are limited; cannot be used as a planning, benchmarking or management tool; and are becoming progressively obsolete,” he adds.
He notes that the Department is currently working on a long term project to update and standardise these systems. The Department has completed a review of the product options offered by the market, and according to Achterstraat, a tender has been proposed for release in early December 2010.
The Health Department’s 2009-10 Annual Report also lists this area of development as a priority for 2010-11.
“[We will] continue to work with the Health Services to further refine their Asset Strategic Plans to better determine future asset relates requirements,” it says.
Intermedium’s tender collection and analysis shows that this approach to market has yet to take place.
The Auditor-General has also detailed the Health Department’s progress against the targets set out in it’s $1.5 billion ICT Strategic Plan.
His assessment shows that the Department is progressing well toward project implementation objectives. Of the six projects over $50 million that he has reported on, there are no major delays unaccounted for nor significant budget blowouts. This distinguishes Health from many of the other NSW Department Achterstraat has audited this year.
Health NSW’s six year ICT Strategy includes:
Patient and Clinical Systems
The Patient and Clinical Systems used in hospitals and other health facilities will be overhauled. Phase 2 of this project, budgeted at $115 million, will run one year over its original completion date to 2011. Intermedium’s Budget IT tool suggests that $3.78 million of this remains to be spent in the current financial year.
Patient Administration System
The rollout of the electronic Patient Administration System has been completed on budget at $89.7 million.
Medical Picture Archiving
The rollout of the Medical Picture Archiving and Communications System and Radiology (MIPACSR), is currently $236,000 over budget and due for completion in 2011. Intermedium’s Budget IT suggests that $15.5 million of its revised $63 million budget will be spent in 2010-11.
Human Resources Information System
A new Human Resources Information system, with a budget allocation of $50.7 million and a scheduled completion date in 2012 will be implemented. The Treasury has been approached to consider a revised budget for this project due to the reconfigurations caused by the national Health reform package.
Community Health Outpatient System
A Community Health Outpatient System is worth $104.7 million and due for completion in 2015. Budget IT suggests $9.5 million of this will be spent in 2010-11.
Corporate Systems Strategy
Stage 2a of the Corporate Systems overhaul has been budgeted at $107.7 million and is due for completion in 2014. According to the Annual Report, the Corporate Systems strategy includes investments in ICT infrastructure such as data centres, an automated rostering program, and the development of PowerBilling software for patient billing.
Intermedium reported in November that NSW Health looked to be moving into the second phase of its ICT Strategy, which was earmarked as the implementation phase.
The 2009-10 Annual Report indicates that 143 temporary ICT personnel have been hired in 2010 for the implementation of the payroll and rostering systems that form part of the Corporate Systems Strategy.
This suggests that Labour Hire procurements are likely to increase over the coming years as NSW Health seeks to put into place is extensive ICT developments.