The Queensland Department of Health has released an open tender for the provision of an e-Health Strategy for its Clinical Informatics Program (CIP).
The tender, which closes on 5 April, says the strategy is to provide a “vision for ICT enablement of health reform and identify the options, priorities and initiatives for the next 3-5 years”.
Queensland Health spends about $85 million a year on computer and communications capital projects.
CIP was established by Queensland Health in 2004 to pull together a wide range of IT projects being undertaken independently across the department, and the currently 50 enterprise applications.
In 2005, CIP developed an architectural framework for clinical informatics, and is now looking to go the next step with “ICT enablement options”.
2005 was a disastrous year for Queensland Health. In August, the state’s health information technology was slammed in a report, which raised doubts about its capacity to deliver and listed many technology failings.
The interim Queensland Health Systems Review, prompted by the public outcry over the “Dr Death” scandal at Bundaberg Base Hospital, was particularly critical of a culture of blaming systems rather than business practices for not meeting health standards.
Queensland Health also terminated a major project to install a state-wide patient administration system (PAS) and clinical information system (CIS) using technology from TrakHealth, which is now reportedly suing the department over the decision.
This new strategy will be overseen by Queensland Health’s new chief information officer, Sabrina Walsh, will be closely aligned with policies developed from the interim review, but it may be up to six months before the project is finalised.
The strategy will focus on enterprise applications and issues, particularly the integration of patient administration, electronic health records and clinical information. Local systems, business operations and biomedical systems are out of scope.
As for the failed PAS and CIS projects, while medical software developers impatiently await news of any tender opportunities, the length of the technology tender process may mean it is up to two years before the department rolls out any new technology.