Saturday, 14 February 2009

The shape of things to come?

So the news media reported that various people are unhappy about a NHS computer in a London hospital link to BBC article.

No real surprise there for those of us who deal with NHS computing on a daily basis and yearn for the days when dial up was standard as it was so much faster than the N3 network. A few facts caught our eyes about this failure and these are as follows:

“technical glitches had caused more work for staff and meant out-patient bookings were taking four times as long.”

“ . . the hospital has had to employ another 40 administrative staff to handle the extra workload . . “

“The faulty system had also prevented the hospital from billing other parts of the NHS for treatment.”

Now that is the really important bit of any NHS computing project bean counting.

“Many of the medical staff are incredibly disappointed with what we have got.”

No surprise there as the system is not meant to be used by doctors-they just get in the way of its prime function and complain.

“the hospital has spent an extra £4m to get the system working. On top of this, Mr Way estimates the Royal Free has lost £6m because of fewer patients . . .”

Excellent! Fewer patients means less cost and obviously better health as they are not being treated and are therefore not ill. Another box ticked.

“Nigel Edwards, of the NHS Confederation, which represents most health service organisations, said: "This isn't the first hospital to have very significant problems with implementation.”

You mean there are more because it is so good?

“A Department of Health spokesman said: "Many elements of the programme are complete, and patients and clinicians are now beginning to see the benefits these systems bring to improve patient care.”

What benefits are patients and clinicians seeing?

And finally a word from a mentally impaired Caledonian gentleman if you believe a certain Jeremy Clarkson from Rotherham.

He said: "For all the problems that a huge project like that has created, you cannot say that that is not an advance."

Fewer patients, more administrators, more expenditure, four times longer to do things and that is an advance? Will this gentleman be swapping a Jumbo next time he goes abroad for a bicycle as that is an advance?

A former comrade at arms of the ND team who works in computing said that the idea of computers was to reduce work and make life easier for those using it. If it doesn’t it should be scrapped and you look elsewhere for something better.

You have been warned. If this expansion of duff computing continues we will all be worse off. All the software we use on our home PCs gets better with upgrades in contrast to anything NHS which does the reverse. However, read any Party website on Choose and Book, Connecting for Health etc. and you will see the good comrade workers singing its praises and record tractor output. The Party does not hear the daily torrent of abuse that we do in Northernshire but may be it doesn’t work as well up North?

Praise be to the Party and all the “advances” they have bought to healthcare. We now have a headache so we will go and see the skull bone borer for some “advanced” headache relief.

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