Tuesday, 17 May 2011

It’s not working. Never?

Being early birds (well most of us are) we awoke to see the electronic care records scheme as the first item on the BBC news this morning. Nothing new to anyone who works in frontline medicine but either there was little else to report, like the Queen visiting Southern Ireland for the first time or people are slowing realizing that there is a project haemorrhaging money away and delivering nothing.

One of the biggest problems is that the people employed in local Politbeau IT departments are some of the thickest in the country. They can only be employed in NHS IT according to one of our friends from the first world from many years ago who works at the opposite end of the IT evolutionary scale who had the misfortune to dabble in NHS IT many years ago. They commented that anyone who is any good at IT goes into the private sector for the rewards are better. Perhaps that is why a few years ago parts of the private sector pulled out of the NHS IT project?

The BBC news item showed pictures of doctors looking at x-rays on their desktop. We used to have that service as a trial a few years ago and we posted on how the special groups of decerebrate vermin that inhabit the swamp of mediocracy that is your average PCT IT department can, using age old excuses, deny intelligent people use of data that they have control over but do not have the abilty to use.

We used to be able to see pictures but all of a sudden a few months ago they disappeared from our screens. No explanation, no consultation just disappeared overnight.

Now swamps are difficult places in which to navigate and so it took us several weeks speaking to many IT morons who were just able to stay out of the water for a few minutes of work before they had to return there to breathe again. Eventually we got a name and found the reason which must have been dreamt up by some form of IT department low life who had been out of their pond for so long there was little oxygen reaching their few functioning neurones.

So we at ND Central took a few small steps forward and NHS IT has sent us back to where we were on the whim of a decerebrate invertebrate. This was the same problem our first world friend had with NHS IT and its morons many years ago when we were junior grunts and still is today. The technology is there but the intellectual ability is not. Hence while we can see and treat patients, read and interpret x-rays those who cannot do any of the aforementioned deny us access to information that is useful for our jobs and is known as IT. It is meant to help clinicians but we are kept away from it and its development.

This is apparently the third report by the National Audit Office and what it says is a reflection of what we troops on the ground see and deal with daily. We however knew that. Thank you Auntie for just realizing that.

Praise be to the Party for giving us the IT equivalent of the Apollo space programme. Some of us know you can get to the moon and back but whilst the Americans used the best available the British just use those who failed to find work in world-class organizations like McDonalds.

No wonder we are so good.


Godfrey Bartlett said...

The perennial problem with the NHS is that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.
But blaming 'stupid' IT staff doesn't come near the real problem of stupid politicians pushing for unrealistic and unproven systems without any cost/benefit analysis and without understanding the complexity of data structures and data flow within the NHS as a whole. There are umpteen self-contained radiographic display systems available off the shelf. Often introduced as the result of pushy "Not invented here" consultants who then expect incompatible data models to be magically married up with all the other hospital systems by people working for £19K pa. Babel.

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