Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men...

An electronic health records management system being rolled out by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan/Hospitals has been nothing short of an IT project gone awry, according to sources at the company and an internal report detailing problems with the HealthConnect system.

Questions about the project arose last week at about the same time Cliff Dodd, the company's CIO, resigned. Dodd stepped down last Monday after another Kaiser employee, Justen Deal, sent a memo to every company worker
(n.b. all 180,000 of them!) warning of technological and financial repercussions related to the rollout of the nearly $4 billion system.

Kaiser is reportedly spending $76,920 per physician on the project. The full ComputerWorld article is here. There's another good article in eWeek.

For those not in the electronics industry, the 99.5% uptime mentioned in the eWeek article may sound good, but a system like this should have enough software scaling ability and redundant computer horsepower to be running at 99.99+%. The power failures that the CEO cites should never affect system availability.


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