BT relief as NPfIT roll-outs in London due to resume

Roll-outs in the London area of the Cerner LC1 Millennium Care Records Service are due to resume, Computer Weekly has learned.

The resumption makes it less likely that BT and the Department of Health will part company over the supplier’s £1bn contract as London’s local service provider under the National Programme for IT [NPfIT].  BT will be relieved to go to its financial year end with renewed activity on the London Programme for IT.

But the risks remain.

After go lives of the Care Records Service, Barts and The London and the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust lost track of some patients, had millions of pounds in extra costs, were not always able to bill for care and treatments and lost income.

It’s possible that such problems could affect other trusts which will now resume planning in earnest for Cerner LC1 go-lives. Unless these trusts decide to ride out difficulties even if the health and safety of patients is affected, the rollouts could halt again.

Links:

BT to resume rollout of Cerner Millennium system – Computer Weekly 11 February 2009

How NPfIT should have been procured – pssst, public sector software, services and technology

Barts – we underestimated impact of NPfIT go-live – IT Projects blog

Pioneering London hospital hit by crashes and delays – Computer Weekly

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At this point one expects an increased tension between stability and functionality. The need to make the thing work reliably tends to frustrate further tailoring to the needs of users. Typically the vendor stops development in favor of bug-fixing and performance tuning. The promised improvements in work process, speed, efficiency are 'deferred' so that the system can be made stable and reliable. In many instances, these are the features that were used to sell the system to potential users. The system delivered is often difficult to use and poorly integrated. Paradoxically, the struggle that users make to get the system to perform serves as a signal of success for managers who take the use as evidence of efficacy.

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