NPfIT problems exaggerated says iSoft CEO

“We’re light years ahead of where they were five years ago” said iSoft’s Gary Cohen, speaking in Auckland, New Zealand.

He was referring to the NHS’s IT scheme in the context of the “opportunity for New Zealand to have a national health record that is totally interoperable.”

His comments were reported today [20 August 2009] by Computerworld, New Zealand.

He said:

“Over the next one to two years, we will see a major transformation … It’s a very political process. It’s not true that it [the NPfIT] hasn’t delivered.”

Lorenzo as an interoperable NPIT product in health communities in the UK has yet to be rolled out. Cohen’s comments are an example of the optimism which has characterised the NPfIT from its outset in 2002.

Lorenzo release 1.0 is in use in a small part of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay, South Birmingham Primary Care Trust, where it is being used by some podiatrists, and at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where it is being used for radiology results and requests in an orthopaedic clinic. It’s also used at  Hereford PCT and Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust. 

Report of iSoft CEO’s comments – Computerworld, New Zealand

iSoft bullish on annual results – and Lorenzo.  E-Health Insider

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

If Lorenzo is intended to be a SSEPR (single Shared Electronic Patient Record) maybe he should look at the SRPG (shared record professional guidance, commissioned by Connecting for Health and launched on the 18th August 2009 on the RCGP website.

The problems are not simply data quality: they include clinical governance as well as information governance - and, despite my best endeavors, I have not been able to get any answers from iSoft, CSC or the NHS Lorenzo team on their approach to the problems!

“"We're light years ahead of where they were five years ago" said iSoft's Gary Cohen”. I wonder what Mr Cohen’s definition of a light year is? Real progress is best measured by comparing achievement promised with that attained. In 2005, iSOFT made two important strategic announcement promises that gave hope to several UK acute Trusts.

iSoft announced that “a strategic alliance was sealed in Singapore through an agreement between SingHealth and iSoft on 18 August 2005”. SingHealth conducted “a software evaluation in early 2007 following which the contract was amicably cancelled.” SingHealth selected instead the Sunrise Clinical Manager solution by Eclipsys, a software provider based in Atlanta, USA. This went live on 25 October 2008. Any NHS trust, which is relying on promises about Lorenzo, would do well to study the CFH assessment report on this development and consider the detailed reasons that determined SingHealth’s change of direction. They should also take notice of how swiftly an alternative satisfactory system was installed by SingHealth.

iSoft also announced that a long-term strategic development partnership was agreed between University Hospital Aachen and iSOFT in May 2005 and further announced that “in March 2006 the new system was put into operation for the first time”. University Hospital Aachen has faced financial challenges for several years, which has impeded its progress, but it is understood to be persevering with the system. Aachen announced the implementation of an “electronic patient file” (sic) and improved links to ‘Health Insurance Agencies’, some moths ago. Presumably CFH has an up to date report on the achievement in Aachen and its relevance to the NHS, which it will make available to interested NHS Trusts. This German variant of Lorenzo appears to be an iSoft priority since six orders for the Lorenzo ‘health insurance based’ product in Germany have now been announced.

Hence one win, one lose from the Lorenzo 2005 strategic partnerships. Why does CFH not publish the full details of the win and will they arrange visits to Aachen to see the system in operation?


I have noticed that the Department of Health (and to a lesser extent CfH) has ceased to make any comment at all if it's unable to construct what it considers to be a politically acceptable comment.

For instance I'd asked DH/CfH about a report they commissioned from KPMG on NHS IT. DH/CfH told me the contract was awarded by open tender but when I asked for a copy of the tender - no response. That was 2 weeks ago.

Tom - we'd expected an interoperable, strategic version of Lorenzo in 2004, and we're still waiting. People have remained optimistic through will rather than experience.

As you say: Real progress is best measured by comparing achievement promised with that attained.