Nobody said it was going to be easy – or cheap

David More’s AusHealthIT blog is always a good source of news and comment. Yesterday he wrote about the efforts of a hospital in the US state of Minnesota to introduce electronic medical records (EMRs). Over a four-year period the hospital spent US$250 million and involved 300 staff to implement the project across 11 hospitals and 70 clinics. To operate the electronic system in 2008 they are spending US$17.4 million, including 173 staff. All I can say is yikes!

As David writes, “The five main lessons he provided were:

Lesson 1: Implement enterprise governance—quickly

Lesson 2: Pay for physician leadership

Lesson 3: Avoid design by committee

Lesson 4: Set realistic expectations

Lesson 5: Prepare for ruffled feathers

These seem to me to be lessons all bureaucrats and implementers in Hospital projects in Australia should take very much to heart

The scale of the organisation make for quite sobering reading!”

If that’s what it takes to get it right, no wonder electronic solutions are slow off the mark in Australia.