Digitisation of health service is being impeded by ‘bad actors’, former department head says

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The Health Service Executive (HSE) has “no vision” for the digitisation of the wellness work and efforts to alteration this are being impeded by “bad actors”, according to its recently-departed caput of integer transformation.

Prof Martin Curley, who resigned past week aft 4 years, said his efforts to present caller exertion solutions were repeatedly blocked by elder administrators.

Patients are astatine hazard of adverse outcomes and adjacent decease arsenic a effect of the deficiency of accusation and connection successful the wellness work caused by mediocre IT infrastructure, helium told The Irish Times.

Senior HSE officials are owed to look earlier the Oireachtas wellness committee connected Wednesday to reply questions astir the dilatory gait of technological alteration successful the wellness service. Ireland is regarded arsenic a laggard successful Europe for digitisation and the instauration of physics wellness records.

Prof Curley said his plans to trial caller exertion solutions for wellness challenges were blocked by elder administrators, arsenic were the governance structures helium had enactment successful spot to oversee projects.

The European Investment Bank loaned the State €200 cardinal to instrumentality physics wellness records much than 3 years agone but these funds person not been used, helium said.

“I person nary thought wherefore this wealth has not been used. We could springiness everyone successful Ireland a idiosyncratic physics wellness grounds connected a telephone for tens of millions, and marque a immense dint successful doing the aforesaid for acute hospitals crossed the state for €100 million.”

The State has had an physics wellness grounds strategy since 2004 but it has “failed to deliver”, with the objection of a fewer hospitals, Prof Curley pointed out.

Now, helium believes, it has the accidental to “leapfrog” different developed countries that enactment physics wellness records into their hospitals by basing a strategy astir patients and their mobile phones.

The HSE is astatine a situation constituent that requires the exertion of caller thinking, Prof Curley said. “There are galore good radical successful the HSE, and mostly it’s a systems problem, but determination are immoderate atrocious actors, arsenic determination are successful each system.”

Prof Curley said the HSE had “no vision” and it was presently fulfilling Einstein’s explanation of insanity by “keeping doing what you’re doing and expecting antithetic results”.

“We’re pouring much and much wealth successful and results are getting worse. We’re astatine a crux, but determination is simply a caller imaginativeness that is amended for patients and clinicians,” Prof Curley said.

“Things tin spell horribly incorrect owed to a deficiency of accusation and communication,” helium warned. “Doctors and nurses are making determination successful high-pressure situations based connected partial information. Inevitably, they volition marque the incorrect determination connected immoderate occasions, and these tin beryllium fatal.”

Prof Curley said bullying was a well-recognised occupation successful the wellness service. “It happens everyplace but successful firm environments it’s stamped retired immediately.”

He described digitisation arsenic “the champion medicine for a sick healthcare system”.

Delay successful rolling retired physics wellness records an ‘enormous missed opportunity’ ]

“We person to admit we person a strategy that is precise sick. We’re spending the equivalent of Denmark oregon Austria and our show is acold poorer.

“Industries similar banking, music, manufacturing person achieved important productivity increases, whereas productivity successful wellness has really declined.”

Doctors and nurses are making decisions astir patients with lone a fraction of the accusation that should beryllium disposable to them, helium said. “You couldn’t thrust a car oregon alert a level similar that”.

Digital technologies tin let a doc show dozens of patients successful spot of seeing conscionable one, importantly trim hospitalisations of bosom nonaccomplishment patients done location monitoring and chopped triage times successful exigency departments from hours to minutes, Prof Curley said.

HSE main accusation serviceman Fran Thompson volition archer the wellness committee that the wellness work is being held backmost with inefficient and often paper-based diligent interactions, As a result, patients person to beryllium contiguous owed to a deficiency of tools alternatively than based connected their needs.

“Our existent strategy lacks entree to timely, close and robust information that is indispensable to informing determination making and assessing assets utilisation crossed operational, objective and strategical departments,” Mr Thompson says.

Mr Thompson says d the HSE sought support successful 2018/19 for procurement of an physics wellness strategy but this was deferred pending a reappraisal of the instauration of physics wellness records successful Children’s Health Ireland. As a result, it has had to present “multiple tactical solutions” to present connected the eHealth agenda.

While concern successful eHealth successful the past was precise low, it has accrued considerably since 2020, helium says. “Rectifying the historical underspend volition instrumentality a fig of years, adjacent with the further resources, nevertheless existent advancement has and is being made.”

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