Health IT fail cost $33m
An audit has found that a Queensland Health IT bungle cost taxpayers $33 million to fix.
The bungled rollout of an online ordering system for Queensland hospitals left doctors without supplies, vendors unpaid, forcing some health staff to ration their supplies.
The Auditor-General’s investigation found the financial software, used to order and pay for vital medical supplies, was switched on before staff knew how to use it.
The review found $540 million worth of vendor invoices were late in the months after the new system went live.
Additionally, 14 out of 16 hospital and health services across the state said the system did not work as expected.
The Auditor-General's report said fixing the issues cost time, resources and dollars.
“Not all costs can be quantified, but an extra $33.5 million was spent to go live and to provide heightened support to entities over the four-month hypercare and transition period,” the report said.
Queensland Health had tried to claim that the system failures “had little to no adverse impact on patient care”, but admitted that it underestimated the compounding issues before delivery.
“Entities reported low completion rates for user training. Users had poor understanding of their responsibilities and the system's processes,” the report said.
“Chief executives endorsed their entities' readiness to go live, with caveats, although none had fully completed their readiness activities.”
Health Minister Steven Miles said he it was a necessary report.
“It by and large indicates that the process was managed well,” he said.
“Of course there are recommendations about how it could be done better.”
The Auditor-General made two recommendations, one to redesign governance and accountability frameworks for project delivery, and a second calling for a cost-benefit analysis to develop a system that can monitor stock levels and consumption in real time.