In "Kaiser Healthcare IT Meltdown?" I wrote:
From my experiences in health IT, I place my bets on the whistleblower's account.
In the East Bay Business Times article "Kaiser reports good results, but CIO quits as problems loom" I read with frank shock this statement by the whistleblower Justin Deal:
"My concerns are the financials," Deal said. "So far we have spent in the
neighborhood of $4 billion to implement HealthConnect, which is an astronomical figure."
Incredible. $4 billion? If that is true, that is indeed an astronomical-sounding figure for health IT, perhaps paralleling the spending of the "Connecting for Health" national EMR project in the UK. (Also see my earlier posting "$70 million for an EMR system?")
Where did $4 billion go, exactly?
Is an inquiry in order? I believe if the details of the Deal letter hold any water, questions need to be asked about this level of expenditure. In fact, perhaps a neutral third-party audit is called for in any case.
On an added note, I find this story of another former IT person at Kaiser Permante that I became aware of in correspondence about my earlier post quite unsettling. It concerns HIPAA issues and the attempts of this person to call possible security breaches to the attention of the authorities, and the resultant misfortunes visited upon her. This tale is reminiscent of some of my own personal experiences in bureaucratic settings.
I would advise Mr. Deal to get himself a top lawyer fast if this example of corporate use of power for warfare with the "little guy" is any indication of what awaits him.