Sickly projects dog health sector

Billions of dollars worth of projects undertaken for the healthcare market are failing to deliver, according to Frank Mueller, managing director of First Consulting Group. Speaking to an international Microsoft conference in Monte Carlo, Mueller warned that last year 84 percent of projects developed for this sector failed to meet original expectations and that companies and institutions spent around $80bn on cancelled projects. He also claimed that many of the multi-million dollar systems being developed for the healthcare sector will be out-of-date by the time they are delivered to the end user.

Mueller forecasts that this trend will continue with 70 percent of applications in development not being flexible enough to satisfy rapidly changing business conditions as we enter the next millennium.

The top 10 causes of challenged or cancelled projects were lack of user input, incomplete requirements, changing requirements, lack of executive report, technology incompetence, lack of resources, unrealistic expectations, unclear objectives, unrealistic timeframes and the development of new technology. Mueller also warned that strapping new technology on old business processes would have “a negative impact value”.

He spoke of his vision of the future. “Traditionally, healthcare has been viewed as hospital-based. But a rapidly changing healthcare environment, brought about by patient demands and new technology, means that there is now a greater concentration on care from the cradle to the grave, resulting in the need for integrated health systems. More complex organisations and service models will exploit the vast potential of IT through integrated systems and computer-based patient records.”

He also foresees the evolution of Telemedicine: the delivery of specialist services at a distance.

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