Penza Health Ministry asks for 200 million rubles on new information support system
Penza, 24 August 2015. PenzaNews. The healthcare institutions require a new information support system that needs 200 million rubles to develop, the head of the regional Health Ministry Vladimir Stryuchkov announced during the regular meeting session in the regional government held on Monday, August 24.
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“On information support: we worked on this project within the healthcare modernization program. To our deepest regret, the project was a great failure not only for the Penza region, but for the Russian Federation as a whole,” he explained.
After researching the experience of other regions, they chose to adopt the system currently used in the Perm Krai, the acting minister added.
“In a nutshell, it is a full restructuring of the database, the synchronization with the unified database locally, the identification mechanisms – all those things. In fewer words, we need to fully abandon the previous system and install a new one,” Vladimir Stryuchkov said.
Following that, the acting governor of the Penza region Ivan Belozertsev asked to list the advantages of the new system and its actual benefits to doctors and patients.
Failing to answer this question personally, Vladimir Stryuchkov asked the head of Industry Ministry Mikhail Torgashin to help.
“Currently, every hospital has its specific server hardware and its own databases. If you, for example, go to a hospital in Kuznetsk, they have all the data on you. If something forces you to go to a different hospital, they have nothing. […] The Perm Krai system architecture includes a unified data storage solution,” he explained.
Hearing that, Ivan Belozertsev said he was surprised to see this issue become apparent only presently, when it could have been resolved during the development of the current Penza system.
“It is an obvious point,” he added.
Vladimir Stryuchkov explained that the currently used software was originally developed only for certain application areas, such as medicaments, medical equipment and medical records, but shortly admitted he has insufficient understanding of the technical reasons behind it.
“Frankly, I do not understand it all either, with their cloud technologies and this ‘twitter lingo.’ Though I tried to figure it out as much as I could. I am certain that further developing and using the current system is out of the question. Therefore, I am asking to make the relevant decision in the government and the relevant ministries on information support field in 2016,” said the head of the regional Health Ministry, noting that the cost of the new system is estimated at 200 million rubles.
In her turn, the head of the regional Finance Ministry Lyubov Finogeeva pointed out that software developers currently and frequently factor in additional capabilities to create new software modules and plugins as extensions of the existing agreements.
“The suppliers struggle to see their work in use,” she stressed.
Vladimir Stryuchkov’s reply to this remark was ambiguous.
“We will be using the current results. But the original software line must be abandoned,” he said.
In the discussion that followed, the officials expressed their regret over the lack of a unified federal healthcare information support system.
Continuing the issue, Vladimir Stryuchkov pointed out that the information system issue discussion began a long time ago, but no steps were taken in this regard.
The acting governor Ivan Belozertsev again asked to explain the reasoning behind the necessity of a new and expensive software system.
In return, Vladimir Stryuchkov asked the Penza region government deputy chairman Valery Bespalov to give his opinion.
“The issue with a proposed resolution with a cost of 200 million rubles will end up on nothing. I will explain why. We will introduce some system as a single-step plan. We always forget that if the software engineers are the only people involved in information support of, let’s say, accounting services, there will never be any good result. The field must be the most interested and most involved party in the information support process. That thing that went on for last several years – information support in healthcare, to describe it broadly – was done by software engineers. And the Perm Krai example will require not just a one-time investment, but also further upkeep. It’s tens millions of rubles every year. So I for one do not stand for taking a decision right now. We do not have the money at the moment,” the deputy chairman stressed.
Valery Bespalov also noted he thinks the issue can be resolved “by spending less money.”
In conclusion, Ivan Belozertsev instructed the subordinates to hold a thorough research on the suggestion made by the Health Ministry and see if the healthcare field indeed requires a new software system.