Professor Braithwaite says he doesn’t oppose the system outright but he says the Government needs to give a much better explanation of how it would operate.
JEFFREY BRAITHWAITE: Is the data really reflecting performance of hospitals and services or is it a reflection of the different idiosyncrasies within the system and the complications within the system?
So it really does require a lot of smart thinking to present data in an effective way.
TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Do you suspect that when all is said and done a system of this nature simply might not be worth the money?
JEFFREY BRAITHWAITE: Well that’s the big $64 question. No-one really knows.
You set up an authority, you hire staff, you have a lot of activity within the health system to gather data in accordance with the information system’s requirements. You get a lot of people not only gathering the data but using it.
Do you get commensurate benefits in terms of health systems improvement? No-one really knows.
I wasn’t particularly impressed by the MySchool effort and I wasn’t impressed by the MyHosptials site when I heard about it late last year. However, lets not get confused about actionable and useful open data with publishing meaningless facts and figures, that are only likely to distort management priorities. I’m still waiting for a genuine Government 2.0 approach and innovative thinking in the public sector to be applied to this particular problem. And its not like there aren’t models they can copy. I wonder what’s stopping them?