Friday, July 07, 2006

NHS IT vacination failure

Glyn Moody thinks the vacination chaos following the intallation of a new NHS IT system could have been avoided if open source systems had been used.

"The UK's shiny new IT system for the National Health Service (NHS) is fast becoming the biggest disaster in the history of computing. The latest area to suffer is that of childhood vaccinations:

Child vaccination rates may be falling to risky levels after a new IT system was installed, a health watchdog says.

Ten out of London's 31 primary care trusts have installed new software to manage the vaccine programme as part of a £6.8bn overhaul of NHS computers

And why is this all happening?

A spokesman for NHS Connecting for Health said the new system was implemented at short notice because the previous supplier "withdrew support for its ageing system from the market".

Had this "ageing system" been open source, the NHS could simply have called in another third-party contractor and given them the code. Since it was closed source, it was doomed when the supplier abandoned it, leaving the health system up to its neck in the proverbial."

Can't argue with that.

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