Effectiveness of the execution of the eHealth project Read full summary in English
The Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia has audited how effectively the Ministry of Health had managed the project eHealth - the national plan for developing information system support to the national public health system in the period between 1st of January 2004 and 26th of September 2013. The audit has focused on the effectiveness of the Ministry in achieving the project’s goals, time management, management of the human resources and financial oversight. The goal of the Ministry was to implement a modern information system, which would support secure eHealth operations and effective management of the health and health related data. The Ministry had planned to finish the project by December 2015 with estimated implementation and operational costs of 133 million euro by December 2023. Further information on the project can also be found in http://www.intosaijournal.org/highlights/audit_slovenia_ehealth_project_jul2014.html
- The Court of Audit has determined that neither the project tasks, nor the responsibilities of project stakeholders had been clearly established.
- The project had not been appropriately coordinated and supervised.
- Although the Ministry had planned, that once finished, the eHealth project would be taken over by a newly designated eHealth support organisation, for which it had neither determined its future legal form nor specified the date of establishment.
- Although the initial conceptual models of the eHealth project had envisioned to be merged with another big system concerning health insurance, when planning the actual eHealth project the Ministry had not even considered this option, nor had it analysed its potential synergies and savings.
- The Court of Audit has ascertained, that with the completion of the eHealth project, the Republic of Slovenia would support two large information systems, processing very similar data: one – the eHealth system, would be used for processing of health services providers’ data, the other – the information system of the Slovenian public Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia, would be used for billing of health service providers’ services.
- Although the Ministry had justified the introduction of the project eHealth by pointing out that existing information technologies were outdated, it had frequently invested in upgrades of these same technologies, all of which were owned by commercial software providers.
- The Court of Audit has estimated that such practices had increased the proprietary lock-in of health service provides.
- By December 2012 the Ministry spent 8.8 million euro on the eHealth project. Due to its lack of control over project expenses, the Court of Audit ascertained that The Ministry had not effectively managed the project’s finances.
- The Ministry had entered into several contracts for products and services without clearly defining the object of the contract and expected products,
- paid for several project activities, public procurements and other activities, which it had later partly or completely discontinued,
- in several cases paid for same or very similar services to several contractual partners.
- In several cases, the Ministry had failed to timely plan project expenses, including purchasing software and hardware, which it had purchased from one to two years before it was able to use them.
- The warranty period for these products started with their delivery.
- Despite of not using them, the Ministry also paid for their maintenance, licence fees and similar services.