Healthbase Blog

NEHTA’s Blueprint !?

NEHTA has published a blueprint for its forthcoming program of work. I’m not sure why they have labelled this  a “blueprint”, rather than a plan. Possibly they have borrowed from Infoway, who have been publishing blueprints for many years, starting back in 2003.

Other blogs have already commented on the blueprint, at least here and here.

My view is that such a “blueprint” is long overdue, but this lacks sufficient implementation detail to be called a blueprint. From the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, we have:

blueprint (for something):

a plan which shows what can be achieved and how it can be achieved

[e.g.] a blueprint for the privatization of health care

I hope to be able to contribute to a genuine and useful “blueprint” for e-health in Australia in the coming months.

Comments (3)

3 Responses to NEHTA’s Blueprint !?

  1. eric says:

    This needs more explanation of what should be in the blueprint.

  2. A Blueprint is primarilly an architectural/engineering document. It is not a “plan” for achieving anything, despite what the OALD may say.

    A blueprint shows what the completed item concerned should look like but it says little, if anything at all, about how that item should be created…. in particular it says nothing at all about “method” (aka implementation detail“)

    Blueprints are just one facet of a “plan”. An eHealth plan needs to also cover methods, resources, materials, budgets, policies, legislation/regulations etc etc.

    If you expect NEHTA to deliver a “plan”, you’d better start lobbying the various Federal, State and Territory Health Ministers to extend its brief to cover that level of activity…. and good luck with tilting at that windmill!

  3. eric says:

    I agree with your view of a blueprint. And that accords with NEHTA’s view, I think. By implementation detail, I didn’t mean the ‘how’. I’m quite happy with NEHTA wanting to describe their blueprint as the “what”. And I think the notion of “capability” is a useful contribution.

    But as it stands at the moment (and unlike an engineering drawing), their “what” is often far too vague to be implementable – particularly in the area of data standards and terminology. If this blueprint covers the “foundations” , then they could easily be inadequate to underpin the proposed solutions. Without further detail, who could tell?
    In my experience, a blueprint is usually the final artefact in a design – manufacture process, that can be handed over to someone to build from, with sufficient detail such that:-

    1. there should be minimal disagreement on whether the product matches the blueprint.
    2. any two manufacturers would deliver the same product

    I don’t see how this NEHTA “blueprint” comes close to that.

    Perhaps a plan that covers “methods, resources, materials, budgets, policies, legislation/regulations etc. etc.” might be needed, just to help make that clearer.

    – don

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