Monday, March 17, 2003

FUD

A climate of fear (and certainly uncertainty and doubt) in the NHS says Tony Collins on Page 6 of this week's Computer Weekly. Long on criticism, short on other ideas it seems to me. Anyone taking on a job as big as the NHS has got to be pretty brutal and upfront - everything is stacked against this working so every advantage you can gain you have to press to the maximum. For Richard Granger to request (demand?) that the issues are not debated in the press but with him is unsurprising - I'd like the same for my world of course. "How will we get [clinicians] to adopt systems that they weren't involved in at all?" says one nameless IT director. Well, you haven't got them using any system yet, doubtless you have a little local system that has limited benefit to the clinician and even less to the patient, so what do you propose as an alternative? Ah, nothing. As Bertrand Russell said, "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." This is the biggest job going. The results will be clear and unequivocal three to four years from now. Until then, there's a lot of work to be done, a lot of suppliers to partner with and a huge range of stakeholders to herd. This job needs people to line up behind it, not against it. Unless you've got a better idea of course. As Bill Thomas has said elsewhere in the press this week ... it's a bit like sport, easy to criticise if you're sitting in an armchair. These wise but chronic Seekers of Injustice need to put up, or shut up.

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