Veteran Computer Weekly journalist Tony Collins now has his own blog. For those who don't know him, he is a one man Woodward and Bernstein of British IT journalism - he has been at CW for as long as I can remember (so getting on for nearly 20 years). He has exposed more incompetence and muddle headed thinking in major IT projects than probably any other journalist. A campaigning hack of the old school.
His blog should therefore give him another platform to provide more detail on the stories he uncovers.
As he says himself:
Fortunately few IT-related failures lead to deaths. One advantage of this – and a disadvantage - is that there is not the pressure to learn from mistakes. This blog will seek to apply a little more pressure than now exists.
It will also look at the increasing importance of good communications, external and internal, and oddities in the way some organisations report bad news.
So - something for all the family. Here's a sample of Tony's style:
For example I was in touch yesterday with the spokesman of an NHS trust which has had serious problems with a system for handling electronic patient records. One of the trust's prospective patients, with suspected cancer, has not been seen within two weeks of an urgent referral by a GP. This is in breach of a government target. The trust has reported that the breach occurred because of “process issues” with the patient record system.
Yet the trust reports a 100% success rate in meeting the target for seeing urgent referrals for suspected cancer within two weeks. The spokesman explained that there was a “certain level of tolerance” over the 100% target figure.
A 99.9% success may be categorised as 100% because 99.9% is closer to 100% than 99%. This to him seemed reasonable.
I asked him how many patients with suspected cancer can fall though the net, and not be seen within two weeks of an urgent referral by their GP, before a 100% success rate is reported as a 99% failure. I am waiting for a response.