Unhealthy Healthcare data
For a change (?) it is nice (?) to see stories about healthcare IQ Trainwrecks that don’t necessarily involve loss of life, injury, tears, or trauma.
Today’s Irish Examiner newspaper carries a story of the financial impacts of poor quality data in healthcare administration. At a time when the budgets for delivery of healthcare in Ireland are under increasing pressure due to the terms of the EU/IMF bailout of Ireland, it is essential that the processes for processing payments operate efficiently. It seems they do not:
- Staff continued to be paid pensions where they retired from one role and then re-entered the Health Service in a different role (HSE South)
- Absence of Controls meant staff who were on sick leave with pension entitlements being paid continued to be paid when they returned to work (HSE South)
- Pensions were calculated off incorrect bases for staff who were on secondment/shared with other agencies (HSE South)
- Inaccurate data about the ages of dependents resulted in overpayments of death in service benefits (HSE South).
- “Inappropriate” filing systems were resulting in “needlessly incurring wastage of scarce resources” (HSE Dublin/Mid Lenister)
Poor quality information costs between 10% and 35% of turnover in the average organisation. So the HSE may not be too bad. But the failure of controls and processes resulting in poor quality data leading to financial impacts is all too familiar.