NPfIT: Some Good News
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) national electronic health record (EHR) program NPfIT (National Programme for IT) has spent Â£1.5 billion less than expected as of April 2007, ComputerWeekly reports. Part of the reason for the lower spend is that delays caused fewer EHR systems rolled out to UK hospitals, however.
It should be noted that while the UK government spent less, it doesn't mean that the money wasn't spent by someone. Since NPfIT vendors only get paid after delivery and acceptance, much of that Â£1.5 billion was likely spent, but by vendors. When the NPfIT finally gets rolled out, the total cost of it will be very hard to determine, since there will be an official government cost, and then there will be the large costs incurred by the vendors that they had to eat (which is why some vendors like Accenture bailed out of the program). Anyone looking at the NPfIT as a cost model for a national EHR system needs to be very careful in doing the sums.
The NHS also said that what has been delivered under NPfIT has saved an additional Â£208 million from the digitalization of x-rays and the decommissioning of legacy IT systems.