Should this IT project take longer to finish than Brunel's Great Western Railway?

Adrian Stevens, the UK managing director of NHS software supplier iSoft, says that people have been unrealistic about how long major IT programmes take to deliver. He was speaking about the iSoft "Lorenzo" patient administration system...

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Adrian Stevens, the UK managing director of NHS software supplier iSoft, says that people have been unrealistic about how long major IT programmes take to deliver. 

He was speaking about the iSoft "Lorenzo" patient administration system which is due to be installed by NPfIT local service provider CSC at dozens of NHS trusts. Lorenzo was due to be installed in 2004 but has been delayed. 

Funded by the Department of Health, NHS tusts have been installing "interim" iSoft systems while they waited for Lorenzo. But it's not clear whether the Lorenzo programme will ever be complete - even though the Department of Health's CIO Christine Connelly has faith in Lorenzo.

Stevens told E-Health Insider on the eve of eHealth Insider Live 2010: "The majority of IT projects take 10-15 years ... The focus on the national programme makes it appear that it [Lorenzo] is taking longer than it actually is.”

He said he is confident that Lorenzo, although delayed, will be delivered successfully to four early adopters that must sign it off before CSC and iSoft can receive milestone payments under NPfIT contracts.

Brunel's Great Western Railway took only six years to complete, despite major technical and legislative hurdles.

Links:

iSoft promises new products - E-Health Insider 

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