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
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.