Wednesday, 1 April 2009

NHS to award new NPfIT contract to HHI

One of my moles told me yesterday that the NHS will announce on Wednesday that it has decided to recommend that HHI be appointed as an alternative software supplier to iSoft and Cerner for NPfIT projects.

This is a tribute to the Rapid Application Development (RAD) technology used by HHI, a small UK software company employing only 8 staff, who have been able to complete their development of a full care records system using Microsoft Visual Studio tools in just 6 months, and have been able to get the system live at the pilot site at Midshire PCT in only 8 weeks.

Andrew Gile, HHI’s Managing Director, praised his three technicians who, prior to the start of the development, had little or no experience of health applications. He explained that the team had been able to work with doctors and nurses from Midshire PCT to understand their requirements and build them into working prototypes, that had then been used to explain to NHS managers what the system was supposed to be used for.

Ursula Sit, HHI’s Implementation Manager, believes that the short 8-week implementation time was due to the end user interface being modelled on Facebook. She noted that “most end users were already heavy users of Facebook outside (and some inside) work, and were fully aware of the rich functionality available. The intuitive interface meant that the majority of end users required only a two hour introduction to the system functionality before they felt happy enough to use the system in practice”.

The selection of HHI should be confirmed at a meeting to be held on Wednesday morning with a formal announcement due around midday. Andrew notes that he hopes the announcement will stop the circulation of a great deal of the hot air that has been around the NPfIT project since its inception, and will allow his company, Hoof Hearted Inc, to get on with the planned 3-month roll out of the HHI system to the remaining 2,000 Trusts awaiting a new system......

I should have the confirmation of the selection of HHI around lunchtime on Wednesday – check back in the afternoon for confirmation.

Midday, Wednesday 1 April update: Yes, you guessed it, this was an April Fool post. But what about "agile" development processes - are they better than "waterfall" processes? Revisit this blog over the coming days for my views.....

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