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Learning from Mistakes: The Minnesota Story

by John Moore | March 21, 2011

Chilmark rarely references other reports and articles as the foundation for a post on this site. Once in a great while we come across a story that is just too good to pass over.  Reporter Michael Krigsman, who writes the IT Failures column for ZDnet has just published such a story.

The story gives a detailed retelling of the failure of Minnesota’s HealthMatch, which Krigsman refers to as the “a perfect storm for IT failure.” This is a lengthy story by today’s Internet standards but well worth the read for several reasons:

1) The story gives a clear picture as to the many things that can, and in this case did go wrong in a major IT project.

2) There is a healthcare spin to this story as the project was funded through Minnesota’s Dept. of Human Services.

3) The country, via the HITECH Act, has embarked on a massive multi-billion dollar program to digitize healthcare. A significant portion of these federal funds are going directly to States to establish basic health exchange infrastructures (e.g., HIEs). There is the very real danger that this story could be repeated many times over across the US.

Hopefully, those reading Krigsman’s retelling of what went horribly wrong in Minnesota will take to heart the lessons learned and not repeat them in their own organizations.

Stay up to the minute.

“As biometric data becomes cheaper and easier to collect through smart sensors, devices, and mobile apps, expect to see more innovations in consumer health.”

-Alicia Vergaras