The Australian National E-Health Transition Authority has terminated a $23 million contract with IBM to build a security component for the government's electronic health record system, Government Health IT reports (Brino, Government Health IT, 10/24).
NEHTA awarded the contract to IBM in March 2011.
IBM was tasked with developing the National Authentication Service for Health, or NASH, a secure service that would allow health care providers to access the country's Personally Controlled Electronic Healthcare Record system.
The project was scheduled to be complete by June 26 (Gliddon, iTnews, 10/23).
Reasons for Termination of Contract
NEHTA cited missed deadlines and delays in its decision to terminate the contract (Government Health IT, 10/24). The agency did not elaborate on the details of the termination.
A NEHTA spokesperson said, "The parties have agreed and continue to undertake discussions on a confidential and without prejudice basis."
IBM confirmed that the contract has been terminated but declined to comment further, pending legal proceedings.
NEHTA's Interim Service
According to the NEHTA spokesperson, the Australian government has implemented an interim service that supports much of the functionality of the system IBM was contracted to develop.
The spokesperson said, "This situation with IBM does not affect consumer access to the e-health record system in any way, and given the interim NASH solution has been delivered, this does not impact health care providers from accessing and uploading e-health records" (iTnews, 10/23).