How influential?

For all the bluster about Dr. David Brailer being named the most influential person in U.S. healthcare last year, his counterpart in Britain apparently has some work to do.

Despite a huge budget and a government mandate to roll out IT to all of England’s National Health Service, Connecting for Health boss Richard Granger came in 22nd on the HSJ50, a list of the 50 people with the greatest influence on NHS policy and practice, as compiled by Health Service Journal. E-Health Insider reports that Granger is the only IT person on the entire list, and I couldn’t find any other IT types there.

Since this is the first time Health Service Journal has put together such a list, there’s nothing to compare the rankings against, but suffice it to say Granger would have scored higher a year ago. The magazine cites numerous problems in CfH and the agency’s National Programme for IT, including the likely scenario that the massive IT effort would need a lot more than the £6.8 billion ($12.8 billion) already set aside.

Even buckets of cash can’t solve every IT problem.

By the way, No. 1 on the HSJ50 is Paul Corrigan, health advisor to embattled Prime Minister Tony Blair. It must be steaming Granger’s crumpets that some media types made the list. Even 6,000 miles from home, Granger did a great job running away from me at MedInfo 2004 in San Francisco. He did an even better job avoiding the media by simply cancelling his planned appearance at HIMSS 2006.