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Even when nRAH is ready EPAS is not

The State Liberal have released a leaked internal SA Health document confirming patient safety will be compromised by the Weatherill Government’s troubled electronic patient record system (EPAS) when the new RAH finally opens.

“The leaked document confirms that whilst EPAS will be operational in the Emergency Department at the nRAH it won’t be working for patients in the Intensive Care Unit,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“As a consequence gravely ill patients being transfer from ED to ICU will require the clinical EPAS notes from ED to be printed out or transferred to paper records for use in ICU.

“This fracturing of the patient record in the emergency pathway is an avoidable risk to the health of some of the sickest patients in our hospital system.

“We knew that the Government was going to use a light version of EPAS on day 1 but the leaked SA Health document indicates that over time the Government is planning for fewer and fewer areas in the nRAH to use EPAS from day 1.”

The plan also shows that other key risk issues have not been addressed.

A July 2016 Auditor-General’s report highlighted the risk that medical staff at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital may not be able to access a patient’s full clinical history in a timely manner, including that Emergency Department staff may be unable to confirm allergies and intolerances. (p28)

The leaked SA Health document says “a decision will be required on how allergies will be managed given medication ordering will remain on paper. Allergies include food allergies given diet ordering in EPAS.”

“Health Minister Jack Snelling must also reveal exactly where the paper medical records to be used at the nRAH will be stored,” said Mr Wade.

“Taxpayers have thrown $422 million at EPAS but the Health Minister still can’t tell us where the paper records this failed system will stored and how they long it will take to retrieve them.”