EPAS disaster set to infect NRAH

Alarms bells are now ringing loudly after Indaily yesterday revealed that the Weatherill Government’s beleaguered e-health record system – EPAS – isn’t expected to be operational at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital “until July 2017.″

 “If the computer patient record system isn’t operational when the new hospital opens, this hugely expensive project risks becoming a clinical disaster for South Australian patients and the health workers caring for them,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“The design of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital doesn’t include any space for paper-based record keeping systems.

“If EPAS fails at the new RAH the impacts on patient care in South Australia will be devastating and dangerous and project costs will blow-out significantly.”

As the Auditor-General reported last year, the new Royal Adelaide Hospital is:

reliant on the EPAS solution being implemented and embedded with reformed clinical workflows and practices by 2016 (Report of the Auditor-General 4 December 2014)

“Labor has totally mismanaged EPAS. It is a rolling disaster with one critical deadline after another missed and with project costs more than doubling and continuing to rise,” said Mr Wade.

“EPAS was originally meant to be installed and operational in 75 South Australian public hospitals by the middle of last year at a cost of $220 million. It’s currently only being used in three hospitals and the cost has soared to more than $420 million.

Indaily also reported that the Medical Staff Society’s Annual General Meeting had been informed that the introduction of EPAS at the Repatriation General Hospital had led to a halving of outpatient appointments.

“These reports reinforce the scathing assessment of the operation of EPAS at the Repat that four very senior clinicians released last year. Those clinicians warned that EPAS had become an expensive white elephant and represents a direct risk to patient safety.

“Health Minister Jack Snelling needs to address the persistent concerns about EPAS and explain why he told State Parliament on February 26th this year that the roll out of EPAs at the Repat “has gone very well.”

“Minister Snelling also needs to detail the cost of the roll out of EPAS at the Repat to date.”