EPAS disaster threatens patient safety

The State Liberals are calling on the Weatherill Government to abandon plans to courier patient records hourly between the old RAH and new RAH after the hospital shifts up North Terrace.

“Storing critical patient records off-site from the nRAH is a recipe for disaster and Minister Snelling needs to find an on-site solution to minimise the risk EPAS poses to patient safety,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade

“The Weatherill Government made a monumental mistake when it failed to incorporate paper record storage capabilities in the nRAH design and now intends to compound that mistake by storing patient records off-site.

“Seconds matter in health care and forcing clinicians to choose between making a decision on the spot or waiting for patient records to be retrieved from the other end of town increases the risk to patients.

“Running an hourly shuttle service down North Terrace to deliver patient records will also add further to the cost blow-outs that have dogged both nRAH and EPAS.

“EPAS is already running more than $200 million over budget and nRAH has blown out by $640 million.

“The warning signs that EPAS would be a financial and medical disaster have been apparent for years.

“A highly critical Auditor-General’s report into EPAS said that the project represents an ongoing high risk to the health system and warned of further cost blowouts.

“Earlier this year SASMOA released a letter highlighting concerns of doctors at the Repat and Noarlunga Hospitals of ‘extreme clinical risk’ and the potential for ‘a major adverse event for patients’ resulting from EPAS.

“The doctors said they were ‘extremely alarmed’ that the rollout of EPAS is planned to continue at major hospitals, given that the ‘risks will be compounded at larger hospital sites’.

“The SASMOA letter followed a similar letter from health professionals using EPAS in the Port Augusta Hospital.

“Yet Jack Snelling is insisting on installing EPAS in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital this week despite his plans to gut TQEH’s Emergency Department and cardiac services.”