Weight of EPAS failure grows

The State Liberals have released an internal memorandum from SA Health confirming that due to the ongoing problems with the Weatherill Government’s electronic patient record system (EPAS) and lack of storage capacity at the nRAH patient Medical Records and Departmental Records will need to be stored at an off-site repository.

The internal memorandum states that there is little storage capacity for paper-based records on-site at the new RAH and moreover, the maximum load across the floor is not built to withstand concentrated numbers of records.

As a consequence only the most recent volume of paper-based Medical Records for patients will be routinely supplied to clinicians whilst previous volumes of Medical Records and Departmental Records will only be available on request.

“Jack Snelling’s bungled handling of both the roll-out of EPAS and the nRAH will compromise patient safety when the hospital eventually opens,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“Clinicians at the nRAH will be forced to wait for vital patient records to be called up from an off-site storage facility because Jack Snelling has been unable to deliver EPAS on time and on budget.

“With an ad hoc part-paper part-electronic patient record system, split between two sites, time will be lost and patients will be placed at increased risk.

“Just why a $2.36 billion building is unable to take the weight of filing cabinets is a mystery in its own right.

“Last year a highly critical Auditor-General’s report into EPAS said that the project represents an ongoing high risk to the health system and, in particular, to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.

“The cost of EPAS has now almost doubled from $220 million to over $420 million and last year the Auditor -General warned further cost blow-outs are likely.

“In the Health Minister’s statement to Parliament yesterday regarding the latest delay in the construction of the nRAH the Minister stated – “we will move into the new Royal Adelaide Hospital when it is ready and safe to do so, and for no other reason.”

“The fact the nRAH will be unable to hold critical patient records on-site means the hospital will not be ready and there will be an increased risk to patient safety.”