Wednesday, May 06, 2015

It Looks Like The South Australian Implementation of EPAS Is Going Pretty Badly. An External Expert Review Is Really Needed and Egos Parked At The Door!

This appeared last week.

E-health system ‘halved appointments’ at Repat

Bension Siebert | 30 April 2015
ADELAIDE | The number of outpatient appointments available to older people and veterans at the Repatriation General Hospital has been halved because of the state’s troubled $422 million electronic patient records system, senior doctors have revealed.
The minutes of this year’s annual general meeting of the Medical Staff Society, given to InDaily by an SA Health employee, say that the Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS) has severely slowed patient care at the Repat.
“To accommodate the needs of EPAS, the Repatriation General Hospital has reduced outpatient appointments by 50 per cent,” the document says.
Outpatient services provided at the Repat include general medicine, surgery and rehabilitation, cardiology, mental health, neurology, psychiatry and urology services, among others.
SA Health was unable to confirm or deny the reduction in appointments before deadline this morning.
The document also says that “it is now expected that EPAS won’t be operational at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital until July 2017″.
In December last year, a report by the Auditor-General revealed that SA Health was drawing up contingency plans in case EPAS were unable to function properly at the new hospital.
According to an SA Health spokesperson, the department is “working to implement EPAS directly into the new Royal Adelaide Hospital in 2016″.

More than 200 EPAS ‘incidents’

The SA Health spokesperson told InDaily that 231 adverse incidents directly related to EPAS had been recorded since August 2013.
The spokesperson said only one of those incidents, involving a delayed referral, caused harm to a patient. The incident is being investigated.
“The implementation of EPAS has led to improvements across a range of safety functions, such as ensuring the correct drugs are ordered and right dosage is given to patients,” a statement from SA Health reads.
“In total, there are around 44,000 incidents reported each year in the Safety Learning System used across South Australia’s public hospitals.”
Lots more here:
Oh dear. This all suggests that a fundamental re-think of what has gone on to date and just how progress can be made is vital. This project has been growing on for years - you would have thought the rough edges would have been addressed long before this.
An independent, external and expert view is clearly vital here!

1 comment:

Terry Hannan said...

David, this outcome is of course a paradoxical benefit of the 'poor implementation policy and design'. Based on the long waiting times and care inefficiencies in hospital outpatient clinics in most hospitals we WANT significant reductions in outpatient attendances. We WANT more patients managed in Primary Care -there is no indication that this happened to those who did not attend (a different issue).We know that many of the outpatient visits (hospital focussed care) are unnecessary so do we 'declare' that the SA produced benefits through reduced outpatient clinic attendances? Sadly no and I think your summary at the end of the posting is correct.