Sunday, September 07, 2014
The View From The Coalface Regarding The EPAS in South Australia. Not Good News!
I had an unsolicited e-mail asking about the future in Health IT in OZ and commenting on the clinical user experience of EPAS in South Australia a few days ago.
Here is an edited version of what was written re EPAS - with the identity of the writer obscured totally.
I came across your blog recently after googling e-health in Australia as I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the incompetencies of the government here.
I have recently had the pleasure of being forced into using SA's outsourced, over-budgeted, under-cooked mess of a program called EPAS.
How is it that a government with a budget of >$420M for a single ICT project was unable to, firstly, build the project in-house (and creating hundreds of IT and healthcare jobs in the meanwhile) and, secondly, end up buying such a mess of a program? EPAS is convoluted, it's difficult to use, it's buggy and crashes and it's an absolute user interface nightmare. It makes me cry thinking that this is what we are meant to use for the next 10-20 years. How is this even remotely possible?
I have a clinical background with some knowledge of IT. Not once did we see an ad looking for people who have a background in medicine + IT in order to help them with this project. Not once did they put it out to the public/relevant parties regarding whether this is a viable system.
As it stands, EPAS takes everything we have and makes it significantly more difficult (increasing times to do simple things like write a progress note from simply opening the notes and writing something down to 10+ clicks and multiple sources of possible errors). It appears that we have been taken for a ride and someone has made an awful lot of money off us.
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Now while I am not sure anyone should be attempting to develop a major hospital EHR from the ground up (as I think that would be a very courageous decision) it is clear that, given the apparent success we have seen here, that some very poor selection and implementation decisions have been made - as the very least in the way clinicians have been treated.
SA Health would really seem to have got into a lot of trouble with all this:
You can read the view from the SA Government here:
The comments following this blog fit very nicely with what is written above - so sounds like we have a disaster in the making.
Sad about that. I hope there are some serious efforts being made to recover!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Sunday, September 07, 2014