Thursday, December 01, 2016
One Rather Has To Feel Sorry For The SA Health CIO. He Seems To Have Beed Dropped In it!
Despite my hopes – SA Health has dropped back into view again this week.
Health authority CIO responds to electronic records system doubters
25 November, 2016 13:17
It’s been a trying few weeks for SA Health CIO Bill Le Blanc. Earlier this month he faced the wrath of medical unions and the scrutiny of the national media after a glitch caused an outage in the health authority’s electronic patient records system, EPAS.
Two more outages occurred over last weekend. On Tuesday morning page three of Adelaide’s The Advertiser newspaper read “EPAS fails ‘will be fatal’”. By the afternoon Le Blanc was being grilled live on radio.
“I never anticipated when I applied for this job I would have to go on radio, TV, the paper,” he said at the CIO50 awards in Sydney last night. “People screaming that IT…is basically going to kill a patient.”
Speaking as part of a panel, Le Blanc held aloft the damning newspaper report before defending the EPAS system, which is currently live across seven SA Health services.
“I went head to head with the head of the doctor’s union on talkback radio,” Le Blanc said, “and his claim was this system, an incorrect prescription, is going to kill someone. I said well let’s talk about incorrect prescriptions…”
Le Blanc, who was appointed to the role of CIO at the end of 2013, hit back at critics of electronic health records referring to hospital safety audits which he said reveal that “in a paper-based world where doctors are writing on script pads”, one in 20 of all prescriptions are incorrect.
“It’s either given to the wrong patient or the wrong dosage or given at the wrong frequency,” he said, adding that 12 per cent of people are discharged with incorrect medication.
“With the kind of systems we're putting in place those hospitals where we have already deployed it… the prescription error rate dropped from five per cent to 0.03 per cent. One in three thousand,” Le Blanc said.
Of last weekend’s outage Le Blanc explained that his team patched a server that EPAS was running on at 1.30am and experienced a five minute outage.
Lots more here:
This appeared after more reports and an editorial appeared.
November 22, 2016
South Australia's troubled electronic-patient records system has suffered two more outages over the weekend.
SA Health said issues with a software update and servers caused delays to EPAS for 13 minutes early on Sunday morning and another for about 40 minutes on Sunday night.
Earlier this month, EPAS was out of action for about 10 hours following another software glitch.
SA Health chief information officer Bill le Blanc said it did its best to minimise inconvenience to staff and patients.
"From time to time our ICT computer systems will experience glitches, and we have procedures in place that the staff are well-versed in," he said.
"They used the procedures in this instance to ensure that care was not compromised."
The American-developed software has suffered a number of setbacks since its roll-out to metropolitan hospitals since 2013.
Health workers found ordering drugs could be complicated and in one case it took up to 10 minutes to change a paracetamol dose from intravenous to oral.
Here is the editorial from the Adelaide Advertiser.
November 22, 2016 12:38am
TWO failures within 24 hours of the controversial computer patient management system at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital are cause for deep concern.
The latest problems with the $422 million Enterprise Patient Administration System follow a 10-hour shutdown a fortnight ago.
They come as the metropolitan hospital system is undergoing unprecedented change, both from Transforming Health reforms and the looming opening of the new $2.3 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Both of these are underpinned by sensible logic — the need for a new hospital and to better manage the metropolitan hospital system. But, like the EPAS, sensible concepts are proving difficult to deliver.
There is a strong argument for the EPAS, designed as the foundation for delivering South Australia’s statewide electronic health record. The new system’s aim is to put SA public hospitals and health care sites at the forefront of e-health advancements.
The system was introduced at the QEH in late June. Health Minister Jack Snelling had already conceded it would not be ready for the new RAH’s opening and faced revelations the hospital’s floors would not be strong enough to hold paper records.
Doctors are expressing concern that the EPAS faults pose a fatal risk which, clearly, must be treated extremely seriously.
But there is another community risk — that necessary health reform will be bungled as a sceptical public loses patience with repeated faults.
I really hope this is the last time we hear about this mess for a while. It is getting boring.
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Thursday, December 01, 2016