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Friday, October 05, 2018

It Rather Looks Like The South Australian ePAS Program Is Nearing Some Final Outcome.

These appeared last week:
First:

SA Health review: EPAS must be overhauled or scrapped

Adam Langenberg, Political reporter, The Advertiser
September 26, 2018 6:56pm
THE health system’s trouble-plagued electronic patient record system will be overhauled or scrapped altogether, after an SA Health review “confirmed” concerns about its operation.
Three health experts will determine if issues with the electronic patient administration system (EPAS) can be “addressed adequately” after a review found it couldn’t proceed in its current form.
SA Health chief executive Chris McGowan said the panel would also consider whether the problems were so significant that EPAS needs to be scrapped entirely.
“The independent expert panel will now look at options regarding the future of the
EPAS roll out and will be consulting with stakeholders on the options,” SA Health chief executive Chris McGowan said.
“The expert panel needs to determine if the issues raised with EPAS can be addressed
adequately in order for it to meet the expectations of users in the future.”
Dr McGowan ruled out returning to a paper record system.
The four options that will be considered by the expert panel are:
CONTINUING with a significantly modified EPAS
ROLLING out the modified EPAS in the Central and Southern local health networks, before assessing requirements for other health networks
OBTAINING a “fit-for-purpose” patient administration system and pairing it with an electronic medial record
SCRAPPING any further rollout of EPAS and returning to the market for a new solution
More here:
Then:

SA Health may scrap over-budget health app

By Justin Hendry on Sep 27, 2018 3:03PM

Extra funds aren't turning around sick EPAS patient admin system.

South Australia’s troubled electronic patient administration system (EPAS) is set to be overhauled or discontinued altogether after an independent review confirmed longstanding concerns with the rollout.
In an update on the review into the system that kicked off in June, SA Health revealed that continuing the current implementation approach had been “ruled out” by the review panel.
Chief executive Chris McGowan said the review's diagnostic phase had confirmed concerns with the rollout of the system, which remains accessible by only 25 percent of the state's hospital beds.
EPAS has suffered numerous problems since it was introduced by the former Weatherill Labor government in 2013, including numerous delays, usability issues and cost overruns.
The state was most recently forced to spend another $49 million to upgrade the system, bringing the total cost of the project to over $470 million. The project was originally budgeted at $408 million.
However around 75 percent of that revised budget has now been spent.
Next steps
Despite concerns with the rollout of the system, the review exposed “strong views” from users about returning to paper-based systems. The review panel has ruled out a return to those manual processes.
The panel will now consider a range of other option for the system that could change as the consultation phase progresses.
More here:

EPAS: SA clinicians welcome decision to scrap current system, but wary of costs

Adam Langenberg, Political reporter, The Advertiser
September 27, 2018 11:09pm
SOUTH Australia must avoid another health budget black hole as a result of overhauling the state’s trouble-plagued electronic patient record system, a medical union says.
SA Salaried Medical Officers Association president Laura Willington supported an overhaul of the “clunky” electronic patient assessment system (EPAS), but questioned how it could be done without a significant funding injection.
“The issue (with EPAS) is there’s so much that needs to be overhauled and there’s already been so much money spent on it,” Dr Willington said. “At some point, you’ve got to stop spending good money after bad.”
The Advertiser revealed yesterday that SA Health had decided against proceeding with EPAS in its current form following a review.
A three-member expert panel will now consider four options, including significantly modifying EPAS, as well as scrapping the rollout entirely and going back to the market.
Dr Willington said the report “vindicated” her union’s concerns that EPAS was not fit for purpose.
Australian Medical Association SA president William Tam said hospitals needed a “safe, user-friendly” system that increased productivity.
Lots more here:
So it rather seems SA is planning for something new.
There is only one problem and this sentence encapsulates the issue.
“Australian Medical Association SA president William Tam said hospitals needed a “safe, user-friendly” system that increased productivity.”
A system of this sort takes a long journey and requires a serious investment in very adequate hardware, considerable expertise in implementation in all its aspects, highly skilled project and change management and a great deal of money. What Dr Tam is talking about is a long term dream!
There must also be a rock solid preparedness of all staff to work constructively with the system provider over a very extended period. Getting a quality implementation of the software from say Cerner or Epic is a very considerable effort and achievement. All the Eastern States now have some examples that show success is possible - with time, effort and money.
The bottom line is that success has to be something everyone involved wants and is prepared to both work and pay for in both training, effort and money!
Will be a real test of the new SA Government to understand this is what is needed and to execute – or we will be back here again in a few years’ time.
David.

p.s. There is later coverage of the debacle with comments from the vendor Allscripts here:

https://www.healthcareit.com.au/article/we-welcome-review-allscripts-responds-sa-health-says-its-electronic-patient-record-will-be

 "We welcome the review": Allscripts responds as SA Health says its electronic patient record will be overhauled or abandoned.

Lynne Minion | 02 Oct 2018 
 
Enjoy.
 
D.

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