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EPAS disaster long in the tooth

The State Liberals have attacked claims by Health Minister Jack Snelling that the failure of the Weatherill Government’s electronic patient record system (EPAS) is simply ‘teething problems’.

“Minister Snelling is recklessly dismissive of safety concerns,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“Time and again health professionals have expressed their alarm at the threat EPAS poses to patient safety and time and again Jack Snelling denies there is a problem.

“EPAS was commissioned in 2011, installed in the Noarlunga Hospital in 2013 and meant to be fully rolled out by July 2014.

“The widespread problems with EPAS are not teething problems they are deep seated, expensive and possibly terminal.

“Jack Snelling must halt the rollout of the troubled-plagued patient record system and commission an independent audit of EPAS to investigate what level of risk it poses to patient safety.

“Jack Snelling’s bungled handling of the roll-out of EPAS has cost patients and taxpayers dearly.

 “The Auditor-General has confirmed that the cost of EPAS had blown out to $450 million by the end of last year. Originally, it was going to cost $215million.[1]

 “Given the spiraling costs associated with EPAS there’s little doubt that the system will cost at least half a billion dollars if and when it is fully implemented.

 “Monday’s outage raises serious questions as to how EPAS will operate when the new Royal Adelaide Hospital eventually opens with an ad hoc part-paper part-electronic patient record system.

 “Before EPAS is activated at the nRAH a complete audit of its reliability is absolutely essential.”

[1] AG Matters of Specific Audit Comment (Dec 2014), pg. 8