SA to scrap EPAS project
The South Australian Government has aborted the previous government’s Electronic Patient Administration System (EPAS) project, alleging major cost overruns and mismanagement.
The government plans to scrap the EPAS program despite more than $320 million having been spent on the rollout to date.
According to state Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade, the decision follows an independent review into the system that has recommended a fundamental reconstruction of the medical records program.
Wade said the review had found that the EPAS program had been poorly implemented, rolled out IT elements that were not fit for purpose and conducted without adequate input from doctors, nurses or the software provider.
Less than a third of the way through the rollout, more than 80% of the project’s budget has already been spent, he said.
“This is just another example of the former Labor Government not engaging clinicians and the taxpayers of South Australia paying the price. This isn’t just a minor error or oversight. It’s cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.”
The government’s revised approach will be devising an electronics strategy based on a new state-wide digital health strategy.
The Sunrise EMR and Allscripts PAS software that had been adopted as part of the prior rollout will be retained, with actions taken to improve these solutions and the implementation of them.
The Sunrise EMR rollout will focus on two exemplar sites that can serve as testbeds for future implementations, and these deployments are expected to be completed within the initial budget of the EPAS project.
“The lack of consultation led to the implementation of a system that’s clunky and cumbersome, doesn’t meet the needs of our medical staff and is in need of a major overhaul,” Wade said.
“We want an electronic records system that improves patient outcomes rather than undermines them. We want to empower our clinicians and staff with the right tools so they can make the best decisions for their patients.”
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