2 January 2019
Our health system is interconnected in such a way that
clinicians and patients regularly work or seek treatment across
multiple hospital sites and health networks. When EPAS was first
introduced in to South Australian hospitals it was hoped that it
would provide an integrated and consistent electronic health
records system, which would result in safer, more efficient, and
effective patient care. Despite the well-documented failures of the
software, the principles of greater integration and consistency
should remain a continuing priority.
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) believes that
rather than adding multiple administration systems to the network,
a simplified single patient administration system is required.
While it is possible to learn and use different systems, it is much
simpler to learn a single system common to all sites providing that
the system is comprehensive and intuitive.
The economic argument for keeping EPAS at CALHN and SALHN and
rolling out separate software elsewhere is understandable,
particularly given the significant investments that have already
been made to roll-out EPAS. However, there is also a strong
long-term economic argument for ensuring that the best fit-for
purpose system is rolled out across all sites, rather than
persisting with an inferior option at some sites. Therefore, of the
four future options proposed in the consultation paper, RACS is
most supportive of options one and option four.
Finally, I would also like to reiterate the key points made in
our initial submission, and to emphasise that regardless of the
final chosen option, the procurement process must ensure that the
software chosen has the functionality and the robustness to cope
with the strenuous demands that will be placed upon it in the