Supplementary Submission to the Independent Review of the Enterprise Patient Administration System (South Australia)

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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 hospital system.