ieMR roll-out at Cairns Hospital delayed as PAH prepares to go live

The implementation of the next release of the integrated electronic medical record (ieMR) at Cairns Hospital has been delayed until early next year but the plan to go live at Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) in November is on track, Queensland Health says.

A well-placed source at Queensland Health told Pulse+IT this week that the implementation at the 780-bed PAH was still in its design phase and testing had yet to be committed to, but Health Services Information Agency (HSIA) chief technology officer Colin McCririck denied this, saying PAH was on track to be the first large scale hospital to go digital as scheduled.

The source also claimed there were significant cost overruns in the roll-out.

Mr McCririck confirmed that the digital release of the Cerner-built ieMR at Cairns Hospital was now scheduled for early 2016 but said it would not delay the implementation of the release at any of the other hospitals currently using the system.

Queensland Health has been rolling out the ieMR in a number of stages at nine hospitals since awarding the contract to Cerner in 2011. The system has been rolled out in different releases – beginning with a solution involving scanned paper records – with PAH and Cairns chosen as the “digital exemplars” to receive the first implementations of the fully digital version of Cerner's Millennium suite.

Earlier this month, the Queensland government announced that as part of its $1.26 billion health ICT strategy, a further 21 hospitals would receive the ieMR over the next 20 years at an estimated cost of $376 million. This would also include 'lite' versions of the software at four small regional hospitals.

Following the digital release, another release including medications management will be implemented.

Queensland Health has spent $150 million on the existing roll-out to PAH, Cairns, Mackay, Royal Brisbane and Women's, Lady Cilento Children's Hospital, Townsville Hospital and Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service sites at Robina, Southport and Carrara.

The digital version was slated to go live simultaneously at PAH and Cairns in November, but Mr McCririck said the delay to early 2016 will provide the opportunity for Cairns to learn from the PAH roll-out.

“This will also allow Cairns to undertake comprehensive testing of the new system and provide more opportunities for staff to undertake training and prepare for the changes ahead,” Mr McCririck said.

“Patient health and safety is our utmost priority. The system will not launch until it is fully tested and ready.”

He said training for Princess Alexandra's 6000 staff will commence on Monday in preparation for its go-live date in November.

Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: Queensland Health, Cerner, iEMR

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