Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson joins calls for halt to digital system roll out across state

FIRED UP: Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson with Opposition health spokeswoman Ros Bates at Redland Hospital.
FIRED UP: Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson with Opposition health spokeswoman Ros Bates at Redland Hospital.

THE roll out of a digital records system at Redland Hospital has been botched, according to Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson.

Mr Robinson has joined calls made by Opposition health spokeswoman Ros Bates last month for the state government to halt the roll out of its integrated electronic medical records system.

Mr Robinson said the digital system had caused problems for Redland Hospital staff since it was implemented in May last year.

He said large amounts of data needed to be entered manually after the system failed to transfer it from equipment and workloads for agency nurses had increased because of system access issues.

“Sadly, Labor has again failed to show due care with digital/IT systems,” he said.

“The Redland Hospital ieMR roll out problems come on top of the Palaszczuk government funding cuts of $39 million to the Metro South Hospital and Health Service, the worst blowouts in emergency waiting times in the whole state and the failed attempt to take the palliative care beds from Redland Hospital.”

Ms Bates’ calls came amid claims of risks to patients’ safety at Queensland hospitals, including those in the Metro South health system.

She savaged the roll out of the massive digital project after media reports claimed cervical results were not being registered on the digital records and incorrect drug doses were being administered.

“This has all the hallmarks of another health payroll disaster, except this time it is patient safety and not staff salaries that are at risk,” she said.

The ieMR is designed to allow medical professionals to access and document medical information digitally.

A report released by the Auditor-General last month revealed the project had cost blowouts of $256 million, 42 per cent more than the $612.9 million forecast by the state government three years ago.  

The 2016 business case aimed for the ieMR to be implemented at 25 hospitals, with the number since increased to 27.

The Auditor-General’s report found implementation costs were underestimated. Resources at hospitals had also been significantly impacted by the roll out.

Metro South Hospital and Health Service chief executive Dr Stephen Ayre said Redland Hospital had been fully digital since the go-live occurred between May 8 and 18 last year.

He said the hospital experienced minor issues with the system in a single area last month, with additional support provided to clinicians to ensure patient safety.

“No clinical incidents occurred related to this issue,” he said.

Dr Ayre said all staff using the ieMR were required to undergo training, including agency staff where possible. 

However, the health service preferred to employ staff over agency workers.

“If a non-trained agency staff member is working in a clinical area, duties are reallocated and they are not required to use the ieMR,” he said.

“This ensures that workloads are fair and that clinical safety is maintained.”