New IHealth probe or­dered

Vancouver Sun - - CITY - AMY SMART AND CINDY E. HARNETT as­mart@times­ ce­har­nett@times­

VIC­TO­RIA Health Min­is­ter Adrian Dix is or­der­ing a sec­ond in­de­pen­dent re­view of an elec­tronic health records sys­tem that cre­ated a stale­mate be­tween Is­land Health and the doc­tors re­fus­ing to use it.

The $174-mil­lion IHealth sys­tem was launched in March 2016 at Nanaimo Re­gional Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, Duf­ferin Place res­i­den­tial care cen­tre in Nanaimo and Ocean­side Health Cen­tre in Parksville.

The sys­tem was sched­uled to roll out to other Is­land health fa­cil­i­ties this year, but was de­layed af­ter some doc­tors said it caused dan­ger­ous dosage er­rors and took time away from pa­tient care.

Some re­fused to use it, re­vert­ing to hand­writ­ten or­ders for med­i­ca­tions and lab tests.

“There’s been sig­nif­i­cant con­cerns about this sys­tem since 2016,” Dix said. “We need to de­ter­mine where we stand, what changes need to be made and have a clear un­der­stand­ing of what the costs are to com­ple­tion of IHealth on Van­cou­ver Is­land.”

The prov­ince has asked pro­fes­sional ser­vices firm Ernst & Young to com­plete the new re­view this fall and make rec­om­men­da­tions.It will as­sess what ac­tion has been taken since the first re­view and con­firm the chal­lenges in us­ing the sys­tem, as well as plans for im­prove­ment.

It will also re­view whether the sys­tem is likely to achieve the in­tended ben­e­fits, plus as­sess the fi­nan­cial sta­tus.

By July, $72 mil­lion of the $100 mil­lion bud­geted had been spent, ac­cord­ing to the pro­vin­cial bud­get up­date re­leased Mon­day. The project com­ple­tion date has been ex­tended to 2020 from 2017.

“We’ve spent a sig­nif­i­cant amount of money and we’re just in Nanaimo,” Dix said. “That’s one ques­tion I want to see an­swered: Where do we stand and how much will it cost to achieve what we need to achieve here?”

Dix said a bud­get for the new re­view will be de­ter­mined in “com­ing days.”

IHealth will re­main in use dur­ing the re­view.

Last year, the B.C. Lib­eral govern­ment asked Dr. Doug Cochrane, the prov­ince’s pa­tient safety and qual­ity of­fi­cer, to con­duct the first in­de­pen­dent re­view of IHealth. Cochrane found po­ten­tial for er­rors and said the sys­tem shouldn’t be in­tro­duced else­where un­til it is fully func­tional.

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