SA Health ropes in Allscripts for State-wide EHR plan worth A$ 408 Million

Allscripts has been chosen by SA Health and the Commonwealth Government of Australia for its $408 million eHealth project, the Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS). Through this agreement, Allscripts will provide the Sunrise Enterprise™ suite as the EPAS solution, for the creation of the statewide electronic health record (EHR) system.

SA Health, the public healthcare system of South Australia, constitutes clinics and hospitals that serve a population of 1.6 million. In an attempt to provide seamless and real-time access to patient information, Health SA has chosen Allscripts, a Chicago-based health IT company as a vendor of choice for its clinical, financial, and access management suite of solutions. The Sunrise Enterprise is developed on an open platform called Helios, a healthcare ecosystem that provides the means to manage information. The Helios-based system has the advantage of enabling easy integration with third party systems through a single platform. The features included in this suite are EHR/computerized physician order entry (CPOE), medication management, clinical content solutions, revenue cycle/access management, and performance management. Sunrise Enterprise’s fully integrated EHR for acute care will act as the EPAS, which will form the foundation for the Australian EHR project.

Considered one of the largest projects undertaken so far, the EPAS would be installed for all networking activities across the state’s urban and rural healthcare facilities with the aim of providing an EHR to each person, which would be connected across all public hospitals and health service centers in the state.

According to a fact sheet released by SA Health, as a requirement of the national eHealth strategy, the EPAS is meant to provide the following benefits to the healthcare system at large:
• Complete and consistent access to electronic healthcare records at the point-of-care
• Replace obsolete and stand-alone legacy databases and systems spread across the healthcare system
• Connectivity among public healthcare centers across the state
• Standard operating and treatment protocol for healthcare delivery across SA
• Reduce expenditure in receiving, evaluating, and transferring paper-based records
• Help save costs through reduction in manpower and maintenance

For clinicians and other healthcare provider personnel, the EPAS would facilitate the following:
• Improved coordination, speed, accuracy, and efficiency of clinical treatments and processes due to seamless transfer of patient information across the healthcare network
• Real-time clinical decision-support, and means to monitor and follow-up patients effectively
• Reduced diagnostic test duplication
• Ability to manage patients on waiting lists effectively and help in managing bed transfers effortlessly
• Option to carry out seamless online referrals, thereby maintaining the continua of care
• Reduced cost of capacity building on independent legacy systems for healthcare personnel

The complete EPAS solution would be initially rolled out in all metropolitan hospitals and other sites will follow suit in 2012 with some going live in 2013.

This agreement completes the 2010 agreement when Allscripts was selected by SA Health for the Commonwealth Government’s initiative of deploying an integrated EHR across 80 urban and rural hospitals. This announcement was followed by pre-production software license agreement to enforce multi-disciplinary strategy, a pre-production testing environment and ‘clinical working parties’ (at least 14) in preparation for the designing and creation phase of the program. The clinical working parties included leaders from various regions, specialties, facilities, and scope of practice, assigned to experiment with the solution at the test labs.

The current agreement follows closely a string of successful business deals for Allscripts’ EHR this year; with clients who include Lompoc Valley Medical Center, California; DMC Children’s Hospital in Michigan, and Scripps Health in San Diego, to name a few.

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