IT issues are now seeing pathology results take up to three days when they should be available in 24 hours.
Of greatest concern is urgent cases and in-patients taking priority over patients who see their GPs as the flu season looms. Due to the slow response of the Electronic Pathology Laboratory Information System (EPLIS), GPs will be unable to quickly detect and identify localised cases of flu cases.
“What is at greatest risk is very young people and very old people dying and that’s absolutely the concern of our members,” said Sarah Andrews, Director, Professionals Australia (PA).
EPLIS was supposed to be in action by June 2014, however continued managerial issues saw the rollout begin in March 2017.
For months now, our members have been complaining about the ongoing issues with EPLIS. The system is far too complicated resulting in GPs turning to the private sector to undertake pathology tests.
“What we hear from members is that EPLIS is not for purpose, and in response members report significant increases to turn around times, there are lost specimens in the system, and there is a lack of specimen tracking and problems with interfacing with existing and new equipment,” Ms Andrews said.
As more GPs turn away from the unreliable EPLIS, this presents risk to public who rely on the public health system for pathology testing and a danger to the jobs of our members at SA Pathology.
In May 2018, delayed and missing blood test results triggered a taskforce to try to fix issues caused by a $33 million new computer system and to find out how many, if any, patients were put at risk.