SA Health

EPAS and eHealth: whats what?

You’ve probably been hearing about EPAS for a while now, and certainly a couple of days ago there was a lot of media coverage in SA about the Noarlunga Hospital trialling EPAS. Here is some information on EPAS, in non-tech speak.

What is EPAS?

Electronic Patient Administration System. Think of it as a sort of clinical information system, like Communicare, for SA Health sites. Click here to read about EPAS on the SA Health site.

Why do we need EPAS? Didn’t SA Health have electronic systems before?

Yes, SA Health has had various electronic information/patient management/ clinical information systems across its varied sites for a while now, e.g. OACIS. The problem has been that these electronic systems were not previously able to ‘talk’ to each other, much like how Communicare and Medical Director cannot currently fully integrate patient notes from each others systems. EPAS is one system, and thus will theoretically solve this miscommunication problem by allowing all SA Health sites to have clinical documentation that is compatible with each others, thus improving continuity of care.

Click here to read SA Health’s statement on FAQ’s about EPAS.

Click here to read SA Health’s statement on the perceived benefits of having EPAS.

What is the difference between EPAS and eHealth?

EPAS is a component of electronic health, in much the same way Communicare is. Its the basic electronic system you need to be inputting patient information into as a first step. The second step is to share that information. This is where the National eHealth Record/ PCEHR comes into play. The PCEHR allows sharing of information via a COPY of KEY information in patient records from any compatible system anywhere in Australia e.g. Communicare, OACIS, Medical Director , etc. EPAS allows sharing to other EPAS sites, but will be able to share with other systems (e.g. Communicare) when it becomes PCEHR compatible.

So when will EPAS be part of the national eHealth thingumybob?

AHCSA cannot comment on that as yet- SA Health will release their own timelines for these sorts of development. EPAS is still in its early days of being rolled out across the state.

Will EPAS or Ehealth be available at a hospital near me anytime soon?

All SA Metropolitan hospitals + Mount Gambier hospital are already capable of sending PCEHR discharge summaries. Your patient just needs to be registered for a PCEHR (and obviously have a hospital visit) to receive one.

Noarlunga is the first site testing EPAS. If successful at Noarlunga, EPAS will be rolled out to other hospitals across the state in stages. The first stage of this roll out will include Mount Gambier and Port Augusta hospitals. Subsequent stages will include Port Lincoln, Ceduna and Whyalla hospitals. We will inform you of exact dates when we know them.

For more information about EPAS contact: email epas@health.sa.gov.au or call (08) 7425 3190.

For more information about eHealth at your site, call Sarah or Dan on 08 8273 7200.

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