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South Australia to outsource management of $485 million eHealth program

by Pallavi Singhal •
Free resource

South Australia’s Department for Health and Ageing is establishing a new eHealth Program Management Office (ePMO) to administer its $485 million eHealth program.

It has approached the market for tenders to outsource the operation of the new body.

Tender documents  reveal that the new ePMO will oversee the rollout of the Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS), as well as other ICT Services Projects and in-house hospital legacy ICT projects.

The selected tenderer will be responsible for establishing or assisting in the establishment and staffing of the ePMO, providing processes, tools and methodologies and managing core systems.

The office will also be in charge of managing the multiple vendors already contracted by SA Health to assist in the roll-out of the eHealth program, including:

  • Healthcare systems provider Allscripts, which is the software provider and systems developer for EPAS. Allscripts and SA Health are operating as joint systems integrators for the project, and the EPAS will be built upon Allscripts’ ‘Sunrise Clinical Manager’ solution;
  •  Carestream Health, which is providing a state-wide imaging system to enable improved clinical access to test results;
  • Oracle, which is providing financial and supply-chain management solutions to be rolled-out across the State (this currently completed for three sites); and
  • A request for tender has been issued for an Enterprise Pathology Laboratory Information System (EPLIS) to replace the existing Triple G legacy system on a State-wide basis.

The ePMO will report to the CIO of SA Health, David Johnston, and provide reports and briefings to the eHealth Systems Steering Committee, Change Control Committee and Risk Management Committee.

The $408 million EPAS forms the centrepiece of the SA eHeath program and is likely to take up the majority of the ePMO’s resources. The EPAS project encompasses the Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, clinical decision support and management application functions.

Its operation will also rely on SA Health commissioning 3,700 bedside computers, enabling smartphone and tablet access to the system, and providing clinicians with off-site access.

SA Health aims to implement its integrated Electronic Health Record (EHR) system over the next two to five years, with a commitment to developing IT systems for comprehensive, state-wide access to patient health information. This is part of South Australia’s overarching Health Care Plan 2007-2016, which aims to improve hospital facilities and health care services.

In the 2012-13 Budget, $30 million was allocated to the Enterprise System for Medical Imaging (ESMI) over three years, $30.4 million for the EPLIS over two years, and $25 million for financial and supply chain systems.

Budget papers also allocated $193.6 million towards the ten-year, $408 million roll-out of the EPAS. Another $90 million will come from the Commonwealth as part of the National Health Reform project. It is unclear where the remaining funding is sourced from.

The 2013-14 financial year is likely to be a period of peak activity within the office, but then workload for the ePMO is expected to decline in 2014/15 as eHealth systems are gradually completed. The Office will be dissolved by 30 June 2015, by which time all major eHealth programs are expected to be in place and deployment issues with EPAS identified and resolved.

Tenderers are expected to outline exit processes in alignment with this projected timeline.

The ePMO request for tender was issued on 18 October 2012 and closes on 27 November 2012.

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