Ministry of Health orders independent review of IHealth system

Ministry of Health orders independent review of IHealth system

The Ministry of Health is calling in professional services firm Ernst & Young to carry out an independent review of Island Health’s controversial paperless health record system.

The IHealth system was installed at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Oceanside Health Centre and Dufferin Place 18 months ago.

“There continue to be concerns about the use and adoption of the IHealth system and the impact on care delivery,” reads a letter to staff at those facilities from the office of the Deputy Minister of Health Steven Brown and obtained by CHEK News.

The letter explains that the review will begin this week.

“Participants will include care professionals who work within Nanaimo General Hospital, Oceanside Health Centre and Dufferin Place as well as leaders of the IHealth Program and across Island Health more broadly”

A letter from Island Health’s Interim President says “We recognize that user challenges persist. Island Health welcomes and supports the EY review”

The $174-million IHealth system was meant to revolutionize record keeping and data sharing within Island Health by removing paper record keeping and have it all on computer.

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital doctors complained entering all the information on computer was causing errors and a huge increase in workload.

The letter from the Ministry of Health today encourages staff to help find solutions  “The ministry values the perspectives of all staff and stakeholders as it relates to current functioning of IHealth. I strongly encourage you to participate”

Dr. David Forrest, president of the Nanaimo Medical Staff Association, said in a statement on Friday afternoon that the association is pleased there is going to be a review.

“We do not feel that the fundamental issues with the system have been addressed,” Forrest said in the statement.

“We have expressed strongly for the past 18 months that the IHealth system compromises patient safety and quality of care and must be fixed or suspended. We are grateful Minister Dix has heard our concerns and has commissioned a transparent and thorough review so quickly to give health care workers in Nanaimo a voice. We remain committed to an electronic health record that improves safety and quality of care and does not detract from it. We expect this review will determine whether IHealth does or indeed can achieve its goals. And we hope this review can provide a foundation to renew the relationship between staff and the Health Authority.”


Ben O'HaraBen O'Hara

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