B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix is at NRGH discussing a review of IHealth system. (NICHOLAS PESCOD/News Bulletin)

Report says ‘deep mismanagement’ of IHealth project

Minister of Health Adrian Dix was at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital discussing IHealth review

B.C.’s Minister of Health is at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital today to provide an update on the review of Island Health’s IHealth system.

Dix announced in September a review was being done by Ernst and Young to look at IHealth’s costs, benefits, problems and what would be required to fix it.

A press release stated the Ernst and Young review made nine recommendations.

“The report found that the implementation of IHealth has been one of the most significant changes of practice for many hospital staff members and physicians. It is clear that there was deep mismanagement of the project: it was not properly planned or implemented, with some issues thought to be preventable if the health authority had leveraged advice from other Canadian experiences,” read the release.

Video of the press conference can be seen below.

It’s the second review undertaken by the province since the rollout of IHealth at the hospital and Dufferin Place in 2016. It was intended to be broader than the previous probe, led by Dr. Doug Cochrane, and look at progress on its 26 recommendations.

Since IHealth launched, concerns have been expressed by Nanaimo doctors, including patient safety and inefficiencies. Last year, 75 per cent of the Nanaimo Medical Staff Association voted that suspension was needed of a key part of IHealth, its order management process, so it could be redesigned.

Island Health agreed to put the order management process on hold, but reversed its decision in April, stating that the order system was fundamentally interwoven with other key parts of IHealth and suspending it would significantly impact those functions and jeopardize benefits realized by patients.

  • RELATED: Island Health launches paperless record system in Nanaimo
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A specialist was later suspended after a group of internists returned to writing paper orders, no longer feeling they could support the system’s electronic computer order management process.

Dix said, during the initial review announcement, that it was fair to say “this has been a problem for too long,” he’s listened to everyone and was determined to get to the bottom of it.

More to come.

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