NSW Libs to halt hospital system roll-out

The New South Wales state opposition has today pledged to halt the roll-out of the troubled FirstNet system currently plaguing the state's hospital emergency rooms.

The New South Wales Opposition today pledged to halt the roll-out of the troubled FirstNet system currently used in hospital emergency departments statewide.

A review found that the Cerner system suffers from design flaws and botched records management, saying that the issues could lead to a doctor administering the wrong treatment due to mismatched charts.

A specialist doctors' group said yesterday the system ought to be scrapped due to the danger to patients, thoughts echoed by the state opposition this afternoon.

The NSW Shadow Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner today slammed the project, saying that the opposition would halt the roll-out of the system in order to get it right if it won the upcoming election.

"If clinicians are saying this system is putting lives at risk, then we need to halt the roll-out and sit down with frontline health workers and find out how to make it work," Skinner said.

Skinner also pledged a risk assessment of the system, and promised to seek an alternative if the existing software proved inadequate.

"This project has all the hallmarks of another botched Labor project, who can't seem to manage to deliver health infrastructure projects on time or on budget," she said.

Deputy director-general of the NSW Health Department, Dr Tim Smyth defended the system today, telling ABC News this morning that clinicians were involved in the selection of the system itself, and that complaints aired now simply demonstrate a resistance to change.

"With all IT system installations, some people find it more difficult to use because they are used to the old system. That is just part of change in the health system," Smyth said.

ZDNet Australia contacted NSW Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt for comment regarding the opposition's pledge, however no comment had been received at the time of writing.


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