Island Health temporarily stops using Cerner EHR

The Vancouver Island Health Authority has stopped using its Cerner EHR system for the time being due to complaints from physicians, according to CBC News.

In 2013, Island Health in British Columbia, Canada, signed a 10-year, $50 million deal with Cerner to implement the EHR, called IHealth, across the system, which includes Nanaimo (British Columbia) Regional Hospital; Nanaimo, British Columbia-based Dufferin Place; and Parksville, British Columbia-based Oceanside Health Centre.

The IHealth system went live on March 19, 2016. But shortly thereafter, physicians at Nanaimo Regional Hospital reverted to using pen and paper to complete orders, claiming Cerner's EHR system randomly lost, buried or changed orders for drugs and diagnostic tests. Although physicians signed a petition asking Island Health to suspend further implementation, Island officials decided to move forward with the process. 

As time went on, physicians continued to complain about the IHealth system. Last summer, Island Health offered select physicians extra money to keep using Cerner's system. On-call physicians were offered $260 per day and emergency room physicians were offered up to $780 per day, though it was not reported whether those amounts were for each physician or for a collective group of physicians.

Due to these continued issues, Island Health will temporarily stop using the IHealth software. "The deeper learnings that we've had is that these systems fundamentally change the way that our physicians and nurses and other practitioners do their work," said Island Health CEO Brendan Carr, according to the report.

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