NHS 24 has received heavy criticism for going 73 per cent over budget so far on a revised telehealth system.
The system is designed to handle communications and online services for NHS 24, but was shut down shortly after going live last year owing to fears around patient safety and inadequate staff training.
A phased relaunch programme is under way, and six care services have recently gone live on the system.
An Audit Scotland report released this month said that, despite six years of significant investment, the protected costs climbed by just under three quarters, partly as a result of the failed initial launch.
"NHS 24 has invested significantly in implementing a new IT system over the past six years. The delays in implementing this system have led to additional costs and risks to NHS 24's ability to meet its financial targets in future years," said the report.
The project was initially postponed in July 2013 for three months. The decision was taken in October 2013 to postpone it indefinitely owing to its failure to meet critical patient safety measures, including the ability to function with multiple users at an acceptable speed.
Lead outsourcing partner Capgemini claimed at the time that the system was meeting the targets set out in the contract.
"It subsequently became apparent that there were flaws in the contract documentation," said Audit Scotland.
"NHS 24's contractual arrangements with Capgemini and BT were found to be flawed and needed to be substantially revised to provide all parties with clarity on relative roles, responsibilities and commercial liabilities."
In response, NHS 24 chief executive Angiolina Foster said that her organisation acknowledged the failings.
"NHS 24 has been providing telehealth and telecare services safely to patients across Scotland for more than 10 years. We take more than 1.5 million calls per year which deliver a safe and effective service for patients," she explained.
"We look forward to fully implementing the new system in 2017, which will not only enable NHS 24 to continue to deliver improved patient-centred services during the out-of-hours period, but allow for the development of new ways of offering health and care to people across Scotland well into the future.
"It provides a key asset to NHS Scotland, offering the capability on which new and improved services will be developed."
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