[LINK] NSW Health to spend $100m on eMR

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Mon May 4 22:02:49 AEST 2009

NSW Health to spend $100m on electronic medical records

Rodney Gedda  4th May, 2009 14:32 

After many promises and trials, NSW Health has committed $100 million 
over the next two years to replace existing paper-based health records in 
public hospitals with a state-wide electronic system aimed at improving 
patient care. 

NSW Health anticipates the new electronic medical record (eMR) technology 
will make it easier for doctors and nurses to track the condition of 
patients through the health system as hospital information will be linked 
between facilities electronically. 

Minister for Health, John Della Bosca, said the $100 million project will 
be rolled out to 188 hospitals across the state by the end of 2010. 

“The new eMR replaces many existing paper records and makes secure 
patient information available to authorised clinicians from computer 
workstations across the hospital,” Della Bosca said. 

“A major benefit of the eMR program is the completeness of patient data 
and information on medical orders.” 

A similar system is the NSW Healthelink project, which began about five 
years ago and was well received by clinicians. 

Healthelink now claims 70,000 subscribers. 

Della Bosca said prior to the introduction of eMR, some requests for 
medical imaging and pathology could require referral back to the 
requesting clinician due to incomplete or illegible hand-written records. 

“This technology will improve the efficiency of hospital care and free up 
doctors and nurses to focus on patients and not paperwork which will 
further improve patient safety,” he said. 

Electronic medical record projects are also in development in Tasmania 
and South Australia. 

The benefits for patients include decreased delays in retrieving clinical 
information; better availability of integrated patient information; 
reduced duplication of orders for diagnostic tests; and, most 
importantly, a reduction in the potential for errors. 

The benefits for health professionals include better access to patient 
history, the ability to record care where and when it is needed, and to 
be prompted with alerts. 

In an inquiry into NSW public health services, Peter Garling SC 
recommended the implementation of the eMR into hospitals as a way of 
improving the sharing of information and communication among medical 

Della Bosca said the eMR is one of the cornerstone projects of NSW 
Health’s ICT strategy, which is modernising the way health services are 
supported in NSW. 

“Results from the initial trials and roll-out reveal a positive take up 
of the new technology by clinicians, demonstrated by the use of 
electronic medical orders to request blood tests and x-rays,” he said. 

“Delivering a state-wide eMR will help provide consistent delivery of 
quality health care for patients in both rural and metropolitan 



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