[LINK] NSW Health to spend $100m on eMR
stephen at melbpc.org.au
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Mon May 4 22:02:49 EST 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
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
Healths 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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