Credit: eHealth NSW

Credit: eHealth NSW

Hospital in NSW improves ICU patient-care through electronic record for intensive care

An announcement made by the eHealth NSW showcased the newest hospital that introduced eHealth NSW’s Electronic Record for Intensive Care (eRIC) to its 24-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Wollonggong Hospital realised the improvement that eRIC has provided since its previous method, paper-charting, does not allow widespread, real-time access to patient data.

Another hospital in New South Wales (NSW) is improving patient care. Wollongong Hospital is the 11th ICU to replace paper-charting with the state-wide, state-of-the-art clinical information system called eHealth NSW's Electronic Record for Intensive Care (eRIC).

Wollongong Hospital ICU Diretor Dr Michael Davis said eRIC is an improvement from paper-charting as it provides widespread, real-time access to patient data that was not possible with the previous method.

Dr Davis said, “The ability for multiple people within the hospital to access real-time patient information from anywhere, and for both to input and extract data simultaneously, is unprecedented and was just not possible with paper.”

Senior Registered Nurse Ms Michelle Gales said eRIC improves their clinical work practices. She explained, “eRIC will highlight some inconsistencies in clinical practice which will make clinicians more accountable in following correct and due procedure for all our nursing cares and therapies.”

Project Manager for Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Ms Kay Duckinson said eRIC will be able to further support clinicians in caring for the critically ill.

Ms Duckinson added, “Clinicians can chart and map everything together. eRIC captures patient data continuously from multiple devices and organises it in a simple format, providing a more in-depth view of the patient electronically.”

She added, “The integrated view of relevant observations, medications, fluids, pathology and numerous state-wide forms supports clinical decision-making.”

Dr Davis furthered that eRic allows for a host of possibilities that cannot be achievable with paper charting. He said, “eRIC is a massive data source which we now can access.”

He added, “Whether that is for research, or for looking at quality, running reports, there is no limit to its potential. With everything stored electronically, in one location, it’s easy to access, and you can do with it what you wish.”

The alerts and additional features packed in the eRIC system reduces errors thereby improving care of the critically ill. Thanks to the ICU clinicians who designed eRIc.

Dr Davis explained how eRIC has improved their services, “Before eRIC was deployed we arranged for half the ICU team to work on paper and the other half to work with eRIC. While half of the team completed paper admissions and medication reconciliations, the other half conducted these tasks on eRIC.”

He added, “By using eRIC, the team managed to finish the admission faster. And eRIC was able to pick up an error in a medication reconciliation while checking the paper admission. When attempting to input the medication information in eRIC, the application wouldn’t allow our clinicians to complete the task because it had been documented incorrectly.”

Deployments are scheduled on a monthly basis until the end of 2018 for the state-wide roll-out of eHealth NSW’s Electronic Record for Intensive Care continues The next go-live will take place at Maitland Hospital in Hunter New England Local Health District at the end of July.

An earlier announcement highlighted the significant steps made by eHealth NSW to use a new electronic medical record (eMR) functionality to support better care for patients with diabetes. The Glucose Management View in the electronic medical record provides clinicians with a consolidated view of a patient’s diabetes management, supporting safe and consistent ongoing treatment and monitoring throughout the patient’s hospital stay.

A recent announcement highlighted the second phase of eHealth NSW’s electronic medical record (eMR2), which has expanded to enhance patience care at 2 more hospitals in South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD). eMR2 extends the foundation of eMR and introduces electronic clinical documentation for patients in hospitals. It provides a broad range of core clinical documentation such as comprehensive clinical risk assessments, checklists, progress notes, clinical summary and patient history.

A previous announcement highlighted how Sutherland Hospital had deployed and started using Electronic Record for Intensive Care (eRIC), giving clinicians better access to valuable information about the patients being treated in its Intensive Care Unit (ICU). eRIC can provide access to patient medical records including past admissions allowing better data collection and benchmarking.

An even earlier announcement highlighted how eHealth NSW led a major state-wide upgrade of the Enterprise Imaging Repository (EIR) viewer software, which allows NSW Health clinicians to access diagnostic-quality medical images from across the state. The recent state-wide upgrade is a significant advance in the digital transformation of the state’s public health system. Radiologists and treating clinicians can now access a much-improved quality of medical images in the EIR via the electronic medical record (eMR) and the HealtheNet Clinical Portal.

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