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Digital health and big data highlighted in Victoria's Melbourne Biomedical Precinct Strategic Plan

Digital health and big data highlighted in Victoria’s Melbourne Biomedical Precinct Strategic Plan

According to a press
release
, the Victorian Government launched the Melbourne
Biomedical Precinct Strategic Plan
. The Strategic Plan is a roadmap to transform
the Precinct into an economic powerhouse
, ensuring Victoria’s medical
discoveries and their economic benefits remains to benefit the Victorian community.

This strategy will create 10,000 new jobs by 2030 through an
increased focus on commercialisation, unlocking the value of health data and
attracting and retaining the best scientists and entrepreneurs.

The strategic plan outlines 3 major future directions for
the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct to unlocking value from digital health and
big data:

(1)   
Implementing
digital clinical systems

Following an initial investment in electronic medical
records of A$16.6 million in 2017/18, the Victorian Government has committed A$123.8
million in the 2018/19 Victorian State Budget to create a single shared
electronic medical records system across three of Parkville’s health services.

The Royal Children’s Hospital is the first Victorian
hospital to implement a fully digital, high quality level six electronic
medical record system. This system is enabling improved access to patient
information and test results for doctors and nurses, and monitors when patients
are eligible to participate in studies and trials, encouraging more innovation
to develop better care for the future.

Building on the successful implementation of electronic
medical records at the Royal Children’s Hospital, the system will be expanded
to Melbourne Health, the Royal Women’s Hospital and the Peter MacCallum Cancer
Centre.

Electronic medical records are crucial to unlocking value
from health data to achieve better patient outcomes, delivering data insights
to medical researchers and encouraging innovation which leads to better care.
The Victorian Government will continue to support health services to adopt
digital clinical systems and electronic medical records.

(2)   
Improving
use of health and biomedical data

Victoria has various programs and initiatives underway to
collect and use data for: clinical research and practice, safety and quality
improvement, and population health monitoring.

Some data is available from sources like clinical databases,
the Department of Health and Human Services, clinical registries and the
Victorian Cancer Registry.

By removing barriers to safely access and share data,
digital records can be transformed into actionable information.

The Victorian Government will work with precinct partners to
identify current gaps and support the development of a secure world-class
health data network across the precinct that addresses privacy and data
ownership concerns

(3)   
Mining
data for impact

Automation advances, together with the growing use of
electronic medical records, clinical registries and digital technologies, such
as augmented intelligence, means that health and biomedical sciences are
generating ever increasing volumes of rich data.

Skills and infrastructure are vital to manage, store,
program, analyse and interpret the valuable insights that vast amounts of
health and biomedical data can provide.

Melbourne Biomedical Precinct Office will work with precinct
partners to explore collaborative approaches to developing a health analytics
workforce and capability

At the same time, the Victorian Government also announced
that it will fund a world-leading digital records system across three key
Parkville health services, so more patients will get better, faster and safer healthcare.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy and Special Minister of
State Gavin Jennings announced the Victorian Budget 2018/19 will include A$124
million to roll out cutting-edge electronic medical records (EMR) across the
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne Health and Royal Women’s Hospital.

The project will link patient records at the three health
services with the successful system operating at the Royal Children’s Hospital,
which is already saving lives and delivering significant improvements in
patient care.

“This world-class system will save Victorian lives. We
cannot underestimate the value of getting real-time records to arm our medical
professionals with the information they need,” said Minister Hennessy.

This world-class technology means patient records are
updated in real-time, equipping our life-saving clinicians with all the
information they need to provide the very best care, every step of the way.

Another benefit of using the EMR is faster care, as doctors
will no longer wait for paper records and test results to wind their way
through the system, from one department to the next. And fewer unnecessary,
duplicated tests, less frustration and waiting for the patient who just wants a
diagnosis and a treatment that works.

Most importantly, the system will also deliver safer
healthcare – with fewer avoidable errors, duplications and delays to treatment
– all of which can pose serious risks to patients.

“This will make life easier for our hardworking doctors and
nurses and will give patients peace of mind that their medical records will be
up to date and easily accessible wherever they are receiving treatment,” Minister
Hennessy added.

By bringing all of Parkville’s major hospitals onto one
system, a patient’s complete and up-to-date medical record will be available to
their care team wherever in the precinct they receive their treatment.

It is estimated the EMR will save Victoria A$34.1 million
every year once it is operational.  And
just 12 months after being implemented, the Royal Children’s Hospital EMR has
delivered massive benefits to patients, including: (1) a 27% reduction in medication
prescribing and administration errors, (2) a 4% increase in immunisation rates
for children in hospital, (3) 6,768 fewer pathology tests performed and (4) 2,414
fewer medical imaging examinations.

According to Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings, the
EMR rollout is crucial to improving patient healthcare now and boosting
innovation and research for even better care in the future.