Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Is It Really As Good In Queensland As This Seems To Imply? Seems Almost Too Good To Be True.

This appeared very late last week.

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Friday, March 11, 2016

Australia’s digital revolution begins in Brisbane hospital

Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital has become Australia’s first public digital hospital, heralding a revolution in the way healthcare will be delivered in Queensland.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick today announced that implementation of the digital hospital project was successfully underway.
“This digital hospital project will transform healthcare delivery in Queensland and allow clinicians to focus on the patient, not paperwork,” he said.
“This means improved safety and quality of care for patients and faster treatment to get them home sooner.”
Deputy Premier and Member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad said the project also allowed for optimisation of world-class medical research through improved analysis of data and a reduction in inefficiency and wastage.
“This project is representative of what the Palaszczuk Government is all about – harnessing the potential of new technology and innovation to create a better Queensland,” she said.
Metro South Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Dr Richard Ashby said Electronic Medical Records (EMR) were available instantly to healthcare staff across the hospital and, as other facilities follow suit, across Queensland.
“This project means the 2000 paper records that circulate in our hospital at any given time will now be replaced by real-time patient information being sent to a secure EMR,” he said.
“Given our proud history of clinical innovation, I’m delighted that the PA Hospital is leading this digital revolution,” he said.
Rollout of the project required training nearly 6000 staff and integrating more than 1600 new digital devices across the hospital, with extensive third-party support throughout implementation.
Care Delivery Lead Dr Clair Sullivan said hospital staff had enthusiastically risen to the challenge of going digital, with the benefits already starting to show.
“The scale of this change is unprecedented in an Australian hospital and by going digital, we will be able to provide patients with the best care possible,” she said.
The Queensland Government has invested $200 million over four years to establish the foundations of the digital hospital system, which will be implemented across the state.
Metro South Hospital and Health Service has contributed more than $30 million towards implementing the project at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
The roll-out of the digital hospital system is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $1.5 billion eHealth strategy, announced last year.
ENDS
Here is the link:
What confuses me in this release is the alternating use of the future tense and in the release. You read, for instance, that implementation is underway and at the same time 6000 staff HAVE been trained. We also hear that the benefits are “starting to show”.
What also makes me wonder just what is going on I see this in the 2014-15 Annual Report. (p 47)

Digital records–integrated electronic Medical Record (ieMR)

Princess Alexandra Hospital commenced scanning of inpatient notes into the ieMR in June 2014. Information is scanned within 48 hours of the notes arriving in the scanning unit and is then available for viewing in the ieMR. Quality and auditing processes have been implemented to ensure a high quality scanning service is provided at all times.
Numerous electronic and paper resources are available for all relevant staff to ensure the information in the ieMR is accurate and available as soon as possible.
Redland and QEII Jubilee hospitals currently manage a paper medical record system however Logan Hospital has had an electronic system since 2008 that supports the scanning of clinical information. It is anticipated that the ieMR will be available at each Metro South Health facility within the next few years.
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Knowing that Cerner is involved in the implementation of some state-wide systems it is not entirely clear just where all this scanning of paper records fit.
I look forward to a comment or two as to what is actually happening and what success is being achieved. With all we hear re SA and WA it would be nice to hear a good news story! The headline is certainly a big claim!!
David.

3 comments:

Enrico Coiera said...

I think the first fully digital hospital (i.e. no paper records) was launched a few years ago with the creation of the new Macquarie University Hospital in Sydney. I guess this is the first 'public' hospital to follow suit?

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

The media release says nothing about My Health Record

Queensland's eHealth strategy document from last year had this to say about the PCEHR:

"Queensland Health has already begun to revitalise frontline services. Increased access to patient information through initiatives, such as ieMR and information interoperability will support the national Personally-Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR)."

Note the careful phrasing "will support". There is no mention anywhere of using the PCEHR - it would seem they have no need of it.

Mike said...

Maybe I am missing the point, how does introducing a manual process of scanning a paper record improve hospitals effectiveness and/or efficiencies? It seems just the opposite.

I have been fortunate to have work on projects in Tasmania that produce an electronic feed directly to the Digital Medical Record (DMR) from other electronic applications things like discharge summaries, clinical notes, pathology, dispense records just to name a few that did improve efficiency and resulted in effective delivery to the My Health Record.

So am I missing the point, is the process of scanning to the DMR only an improvement that moves them from prehistoric to mid-evil times?

But then sometimes I don't see the forest through the trees.....