Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I Wonder Where This System Announced By The Non E-Health Minister Fits In The E-Health World?

This release appeared during the week.

Electronic Donor Record Enhances Australian Organ and Tissue Donation Processes

Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash has announced a new national clinical information system to streamline organ and tissue donation processes across Australian hospital networks.
Page last updated: 11 July 2014
11 July 2014
Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash today announced a new national clinical information system to streamline organ and tissue donation processes across Australian hospital networks.
Minister Nash said the DonateLife Electronic Donor Record (EDR) was an important step forward to improve information gathering and sharing between hospitals.
“The system will expedite the process of the allocation and assessment of the viability and suitability for organ and tissue acceptance,” Minister Nash said.
The EDR is a clinical information system used by donation specialists and replaces a manual paper-based record system. It provides real-time access to essential information about organ donors from the donor referral, organ offer, donor management and organ retrieval processes.
The Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) commissioned the development of the EDR in close consultation with the donation and transplantation sector. The EDR went live nationally from July 1 this year.
From a clinical perspective, the EDR makes comprehensive donor referral data, medico-social history and family consent information readily available for consideration by transplant units and donation coordination specialists in a consistent format.
“The EDR replaces a 28-page paper-based form known as the Confidential Donor Referral Form. Donor coordinators would then spend many hours making phones calls and coordinating information with transplant units to identify a suitable recipient,” Minister Nash said.
“The roll-out of the system will ultimately benefit Australians awaiting a transplant, donor families and donation and transplantation specialists,” Minister Nash said. “Time and access to consistent information are crucial factors in facilitating the organ donation and transplant process.”
In 2013, 1,122 Australian transplant recipients benefited from the generosity of 391 deceased organ donors and their families who supported their decision to become organ donors. In addition, in 2013 over 5,000 Australians received corneal or tissue transplants from tissue donors.
The EDR is a clinical platform for donation specialists. It is a separate system to the Australian Organ Donor Register – the national database of people who register their intentions to be organ and tissue donors. To register your decision about becoming an organ and tissue donor, visit the DonateLife website.
Minister’s media contact: Carolyn Martin 6277 7440 / 0417 966 328
OTA media contact: Bree Baguley 6198 9871/ 0403 058 662
 The release is found here:
Having worked, in another life, as a specialist who arranged many organ donations, I was interested in seeing this announcement.
From experience there is no doubt that co-ordination of organ donation is a complex and rather fraught and emotional  process which is made even more complex by the fact that these days various organs can be required in different Hospitals in different States.
I can only assume the system is a form based web enabled central database which gathers and disseminates, rather ominously , a 28 page form on the donor. The worry is how long filling in the form will take and then how the potential recipients become aware of the filled in form and organ availability.
Clearly, given the sensitivity of all this one would imagine the security is very carefully implemented.
Capabilities on matching and allocation are sadly not discussed in the release - maybe Version 2.0?
I note the release says the system went live but that ‘the role out will ultimately benefit’ so I am rather left wondering just at what stage the system is actually at?
I see that there was a Victorian Report on Organ Donation in 2012 that recommended a system.
See here:
Page 80 says.
“Ms Yael Cass, Chief Executive Officer of the Organ and Tissue Authority, outlined a new  initiative under development,. the Electronic Donor Record (EDR) program. Ms Cass  informed the Committee that this database ‘will give hospital based staff a tool to better collate data on prospective donors and then to make the offer and allocation process to recipient hospitals’ It is expected that this tool will make the donation process more efficient and provide some safety and quality controls around collection of information for the donation process. “
I wonder is this the outcome? It seems this has all been underway for quite a while!
I and readers would be curious to know more about this system and its capabilities - comments and links welcome.

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