Friday, December 05, 2014
I Would Really Like People To Make Claims For Health IT Outcomes After They Are Proven, Not Hoped For!
This appeared last week:
Carlie Walker | 27th Nov 2014 4:00 PM
DELEGATES from major private and public hospitals throughout Australia are visiting St Stephen's Hospital in Hervey Bay this week, keen to learn the secrets of efficiency and improved care unlocked by the hospital's digital system.
Richard Royle, executive director of UnitingCare Health, said the state-of-the-art facility had impressed those gathered so far during the three-day event, with delegates from hospitals, banks and the CSIRO anxious to see the system in practice.
"It's terrific for the Fraser Coast," he said.
Mr Royle said because information was recorded directly into an online electronic system, it virtually eliminated the chances of the wrong treatment being given to patients.
Because nurses were not tied down with paperwork or trying to decipher handwritten notes, prescriptions or instructions, that freed them up to spend more time with patients, which was a major benefit, Mr Royle said.
Mr Royle said all equipment in the hospital had a GPS tracker attached, where if a nurse needed to track a wheelchair, they needed only check the location of the GPS device, eliminating the need for them to search for equipment.
Mr Royle said mistakes were made in every hospital throughout the world, but the system in place at St Stephens went a long way to eliminating human error.
Errors could no longer be made by misinterpreting handwriting on prescriptions because all information was recorded digitally.
Each patient was also given a barcode and the barcode was used to digitally record any allergies the patient might have and exactly the prescription they needed.
If a doctor tried to prescribe a drug that the patient was allergic to, an alarm would sound when it was scanned into the digital system, Mr Royle said.
Lots more here:
When you read things like this you really have to wonder:
“Mr Royle said because information was recorded directly into an online electronic system, it virtually eliminated the chances of the wrong treatment being given to patients.”
Of course error reduction relies on the clinician ordering quality as much as it relies on quality information flows.
Equally the time spent in data entry can easily be as long as hand-writing notes - albeit there are real benefits for spending the time.
What I would like to see is some before after snapshots of error rated, time spent, costs etc. etc.
I am sure this system will make a positive difference but it would be nice to know that the scale of impacts have been measured - not claimed in advance!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Friday, December 05, 2014