An enhanced eMR for Liverpool Hospital

13 December 2017

Smooth go-live for South Western Sydney Local Health District’s largest facility

Patient care at the 855-bed Liverpool Hospital, the largest facility in the South Western Sydney Local Health District, is being enhanced by the recent introduction of the second phase of eHealth NSW’s electronic medical record (eMR2).

In a series of smooth go-lives in late November, 54 inpatient wards, 55 hospital-wide services and 115 outpatient clinics implemented eMR2, which allows Liverpool’s 4,358 clinicians and authorised people caring for patients to view on an electronic device information that would previously have been recorded on paper.

More than 86 per cent of NSW public hospitals scheduled for eMR2 – the extension of the electronic record of a patient‘s medical information to support their care during a hospital stay – are now live.

Bankstown Hospital was the first of South Western Sydney Local Health District’s hospitals to begin using eMR2 – now live at 154 of 178 sites in scope state-wide – but Liverpool is by far its biggest.

Dr Colin MacArthur, Head of Liverpool Hospital’s Medical Assessment Unit, hailed the seamless implementation as “a tribute to the planning that went into it, as well as the higher quality of the new computers on wheels”.

“The major benefits are improved legibility and improved accessibility of documentation – no more searching for lost paper records on the ward,” Dr MacArthur said.

“I like that all notes are dated and timed, which was not always the case with paper records, and the record can be securely accessed not just on the ward but from any computer in the hospital or even from home for those with remote access. Allied health reports, which are essential for multidisciplinary care, are also more accessible to nursing and medical staff.”

Dr MacArthur said there is now less likelihood that a patient’s allergies, documented in the electronic system, would be unavailable when decisions are made about their medications, and he noted it is easier for staff to document during ward rounds without having to deal with multiple folders of paper records. This can also assist with early preparation of discharge letters.

Rebecca Trude, Clinical Program Manager of ICT Services at South Western Sydney Local Health District, said the engagement with Liverpool Hospital clinicians was “truly amazing, which led to such a successful go-live”.

She attributed this to a NSW record of 280 ‘super users’ and a 50-strong IT support team providing support to frontline clinicians, with additional assistance delivered by staff of Sydney Local Health District, eHealth NSW and Campbelltown Hospital.

To further support frontline staff, clinicians’ questions were answered in real time through the use of a mobile messaging application.

The first phase of the eMR, completed in 2011, delivered the foundation electronic medical record to emergency departments and operating theatres as well as limited electronic functionality to the wards.

eMR2 extends the foundation 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.

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