Blacktown Hospital welcomes eRIC

Blacktown hospital staff
22 November 2017

ICU clinical information system deployed at a sixth site

eHealth NSW’s Electronic Record for Intensive Care (eRIC) is now live at Blacktown Hospital in Sydney’s west – the state’s sixth site to introduce the state-of-the-art clinical information system (CIS).

This is the first time a state-wide Intensive Care Unit (ICU) CIS has been deployed anywhere in Australia – and once completed it will be one of the largest in the world.

Integrating data every minute from multiple medical devices, eRIC forms the ICU-specific portion of the broader electronic medical record (eMR) strategy, to enhance the Information Communications Technology (ICT) used throughout the NSW public health system.

Associate Professor Graham Reece, ICU Director at Blacktown Hospital, developed the business case for eRIC over 10 years ago. He saw the importance of implementing a state-wide system to ensure standard practice.

“A state design provides one solution, promoting good practice, and establishes a standard of practice for all ICUs,” he said. “There is also greater potential for ICU research. The state-wide standardisation sets the scene for NSW to be leaders in data analysis in ICU care and research.”

While providing a strong base for reporting, benchmarking and research, eRIC also improves patient care and safety.

Having worked with a legacy ICU CIS for the past 12 years, Angie John Xavier, Clinical Change Manager at Blacktown Hospital, believes eRIC provides better integration and accessibility.

“eRIC allows clinicians to chart and map everything together, capturing patient data continuously from multiple devices and organises this information in a simple electronic format,” Ms John Xavier said.

“Information from eRIC is easily available for all to access from anywhere in the hospital.

“This assists clinicians in making informed decisions. It also improves patient safety by embedding best-practice protocols, automating monitoring and reporting, and incorporating error alerts.”

eRIC also supports other clinicians who care for the critically ill.

“Pharmacy can now access the system outside of the ICU,” said Amy Murray, Director of Pharmacy at Blacktown Hospital.

“This allows a pharmacist to access necessary information when reviewing and dispensing medications to patients. The previous CIS did not provide this access, and we would have to call the ICU nurses and medical officers to confirm any medication details.

“Also, a pharmacist can now input medication recommendations which populate as an alert for doctors when they are completing their ward rounds. The doctors will know there is a pharmacist intervention, and this provides a great way to communicate our recommendations, to prevent potential medication incidents and improve quality use of medicine.”

The state-wide roll-out of eRIC continues apace, with deployments later this month at Prince of Wales and Grafton Hospitals and further go-lives planned for 2018.

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