E-prescriptions improve the patient experience
Patients will be out of hospital sooner thanks to an Australian-first digital initiative launched at Blacktown Hospital in Sydney’s west.
The new system makes paper prescriptions a thing of the past, with patients’ discharge medications sent directly to pharmacists on a digital program called the ‘WatchList’ that was piloted by Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD).
Prescriptions now reach pharmacists instantly and they are automatically notified, saving nearly 40 minutes per patient on average, said WSLHD eMeds manager Liz Ellankil.
“After day one we could see improvements in the discharge medications process time, mainly due to reducing the time it takes the hospital pharmacy to retrieve the prescriptions,” Ms Ellankil said.
“The system also allows status updates at each stage of the dispensing process, which is viewable by all medical, pharmacy, nursing, midwifery and clerical staff. Currently this is handled by a different application, so it reduces the number of programs required for the discharge process.”
The new program means pharmacists spend less time on paperwork and more time with patients, said Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals pharmacy director Amy Murray.
“WatchList allows pharmacists to see all the details about a patient’s medication plan on discharge, providing a holistic view to reconcile, clinically review and supply medications for discharge,” Ms Murray said.
“This means we have more information about the patient and more time to speak with them about their medications, including what may have changed since before they were admitted to hospital. This will help to avoid confusion, address any concerns and lower the risk of them returning to hospital due to an avoidable medication error.”
WatchList is currently only being trialled at Blacktown Hospital, but based on that success the team is planning to roll it out to other sites within WSLHD and Nepean Blue Mountains LHD.
“Liz Ellankil, Amy Murray, and all the pharmacy, eMeds, nursing and medical staff involved in this trial ought to be congratulated,” said WSLHD Chief Medical Information Officer Naren Gunja.
“This is another brilliant example of clinicians integrating cutting-edge digital health innovations into their day-to-day work to improve the way we do things, for the benefit of patients and staff alike.”
Originally published at www.thepulse.org.au/2020/02/27/australian-first-blacktown-hospital-prescriptions-go-digital/Back to the top of this page