Electronic Record for Intensive Care improving care at Wollongong Hospital

18 June 2018

Wollongong Hospital is the latest in New South Wales to improve patient care by introducing eHealth NSW's Electronic Record for Intensive Care (eRIC) in its 24-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Following a go-live at Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital on 12 June, Wollongong has become the 11th ICU to replace paper charting with the state-wide, state-of-the-art clinical information system.

Dr Michael Davis, ICU Director at Wollongong Hospital, said eRIC provides widespread, real-time access to patient data that was not possible with paper charting.

“The ability for multiple people within the hospital to access real-time patient information from anywhere, and for both to input and extract data simultaneously, is unprecedented and was just not possible with paper,” said Dr Davis.

Michelle Gales, Senior Registered Nurse, said eRIC improves clinical work practices.

“eRIC will highlight some inconsistencies in clinical practice which will make clinicians more accountable in following correct and due procedure for all our nursing cares and therapies,” said Ms Gales.

Kay Duckinson, Project Manager for Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, said eRIC further supports clinicians in caring for the critically ill.

“Clinicians can chart and map everything together,” Ms Duckinson said. “eRIC captures patient data continuously from multiple devices and organises it in a simple format, providing a more in-depth view of the patient electronically.

“The integrated view of relevant observations, medications, fluids, pathology and numerous state-wide forms supports clinical decision-making.”

Importantly, eRIC opens up a host of possibilities not attainable with paper charting, said Dr Davis.

“eRIC is a massive data source which we now can access,” he said. “Whether that is for research, or for looking at quality, running reports, there is no limit to its potential. With everything stored electronically, in one location, it’s easy to access, and you can do with it what you wish.”

Designed by ICU clinicians, eRIC was built to reduce errors through alerts and additional features, improving care of the critically ill.

“Before eRIC was deployed we arranged for half the ICU team to work on paper and the other half to work with eRIC,” he said. “While half of the team completed paper admissions and medication reconciliations, the other half conducted these tasks on eRIC.

“By using eRIC, the team managed to finish the admission faster, and when checking the paper admission, an error was found in a medication reconciliation, which eRIC picked up. When attempting to input the medication information in eRIC, the application wouldn’t allow our clinicians to complete the task because it had been documented incorrectly.”

The state-wide roll-out of eHealth NSW’s Electronic Record for Intensive Care continues, with deployments scheduled every month until the end of 2018. The next go-live will take place at Maitland Hospital in Hunter New England Local Health District at the end of July.

Back to the top of this page