Enhancing EMR community health reporting

Community Health Information Reporting Project (CHIRP) team
6 February 2020

A major eHealth NSW project more than two years in the making is improving the quality and availability of patient data captured by NSW Health’s community health services, leading to better patient care.

“Vast improvements” in the quality and timeliness of patient data are being experienced as a result of stage 2 of the Community Health Information Reporting Project (CHIRP), implemented at Illawarra Shoalhaven and South Eastern Sydney Local Health Districts (LHDs) and Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN) in December 2019.

“This initiative is simplifying reporting and reducing maintenance costs, making better-quality data more readily available for clinicians, enhancing their decision-making capability and leading to better patient care,” said Karen Pettit, Manager, EMR (electronic medical record) Design & Governance, eHealth NSW.

Shane Simpson from South Eastern Sydney LHD’s Community Health Information Management Unit said there had been great support and collaboration between LHDs, eHealth NSW and the Ministry of Health to reach this milestone.

“We couldn't have done it without the ongoing support of the awesome South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD EMR teams, who see the importance of working with community health and not just concentrating on the hospitals,” he said, adding that already there have been vast improvements in the quality and timeliness of the data.

“Given community health encompasses so many important services including aged and chronic care, child, youth and family health, drug and alcohol, allied health, sexual health, Aboriginal health and community nursing, improving the quality and access of patient information will lead to better patient care.”

CHIRP is a five-year program of work which is enhancing the reporting capabilities of the Cerner EMR and the Community Health Information Management (CHIME) clinical information system, used by a few LHDs with a different core EMR.

This milestone has been more than two years in the making. Commencing in early 2017, CHIRP Stage 2 included the conversion and automation of existing community health Non-Admitted Patient (NAP) data collection and extracts to the Ministry’s Enterprise Data Warehouse for analysis, reporting and decision support (EDWARD).

“It’s great to see everyone’s hard work come to fruition – well done to all involved,” said Sharon Smith, A/Director of the Ministry of Health’s System Information & Analytics Branch.

The LHDs of Southern NSW, Murrumbidgee, Western NSW, Far West, Mid North Coast, Northern NSW, Northern Sydney, Central Coast, Western Sydney, Hunter New England and Nepean Blue Mountains, as well as Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network and St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney, are due to complete CHIRP Stage 2 this year.

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