Enhancing EMR community health reporting

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

A major eHealth NSW project has given NSW Health clinicians better quality and more timely community health data, enabling them to better manage their resources in support of 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.

Clinicians now have access to patient data in a central repository within 24 hours of treatment rather than having to wait one month and comb through various spreadsheets and data sources to locate it.

“Quicker access to patient data means clinical teams can better manage their workloads,” said Shane Simpson from South Eastern Sydney LHD’s Community Health Information Management Unit.

“The next exciting phase will see even more community health services accessing real-time data to better manage their patients – all in support of better outcomes.”

Mr Simpson 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 community health reporting capabilities in the Cerner EMR and in the Community Health Information Management (CHIME) clinical information system used by Hunter New England LHD and the Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network.

“This initiative is simplifying reporting and 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.

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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