First metro hospital deploys eRIC

staff members smiling
13 June 2017

St George Hospital has become the state's first metropolitan hospital to introduce eHealth NSW's electronic Record for Intensive Care (eRIC), marking the second successful deployment of eRIC in two weeks.

Replacing paper forms, eRIC is an electronic clinical information system within Intensive Care Units (ICUs) that integrates patient data to improve patient safety and provide better clinical decision-making. The eRIC Program team is set to implement the state-wide clinical information system for all 43 ICUs in NSW.

Dr Theresa Jacques, Director of Intensive Care at St George Hospital in Kogarah in Sydney’s south, has been working with a legacy ICU clinical information system for over 15 years, and shares how eRIC provides more integration and accessibility.

“eRIC allows easy access to pathology including microbiology, radiology, and state standards of care documents,” she said. “It’s accessible through the electronic Medical Record (eMR) in the wards so everyone involved in the ICU patient's care can readily obtain ICU information, providing a much more integrated clinical information system than our current system.”

“Our ability to participate in the national benchmarking database is enhanced with the automated transfer of data, reducing Junior Medical Officers’ (JMOs) administrative workload. This also allows for more time for JMOs to perform clinical tasks.”

The clinical enhancements that eRIC provides are a testament to the collaborative approach delivered to design the system, which was built by clinicians for clinicians.

Dr Jacques continues: “I am very proud that so many of our ICU team at St George Hospital were involved in the development of this major advance in ICU services across NSW.”

The simplified, automated data collection and improved work practices are of great benefit for the St George ICU clinicians.

“The transferring of patient information using the electronic Handover of Care (eHOC) document is of particular benefit for ward staff as it provides full visibility of the ICU stay,” said Kate Powell, Acting Nursing Unit Manager at St George Hospital.

“The eHOC document provides the medical and nursing discharge summaries, procedures, synopsis, the last 12 hours of valid observations, a list of current medications, a list of outpatient medications that have been ceased or withheld, and other information related to the ICU patient stay. This allows all ward staff to continue the care of the patient, improving patient safety.”

On completion of the new Acute Services Building, there will be 52 beds with eRIC, making St George eHealth NSW’s largest eRIC deployment site for 2017.

The eRIC Program team is now finalising the deployment of eRIC later this month at Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

Following its October 2016 pilot deployment at Port Macquarie Base Hospital, eRIC is already proving to be a step forward for clinical care.

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