Harnessing the power of digital tools

Dr Stephen Wood
10 May 2019

eHealth NSW is joining forces with a number of industry partners in a bid to enhance the safety and quality of patient care, with clinicians at one of the state’s major rural hospitals harnessing the power of digital tools in two exciting proof-of-concept (PoC) projects.

At the 325-bed Wagga Wagga Base Hospital in the state’s south-east, eHealth NSW and Murrumbidgee Local Health District are partnering on two PoC projects which combine the expertise of Alcidion, CSIRO and Evidentli and use Apple products.

PoC 1: Mobilising data to improve the safety and quality of care during a patient’s hospital stay

The first PoC project is exploring how critical test results can be shared securely and in real time via mobile devices to support enhanced clinical decision-making.

For Dr Stephen Wood, Director of Wagga Wagga Base Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED), this PoC has the real potential to assist clinicians with making decisions about the diagnosis and treatment of patients in time-pressured ED environments.

“We want to give clinicians fast access to meaningful data insights which can help them to identify patients at risk of deterioration, and provide more timely mobile access to pathology results and X-rays,” Dr Wood said.

A team of 10 ED clinicians is trialling mobile notifications of real-time pathology results and risk indicators, via Alcidion’s Miya Precision Clinical Decision Support (CDS) tool. Notifications will be delivered through Apple products, including iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch.

The Miya Precision platform uses the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) to map data to standard terminology. This can form a basis for integrating other Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics algorithms to monitor and detect safety problems.

“The platform is able to deliver additional clinical insights including deteriorating kidney function, coagulation management, antibiotic stewardship, management of gram-negative bacterial infections, low blood glucose and sepsis monitoring,” said Kate Quirke, Chief Executive Officer of Alcidion Group.

In order to prove these capabilities, the CSIRO’s ED re-admission risk algorithm will use the data supplied and make the results available via the Miya Precision platform.
David Hansen, Chief Executive Officer of CSIRO’s Australian e-Health Research Centre, added: “It’s exciting to work with NSW Health to bring new technologies into everyday use in healthcare. Data-driven healthcare is very much the future of innovation in healthcare – this project is part of that transformation.”

PoC 2: Creating an open platform for digital innovation in NSW Health

The second PoC aims to create an open platform that provides access to simulated data, which researchers and developers can use to test functionality and feasibility of their models in a safe environment and without putting patients’ privacy at risk.

Multiple yet anonymised datasets are being mined, via the Miya Precision platform, to cover common health challenges such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Cloud software company Evidentli is using its Clinical Research Automation software, Piano, which connects to a variety of data sources and provides security and workflows to automate research.

Best-of-breed statistical, analytic, and documentation tools will enable Murrumbidgee LHD to perform clinical research in a fraction of the time it has historically taken.

And, because Piano transforms data into open standards and automatically documents methods, research is immediately reproducible and ready for peer review.

The platform, said Dr Wood, is “an incredibly powerful research tool which accurately captures activity to give insights into factors such as a patient’s risk of readmission as well as compliance with clinical pathways and the provision of clinically appropriate care”.

“The digitisation of healthcare is ramping up and all clinicians need to embrace it with a view to developing a platform that improves access to the information they require to deliver timely and appropriate clinical care,” said Dr Wood.

“We are excited to be a part of these six-month projects and I hope that both prove to be successful.”

Greg Miner, Chief Executive Officer of Evidentli, said he was pleased to partner on this initiative.

“Our mission at Evidentli is to give clinicians the tools to marry evidence-based medicine with value-based care and allow them to develop new treatment protocols and interventions which improve patient outcomes while lowering the cost of care,” Mr Miner said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with NSW Health to enable these innovations to be peer-reviewed and translated into practice.”

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