Improving patient safety at Prince of Wales ICUs

Improving patient safety at Prince of Wales ICU
27 November 2017

Electronic Record for Intensive Care’s second-largest go-live

Prince of Wales (PoW) Hospital has welcomed eHealth NSW’s Electronic Record for Intensive Care (eRIC) into its Intensive Care Units (ICUs), with 26 beds across two ICUs and more than 140 clinicians trained in the second-largest eRIC go-live to date.

This is the first time a state-wide electronic ICU system has been deployed anywhere in Australia and it will be one of the largest in the world.

Dr David Collins, ICU Director at PoW in Sydney’s east, believes a Clinical Information System (CIS) such as eRIC will enhance patient safety and outcomes.

“eRIC aims to improve patient morbidity, mortality, and enhance the patient experience,” said Dr Collins. “It places patients at the centre.”

eRIC increases safety by capturing patient data from multiple devices and configuring this information in a simple, electronic format to assist clinicians in making informed decisions. By embedding best-practice protocols, automating monitoring and reporting, and incorporating error alerts, this ensures patients receive enhanced clinical care, where safety is placed first.

For ICU clinicians at PoW – the seventh hospital to introduce eRIC across NSW – the transition from paper-based charting to electronic documentation will improve the way they work.

“The problem of being unable to read visiting teams’ notes will disappear,” said Dr Collins. “We expect drug errors to reduce and for eRIC to systematise some of the things we do.” Moreover, eRIC brings the ICU closer to other areas of the hospital by facilitating better communication.

“There will be improved access to a lot of information, and we will be able to communicate more efficiently and effectively with other teams in the hospital,” said Dr Collins. “I’m also hoping it will make the ward rounds quicker, with fewer mistakes.”

Dominic Bushell, Nurse Unit Manager at PoW, is confident eRIC will improve processes and practices within the ICU.

“The assessment tools within eRIC encourages bedside nurses to complete a thorough assessment of their patients,” Mr Bushell said. “The dose and task list are great, as it gives hour-by-hour events that need to be carried out.

“eRIC is also going to be an organisational tool for the staff to be able to set a list of objectives and tasks for the day.”

Features within eRIC, such as the Electronic Handover of Care (eHOC) document, provide full visibility of a patient’s ICU stay, with prompts to ensure the documentation is completed accurately.

“Previously we’ve used a paper document but to some degree this was not utilised particularly well,” Mr Bushell said. “The eHOC document provides more information than our paper documentation. The mandatory fields ensure staff won’t be able to send off an incomplete document.”

With a focus on clinical safety and best-practice protocols, eRIC promotes better clinical care for the critically ill, improving safety and patient outcomes.

The next go-live of eRIC will take place at Grafton Hospital in December, with further deployments scheduled throughout 2018.

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