Nurses help to drive digital transformation of NSW Health

11 May 2018

The 1,000-strong team driving the digital transformation of NSW Health comprises many clinicians, whose frontline experience and invaluable perspectives are helping to improve patient care across Australia’s largest public health system.

Many of the clinicians employed by eHealth NSW are nurses and, to celebrate International Nurses’ Day on 12 May, we spoke with a selection to see how frontline experience is so critically important in the digital health space.

For Wynne Chiu, a strong desire to improve access to – and the use and management of – health information via technology is what drove her to transition nursing skills honed in Australia and Hong Kong into a career in digital health.

“I always wanted to become a nurse, as it is a profession that cares for the sick and saves lives,” said Wynne, whose work as Team Leader for eHealth NSW’s Patient Registry and State Unique Identifier Systems is linking public hospitals’ records into a single unique state record for each patient in NSW – giving clinicians access to integrated health information.

“Nurses make up the largest frontline health workforce, which means that any change in nursing workflow has impacts on the delivery of healthcare. That makes it incredibly important to have nurses’ input into digital transformation projects such as the ones we’re working on.”

For Paul Higgins, a former nurse who now works for eHealth NSW as an Application Specialist, the defining moment was caused by the frustration at not having pertinent patient information at his fingertips during triage in the Emergency Department.

“After this, I developed a patient-tracking database for a post-acute care team and soon realised I wanted to be involved in all things digital health,” he said.

“Knowledge of clinical and patient-care workflow definitely helps my role as a conduit between clinical and technical people in both project and support roles. And now, when it comes to troubleshooting the transition of electronic medical record (eMR) requirements into a business-as-usual space, I always keep the needs of clinicians and other users in mind.”

As a former doctor, eHealth NSW Chief Executive Dr Zoran Bolevich paid tribute to the efforts of eHealth NSW’s many nurses including Wynne and Paul.

“Nurses are a critically important part of our health system,” Dr Bolevich said. “With their help, we are turning NSW Health into a digitally enabled and integrated health system delivering patient-centred health experiences and quality health outcomes.”

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