Rural patients to benefit from electronic medication management

30 October 2018

Patients in rural and regional New South Wales are set to benefit from smarter, safer and better care thanks to the introduction of electronic medication management (eMeds) across more than 110 NSW Health facilities over the next 14 months.

In one of the world’s largest projects of its kind, eMeds is being deployed at a total of 178 facilities across the state as part of the ongoing digital transformation of NSW Health.

Stretching from Bega in the south to Broken Hill in the west and Tweed Heads in the north, the roll-out of eMeds will ensure patients living in far-flung areas of Australia’s most populous state have access to the same cutting-edge technology that is benefiting patients in and near Sydney.

eMeds is an additional function of NSW Health’s electronic medical record and provides a complete, real-time digital picture of patient medications as they are prescribed, reviewed, dispensed and administered in hospitals.

In rural and regional NSW, eMeds will support 17,000 clinicians caring for more than 1.3 million patients annually, said Dr Zoran Bolevich, eHealth NSW Chief Executive and NSW Health Chief Information Officer.

“Given almost every patient admitted to hospital will take at least one medication, the benefits of eMeds are substantial for clinicians and patients alike,” he said.

“A review of the first 38 eMeds-enabled health facilities in Sydney demonstrated improved safety and quality of care, and clinician access to information. These improvements directly relate to fewer adverse medication events which, in turn, led to improved health outcomes and reduced costs for the broader health system.”

By the end of 2019, eMeds will be available in more than 110 rural health facilities across NSW – ensuring state-of-the-art care is available to all patients, no matter where they live, Dr Bolevich said.

The implementation of eMeds in rural NSW began at Goulburn and Kenmore Hospitals and Bourke Street Health Service in Southern NSW LHD in September. The roll-out has since progressed to include Lismore Hospital in Northern NSW LHD and Broken Hill Hospital in Far West LHD.

More than 26 million medications have been administered and recorded in the NSW Health electronic medical record to date.

For an inside look at how the eMeds system was purpose-built for the needs of rural NSW patients and the clinicians who care for them, watch this video.

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