Historically, medication management has been performed across NSW using multiple methods, and primarily on paper. This methodology can lead to inconsistent documentation and legibility issues that result in medication errors and incidents, as well as issues of compliance with medication protocols.
To address this gap eHealth NSW, in conjunction with our NSW Health partners, designed eMeds to support clinicians in digitally managing medication prescriptions, reviews, dispensing and administration for inpatients within the electronic medical record (eMR).
The system was developed to provide stakeholders with access to information in real time. It allowed multidisciplinary teams to access live decision support, as well as manage medications safely and efficiently for hospital patients.
It is underpinned by a standardised state-wide design to promote adherence to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care National Safety and Quality Healthcare Standards.
eHealth NSW adopted a stacked approach to roll out, allowing for development of a solution for all locations up front, ahead of a rapid implementation, with more than 100 of the active sites operational within a 12-month period.
Launched in 2015, eMeds has been successfully delivered to 199 sites.
Used by clinicians to ensure safe management of medication for patients across NSW, eMeds has reduced medication errors, facilitated improved medication histories, and reduced administration errors.
In addition, it has provided significant data collection and reporting capabilities to NSW Health, including the comparison of data across Local Health District (LHD) boundaries.
When eMeds is implemented at Fairfield Hospital later this year, it will mark the last of 200 sites across NSW Health, and the completion of the project.
The successful implementation of eMeds across NSW has improved medication safety and patient outcomes while enabling a more sustainable health system, including;
- Reduction in adverse drug events improving patient safety and enhancing patient care
- Improved medication history while allowing clinicians to track medications throughout critical points of a patient’s hospital journey
- Improved communication of patient and medication information between care settings
- Reduced medication administration errors by 11%, providing greater visibility of administration schedules and displaying alerts
- Improved medication safety by ensuring correct medication supply and enabling greater consistency in prescribing practices
- Improved compliance with safe prescribing practices and completeness of medication documentation
- Enabled better antimicrobial stewardship through decision support capabilities and access to medication information at the point of care.
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