IT Health Board: Exciting times for emergency departments as electronic solution emerges
posted by Research Admin on 29 March 2012
A group of clinicians is ready to recommend a national solution for emergency department information systems.
The smart use of data, information and communication tools is an essential part of providing high quality Emergency Department (ED) services, says National Health IT Board Director Graeme Osborne.
"The project got underway in September 2010 when Dr Peter Freeman agreed to lead a nationally representative working group of ED clinicians to develop an ED clinical workflow for a fully functional emergency department.
"Once the clinical workflow requirements were agreed, work continued to develop the information requirements to support clinical practice," he says.
The clinical group, called EDIT-NZ, will now work with "early adopter" DHBs in a governance role ahead of national implementation.
"A national solution will see standardised clinical workflows in ED and consistency of reporting and recording. This will reduce waiting times for patients, leading to improved patient satisfaction and better patient outcomes overall," says Dr Freeman.
"It's a very exciting project. We've had huge support from clinicians, who've really stepped up and become engaged very early in the process."
National Clinical Director for Emergency Department Services, Dr Mike Ardagh, says the work done by Dr Freeman and his clinical colleagues provides an opportunity to standardise both the clinical workflows in EDs and the information systems that support ED clinical practice.
"Peter has been active with his team during a time when regional IT plans to support standardisation have been gaining greater prominence."
Graeme Osborne says any prospective system will need to integrate with sector wide information systems, including hospital patient administration systems, regional Clinical Data Repositories, the national Medicines Safety Programme and eReferrals (from ambulance services, general practice, private hospitals etc.).
"It seems to be the right time to pursue a national ED information system, particularly now some DHBs are planning to invest in replacement hospital patient administration systems. Those DHBs are well positioned to become early adopters."
Source: National Health Board, 29 March 2012. Press release is available at: http://www.nationalhealthboard.govt.nz/EDIT-NZ