Workforce, eHealth and classification

This article first appeared in the November 2014 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.
In addition to a number of workforce issues, eHealth and clinical classification emerged as key themes at the HIMAA NCCH National Conference in Darwin in October. Research was also high on the agenda, with a number of speakers urging the health information management and clinical coding professions to consider the value of research.

In her keynote presentation, Joanne Callen, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research (CHSSR) at the University of New South Wales, took delegates through examples of research into ICT implementations undertaken by the centre that have demonstrated benefits of eHealth to those managing the change, and to patients.

In one example, a Sydney hospital’s rheumatology department reduced seven information systems – four manual and thee electronic – into the one electronic medication management (eMM) system. Associate Professor Callen’s team was engaged to evaluate the impact of the eMM system on nurse work processes, and was able to demonstrate to management that nurses spent less time monitoring and more time on patient care.

Qualitative research with the nurses themselves revealed that, while they valued the improvement to their practice facilitated by eMM, what they particularly valued was its patient safety benefits – itself a positive outcome that decision makers might not otherwise have realised.

In another example, research with emergency department clinicians involved in the integration of electronic data systems into ward rounds across hospitals in two NSW local health districts found that not only did they value the ability to electronically capture clinical information at the point of care for immediate input by remote physicians, but their own documentation skills improved – an unexpected benefit.

To read the full story, click here for the November 2014 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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