Closing the eMM loop cost-effectively

Well-known eHealth researcher Johanna Westbrook will provide a keynote speech on the cost-effectiveness of electronic medications management systems over paper-based prescribing at the 4th annual eMedication Management Conference being held in Sydney in March.

Professor Westbrook, who has recently moved with her research group from the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation to Macquarie University, has been conducting long-standing studies of the introduction of eMM systems at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital.

She will present a keynote speech on the results of an investigation specifically looking at the costs and benefits of eMM through a cost-effectiveness analysis of eMM versus paper-based prescribing.

The conference, being held from March 26 to 27, will also feature two speakers from St Stephen's Private Hospital in Hervey Bay, which recently opened its doors to patients with a closed loop medications management system in place.

St Stephen's Hospital's quality and clinical informatics manager, Sharon Downman, and director of pharmacy, Vicki Ibrahim, will discuss their approach to operating a safe, integrated, interoperable model of patient care through eMM.

Closed loop systems are high on the agenda of the conference, which will also cover the role of pharmacy automation, the use of terminologies such as SNOMED, AMT and those used in the New Zealand Universal List of Medicines (NZULM).

Speakers on standardising terminology include Mona Thind, informatics manager with eHealth NSW; Tony Abbenante, manager of the Victorian Design Authority, who will look at how to use SNOMED and AMT effectively; and John Quayle, clinical pharmacist with the eMeds project with Canterbury District Health Board in New Zealand, who will discuss implementing the NZ Dictionary of Authoritative and Standardised Information about Medicines in CSC's MedChart system.

Kate Richardson, eMedicines management pharmacist at St Vincent's in Sydney, will use her 'Mastercheffing' analogy to explain the journey of eMedicines and eAllergies in the acute care setting. The conference also hopes to provide an update from NSW Health's eMM program director, Robin Mann, on the how local hospital districts (LHDs) in NSW are starting to prepare for the state-wide roll-out of eMM systems as part of the government's 10-year, $170 million commitment.

Part of that commitment is to select a panel of suitable vendors for eMM solutions that each LHD can choose from. eHealth NSW's program manager for the implementation of the state-wide roll-out of MetaVision in ICUs, Angela Ryan, will provide an insight into the vendor procurement and selection process used, which involved an open tender with selection made by a clinician-led evaluation panel.

How to implement eMM in a private healthcare setting and getting 1100 specialist doctors to use it will be covered by Cabrini Health's deputy chief executive, Judith Day, and eMM project director Peter Bennett.

The different types of automation models for hospital pharmacies will be discussed by Jennie O'Hare, assistant director of pharmacy at Gold Coast Health, while Courtney Munro of Melbourne's Royal Children’s Hospital pharmacy department will look at using smart infusion pumps with dose error reduction software.

There will also be a number of pre-conference workshops on March 25 covering practical approaches to elements of implementing an eMM system.

The main conference will be held on March 26 and 27 at the Swissotel Sydney.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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