HiNZ 2015: Canterbury and West Coast DHBs launch Patientrack EWS

Canterbury and West Coast District Health Boards are set to implement a new digital patient observation and alert response system called Patientrack, which is aimed at helping clinicians identify deteriorating patients earlier.

Patientrack was devised by a New Zealand-trained intensive care specialist based in the UK and has been deployed at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust. It is distributed in New Zealand and Australia by IT solutions firm MKM Health.

Patientrack will be introduced at Canterbury and West Coast DHBs from next month and is designed to make patient observations immediately visible to the clinical team anywhere through the hospital information system.

Susan Wood, director of quality and patient safety for Canterbury and West Coast DHBs, said Patientrack used the patient’s vital signs to add up an early warning score (EWS) and automatically sends alerts to the appropriate clinicians.

It will track more than a million patient observations that are currently recorded on charts in 10 hospitals throughout Canterbury DHB and West Coast DHB every year.

“Replacing paper-based EWS with a broader suite of automated assessment and communication tools will reduce error rates and improve work flows, allowing clinicians to dedicate more quality time with patients, and ultimately reduce the number of adverse events,” Ms Wood said in a statement.

“Electronic capture of patient data will give our teams improved visibility of EWS, enabling more timely review and follow up of patients.”

Ms Wood said adopting the digital track and trigger system was partly in response to recommendations from the Health and Disability Commissioner to better adhere to clinical protocols, and also to reduce the paperwork from up to 40 different patient observation assessment forms.

She said initial configuration of the new system has started at Christchurch Hospital, and will progressively go out across all wards over the next six months.

“Joining up with the clinical management system will also provide more reliable data to assist planning and reporting on improvements in clinical and patient workflow,” she said.

Posted in New Zealand eHealth

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