Many people will have seen the physical structure of the new $630 million Bendigo Hospital, which has risen up into the North Bendigo skyline. The fit-out of this state of the art facility continues behind the massive facade in readiness for a January 2017 opening.
What is not visible to the naked eye is the abundance of work happening within Bendigo Health to ready our staff for the transition into the new environment.
Among these internal components is the journey from paper-based records to electronic-based records, or ‘paper light’ as we like to phrase it. And with the latest IT infrastructure in the new facility it makes sense to take advantage of this opportunity.
This new ‘paper-light’ direction will reduce storage for paper records and begin the trend of minimising paper usage throughout the Bendigo Health clinical community.
Our transition to an electronic record will evolve in two stages and initially just focus on our acute hospital services.
In the first stage, we will implement a Digital Medical Record (DMR) using a software package from Vitro software. This will provide clinicians involved in your care with a single electronic portal where they can access a variety of patient information including, medical history, test results and forms. Staff training is well underway and pilot testing is about to begin in a selected area. Once the pilot is complete and assessed, we will continue to roll the system out to other clinical areas.
The second stage will be the deployment of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) using a product from InterSystems called TrakCare. This will provide a whole of hospital integrated clinical information system. Additional functionality such as electronic ordering, decision support, closed-loop medication management and specialist modules will be incorporated under this system and, of course, will integrate with the DMR.
Once implemented throughout Bendigo Health, the ultimate outcome of the EMR is to essentially provide our clinicians with a ‘one stop shop’ where they can securely access up-to-date information about their patients.
Sounds pretty straight forward in its simplicity doesn’t it? It’s not. DMR and EMR technology is a complex beast, but done well and done right, it has huge benefits for our patients and their families and our staff.
Among these are improved communication between patient and clinician, the reduction of duplicated information and simplified workflows.
An example of this? In the new hospital, a clinician involved in your care will be able to sit at your bedside with an electronic device and discuss things like results, medications, future treatment and/or rehabilitation.
As we learn and adapt to this new way of working, we expect it will significantly enhance the ability of our staff to deliver world-class healthcare.
That’s good news for our patients – something we all want to see.