A $1.5 million research project has been established by the government-backed Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre to examine and enhance clinical decision support technologies at regional and urban hospitals across Australia.
Sydney Local Health District (LHD), eHealth NSW, Murrumbidgee LHD, NSW Health, University of Sydney, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and Alcidion have collaborated on the project for three years.
What is a digital health project?
All major stakeholders will be onboarded on a digital platform thanks to NDHM’s help.
The platform will allow them to integrate with Patient Health Records (PHR), Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and gather anonymized healthcare data throughout the country once they have registered and been authenticated by the platform.
The use of digital technology to provide universal healthcare access, increase healthcare quality/outcomes, and promote population health and physical and emotional well-being is referred to as digital health.
Why was this project needed?
Clinical personnel are having difficulty making decisions when treating patients, especially in the midst of this pandemic.
While hospitals have installed decision support systems, Melissa Baysari, associate professor at the University of Sydney, stated in a press release that they are “poorly taken up or worked around.”
She emphasized, “We need to enhance the ‘fit’ between decision assistance technology and the people who use them.”
A 2019 assessment on Australian hospitals showed that errors in patient safety cost an estimated A$4.1 billion ($3 billion) between 2017 and 2018.
The research team emphasized the relevance of their effort. It accounted for 8.9% of all hospital activity and spending.
The Miya Precision system from Alcidion will be used in their project to identify priority areas where decision assistance tools may be beneficial.
The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Wagga Base Hospital are presently using the platform, which consolidates data from a variety of systems, including EMRs.
“The outcomes established will allow us all to have a direct influence on enhanced patient care,” said Kate Quirke, Managing Director of Alcidion Group.
Business challenges are overcome
Alcidion stated last week that it has renewed its agreement with the Sydney LHD to utilize its Miya Precision system to remotely monitor the status of patients with acute diverticulitis and integrate it with the LHD’s Cerner EMR.
The software previously enabled the RPA Virtual Hospital’s virtual care delivery for COVID-19 patients in home isolation during a 12-month contract.
Meanwhile, DHCRC has been collaborating with SA Health and the University of South Australia to develop a digital analytics tool that can anticipate growing risks of adverse occurrences in hospitals.
Their research tries to address concerns including ramping, suicide prevention, medicine, and falls.
The research firm launched a project in July that would use dashboards to give real-time patient data.
The dashboards project will leverage data from Eastern Health’s EMRs and the Victorian Health Incident Management System, which will be led by institutions affiliated with Monash University.
“With health facilities at the forefront of Australia’s healthcare delivery, this project aims to assist clinical staff who are faced with a huge series of choices when treating patients – navigating the ever-growing array of drugs, tests, techniques, medical technology, and health data now available,” said DHCRC CEO Dr. Terry Sweeney.