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Electronic medication management to be delivered to hospitals in rural NSW by end 2018

Above image: Screenshot from video created by Mid North Coast LHD’s multi-media unit, with input from representatives of each of the rural LHDs and eHealth NSW; Video available here

eHealth NSW plans to roll out Electronic medication management (eMeds) to hospitals in rural New South Wales (NSW) in 2018. 

eMeds is intended to provide a smart, safer and better way of managing medications for patients in hospitals. It will replace paper medication charts. Paper based medication charts are all hand-written and have a variety of shortcomings. From difficulty in deciphering handwriting to missing details and being misplaced from the folders where they are supposed to be, using paper charts is cumbersome.

And transcribing and writing handwritten medication sheets, that can be really long and lengthy, is not just tedious for clinicians, but also consumes valuable time they could spend on taking better care of patients. Probably most importantly, eMeds will reduce errors and improve accuracy.

An accompanying video says that the eMeds team held extensive consultations to hear from the people who will use the system. Initial consultation involved more than 400 clinicians across 31 locations, ranging from large base hospitals to small, remote facilities.

Dr. John Lambert, Chief Clinical Information Officer, eHealth NSW says in the video, “You can’t do this sort of work without involving the clinicians that are going to be affected. There are a lot of decisions that will need to be made by clinicians about what are the most appropriate settings and configurations and direct choices that are to be available. It really is more important just for clinicians to know what it means to them and their practise. Because not every clinician is going to be able to decide what goes on the drug list. But every clinician will be affected by the fact that they have to use an eMed system.”

“All of these things are clinical decisions and supported by technology. We really want to work in partnership with our clinical community. Because oftentimes it’s not just technology changes that we’re introducing, but very much about clinical processes. So clinicians are at the centre of everything we do,” Dr. Zoran Bolevich, Chief Executive and CIO, eHealth NSW adds in the video.

eMeds is being delivered across the six rural NSW local health districts (LHDs) through a joint project. It will roll out to 18 hospitals, spanning all six Local Health Districts (LHDs), by the end of 2018.

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