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Digital Dashboards for Victoria Hospitals

The A$2.1 million Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) project to collect patient data in one place aims to better equip healthcare workers when making critical and life-saving clinical decisions.

The project will deliver live streams of clinical analytics and reporting information in the form of online dashboards. The dashboards will drive quality improvement, safety assurance and more efficient accreditation in a hospital setting. The data will be drawn from hospital electronic medical records (EMR) and the Victorian Health Incident Management System (VHIMS).

The project will be led by the Monash University Faculty of Information Technology and Eastern Health Clinical School, and the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, with Eastern Health and the Department of Health (Victoria) as collaborators.

Professor David Plunkett, Chief Executive of Eastern Health, said the project will be led by the Executive Director of Information, Technology and Capital Projects and will display streamed data on dashboards extracted from Eastern Health hospital systems.

The project will bring together the areas of clinical practice, technology and the very important requirement of accreditation, to proactively improve the quality and safety of how care is provided.

Professor Peteris Darzins, Executive Clinical Director of Aged Medicine and Director of Geriatric Medicine at Eastern Health, added that this venture will facilitate and improve patient care in a timely manner. The project will build on investments in the digitisation of healthcare in Victorian hospitals. EMR and other clinical data sources will also be used to ensure health services can be ready at any time for accreditation. At the same time, clinical datasets will be put into the hands of clinicians to drive local quality improvement.

Neville Board, Victoria’s Chief Digital Health Officer, said digital technologies will empower hospitals to provide real-time data for clinical decision-making and accreditation against national standards set by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

Chris Bain, Professor of Practice in Digital Health at Monash University, added that the project uses innovative technologies to address a need in the healthcare sector for reliable, quick and easy-to-access data.

The dashboards will combine data engineering techniques with user-friendly visualisations to surface key information from large data sets. These dashboards will enable clinicians to better understand the quality of care needed on a continuous daily basis, leading to improved quality standards, better patient care and overall support for clinicians.

Accreditation of safety and quality in health services aims to ensure the health system is better informed, supported and organised to deliver safe and high-quality care. On completion, the project will develop a roadmap for Australian hospitals to adopt live digital dashboards with new models to support proactive, continuous quality improvement and accreditation.

The implementation of the digital dashboards will benefit many hospital areas, including clinical governance, preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infection, medication safety, comprehensive care, blood management, recognising and responding to acute deterioration, communicating for safety, and partnering with consumers.

The four-year project will demonstrate the impact of the dashboard framework on clinical practice, hospital audit teams and external accreditation.

Recent research notes that digital dashboard systems in hospitals provide a user interface (UI) that can centrally manage and retrieve various information related to patients in a single screen, support the decision-making of medical professionals on a real-time basis by integrating the scattered medical information systems and core workflows, enhance the competence and decision-making ability of medical professionals, and reduce the probability of misdiagnosis.

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