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EMR success needs IT wake up: NSW e-health CIO

EMR success needs IT wake up: NSW e-health CIO

New environment where health IT will involve critical service delivery

NSW Department of Health’s director of e-health and ICT strategy branch, Ian Rodgers.

NSW Department of Health’s director of e-health and ICT strategy branch, Ian Rodgers.

Taking the HIMS model from stage three to stage five at NSW Health involves a number of e-health initiatives still subject to state budgeting process, but, if approved, they are earmarked for commencement in the next financial year. These involve:

  • Intensive care system. Extend the reach of the EMR to high dependency areas including 45 intensive care units (ICUs) and other high-dependency units. Provide clinicians with necessary plug-in monitoring and decision support systems.
  • Electronic medications management. On track for commencement next year for a period of four to five years. This will manage prescriptions and dispensing of medications.
  • EMR phase two: Extends the reach of apps into wards and clinics.
  • ICT infrastructure phase two: Healthcare grade networks.
  • Corporate initiatives: e-recruitment, training and the occupational health and safety of the program

Where to from here? There is still a lot happening around e-health and ICT governance, according to Rodgers said.

“Deciding who is making the decisions and a restructure has been going on for some time. We have re-engineered the government structure. You need to have meaningful engagement, it is a critical success factor so we have put together a number of governance bodies.”

There is now an e-health and ICT strategic council which includes independent consumers – people who “use the system” – and people who “understand” e-health.

A clinical advisory group and a corporate advisory group represent medical staff senior management, respectively.

“NSW Health had to exercise the ‘Wisdom of Solomon’ to decide who went on the committee due to the level of interest,” Rodgers said.

“Is the governance structure right? It's hard to say. It’s currently being reviewed and likely to make changes to way we do clinical projects.”

Rodgers said the national e-health agenda also has a “strong agenda” and NSW Health supports it.

“We have a wave two sites in NSW (Greater Western Sydney e-health consortium) is a collaboration between the Western Sydney and Blue Mountains health networks.”

A community health systems project will also extend reach of the EMR program beyond state hospitals and clinical facilities.

Follow Rodney Gedda on Twitter: @rodneygedda

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Tags e-healthNSW healthcebitnswNSW department of healthIan RodgersCeBIT 2011

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