Local software to reduce hospital bottlenecks

More accurate than existing methods
  • Rodney Gedda (Techworld Australia)
  • 02 September, 2008 16:14

New software developed by the Australian e-Health Research Centre claims to assist hospital emergency medical staff to better gauge demand on their services.

The Patient Admission Prediction Tool (PAPT) uses historical data to allow hospital staff to see what the patient load will be like in the next hour, that day, the next week, or even on holidays with varying dates, like Easter.

PAPT was developed in collaboration with clinicians from Gold Coast and Toowoomba Hospitals, Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology.

Director of emergency medicine at Gold Coast Hospital Dr David Green said accurate forecasting will assist many areas of health management – from basic bed management and staffing to scheduling elective surgery.

Green also believes PAPT will reduce stress for staff and improve patient outcomes.

Australian e-Health Research Centre research director Dr David Hansen said PAPT has so far improved prediction of patient presentation and admission in two hospitals with “very different populations”.

“Emergency departments already know there’s a pattern to presentations and admissions, but existing models are very simplistic,” Hansen said. “PAPT uses historical data to provide an accurate prediction of the expected load on any day.”

The aim is to turn the prototype software package into a product that can be used in Queensland.

The Australian e-Health Research Centre is a joint venture between CSIRO and the Queensland Government.