A joint initiative between NSW Health and US healthcare IT supplier Cerner Corporation have supported the clinical and clerical staff at St George Hospital in pioneering the latest Electronic Medical Record (EMR) clinical system for NSW public hospitals. Cerner EMR is used widely across NSW. The latest version of the same is being used at St George Hospital, resulting from a state-wide clinical redesign strategy initiated by NSW Health in 2006. St George Hospital’s EMR includes solutions for ordering, results reporting, eMR repository, operating theatres, and emergency departments. NSW Health views the implementation of EMR systems in public hospitals as a massive task .
John Della Bosca, NSW Minister for Health, has announced that $A100 million will be spent to roll out the EMR platform to 188 hospitals across the State by the end of 2010. Della Bosca added that EMR are to replace the paper records and secure the patient information that is available to authorized clinicians through computer workstations across the hospital. At the heart of the Cerner EMR platform is a single database where patient details are entered once and accessible to all clinicians with approved security access anywhere in the hospital. Information gathered about the patient from many service departments can guide clinical decisions through the use of rules and alerts. EMR technology platforms are being implemented at varying rates across hospitals in NSW. St George Hospital’s EMR includes solutions for ordering, results reporting, EMR repository, operating theatres, and emergency departments. Other public hospitals across NSW are operating on different platforms and databases, and there are many still with paper-based records and workflow. The eMR implementation at St George represents a move to having a standardised, state-wide, medical record system that will eventually allow patient information to be securely accessible in every public hospital, regardless of where the patient is seen. Doctors, nurses and allied health professionals can record a patient’s details and clinical information from arrival in hospital, to discharge to compile a complete view of the patient’s care.