US $ 2.1 million project to better equip health workers to make critical, life-saving decisions

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A $ 2.1 million project by the Digital Health Cooperative Research Center (CRC) to collect patient data in one place aims to better equip healthcare workers as they make critical and life-saving clinical decisions.

The project is led by Monash University Faculty of Computer Science and Eastern Health Clinical School, with The Australian Council on Health Standards, Eastern Health and the Ministry of Health (Victoria) as collaborators.

The Cooperative research center for digital health (CRC) project will provide live streams of clinical analysis and reporting information in the form of online dashboards.

According to the CRC, the dashboards will drive quality improvement, safety guarantee and more efficient accreditation in a hospital setting – using data taken from the hospital’s electronic medical records (EMR) and the Victorian Health Incident Management System (VHIMS).




Prof. David Plunkett, chief executive of Eastern Health, said the project is the first of its kind in Victoria with exciting potential for scalability. “This project is led by our Executive Director of Information, Technology and Capital Projects, Zoltan Kokai. It will display streamed data on dashboards extracted from Eastern Health’s hospital systems, ”said Professor Plunkett.

“It is important that it brings together the areas of clinical practice, technology and the very important requirement of accreditation in order to proactively improve the quality and safety of care.”

Prof. Peteris Darzins, Exec. Clinical Director of Aged Medicine and Director of Geriatric Medicine at Eastern Health said, “This is an exciting endeavor for clinicians and will facilitate and improve patient care in a timely manner.”

Neville Board, Victoria’s chief digital health officer, said the project builds on investments in digitizing healthcare in Victorian hospitals, and using EMR and other clinical data sources to ensure health services are ready for accreditation anytime – and time clinical data sets are placed in the hands of clinicians to drive local quality improvement.

“It is important that we move away from the manual collection of clinical data. Digital technologies will enable our hospitals to provide real-time data for clinical decision making and accreditation according to national standards of the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care, ”said the board.

Chris Bain, Professor of Practice in Digital Health at Monash University, says the project uses cutting-edge technology to meet urgent healthcare needs for reliable, fast, and easily accessible data.

“The dashboards will combine data engineering techniques with easy-to-use visualizations to display key information from large data sets,” said Professor Bain.

“These dashboards will enable clinicians to better understand the quality of the care they need on a daily basis, leading to improved quality standards, better patient care and general support for clinicians.”

According to the CRC, the accreditation of safety and quality in health services is intended to ensure that the health system is better informed, supported and organized to ensure safe and high quality care.

Dr. Karen Luxford, CEO of the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, said that when completed, the project will develop a roadmap for Australian hospitals to introduce live digital dashboards with new models to support proactive, continuous quality improvement and accreditation.

“Safe and high quality care is important every day. The use of real-time data will help hospitals verify the quality of care and provide information for the external assessment of health services through accreditation.

“The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards is excited to be a partner in this project that focuses on the future of healthcare,” said Dr. Luxford.

According to the CRC, the implementation of the digital dashboards will benefit a number of hospital areas including clinical governance, infection prevention and control related to health care, drug safety, comprehensive care, blood management, acute deterioration detection and response, communication for safety and collaboration with consumers.

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

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