Digital health to help redesign decision making in NSW hospitals

A new $1.5million research project through the Digital Health CRC (DHCRC) is set to apply health informatics solutions to decision making in hospitals to deliver safer and more effective patient care.

The project will evaluate and improve clinical decision support tools in both regional and metropolitan hospital settings and is three-year collaboration between Sydney Local Health District (LHD), eHealth NSW, Murrumbidgee LHD, NSW Health, University of Sydney, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Alcidion.

“With hospitals on the frontline of Australia’s healthcare delivery, this project aims to support clinical staff who are faced with an enormous number of decisions when treating patients – navigating the ever-growing array of drugs, tests, techniques, medical technology and health data now available,” said DHCRC CEO Dr Terry Sweeney CMG.

“In addition to benefitting patients, the project has a number of commercial drivers with a 2019 report on Australian hospitals finding that patient safety lapses contributed to around 8.9 per cent of total hospital activity and expenditure, costing an estimated $4.1 billion during 2017-18.”

The research team is led by Associate Professor Melissa Baysari from the University of Sydney and Professor Steven McPhail from Queensland University of Technology. They will work with Alcidion’s Miya Precision system, which is used by Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and by Wagga Base Hospital in Southern NSW, to identify priority areas where clinical decision support tools will add value.

Miya Precision consolidates data from existing systems, such as the electronic medical record and enables clinical decision support to provide clinicians with proactive notification of critical issues.

Sydney LHD Chief Information Officer Richard Taggart said the project was an exciting step forward in supporting the local health workforce who are under immense pressure from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with the academic experts and an industry partner such as Alcidion to bring technology to the forefront of clinical decision making in our hospitals, supporting our clinicians at a time they need it most,” he said.

Alcidion Group Managing Director, Kate Quirke, said “We are pleased to work with the DHCRC and other partners in this important project that is closely aligned with the principles of our healthcare solutions. The outcomes identified will allow us all to make a direct impact on improved patient care”.

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