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Lea

Lea Dias

Year of Award: 2013 Award State: Western Australia Health And Medicine > Nursing
Health And Medicine > General
To investigate electronic Closed Loop Medication Management systems in global leading hospitals to improve patient safety at the New Children's Hospital Project in Western Australia - USA, UK, Israel
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During a six-week period in 2013, a study tour was conducted of seven global leading health care facilities with the primary focus of reviewing technologies which actively  improve patient safety. Global leading practices have looked at ‘whole of system’ redesign of the medication management continuum. This involves replacing outdated and error prone manual processes with technology platforms designed to prevent patient harm and thereby moving towards a “zero harm” culture.

The study tour extended across the United States to four leading paediatric hospitals, and then across to two hospitals (one adult hospital) in England and a leading paediatric hospital in the town of Petach Tikva in Israel. The staff generously and openly shared information on adopting, selecting and implementing electronic systems. The opportunity to meet these innovative and dynamic physicians, pharmacists and nursing staff in this newly established role of Medical/Pharmacy Informatics was a major highlight of the tour.

Additionally, these healthcare facilities were affiliated with academic centres of excellence which supported research and used robust data from efficient IT systems to allow healthcare organisations to improve operational efficiencies and clinical decision making. This also enabled benchmarking against global best practice paediatric institutions ensuring ongoing performance improvement in hospitals.

Although the initial study tour looked at investigating electronic closed loop medication management systems, it rapidly became apparent that a wider study of both new technology/automation and the entire integrated health ICT system was required for a number of reasons:

  1. Medication safety was almost invariably the main driver for implementing an integrated health system (IHS).

  2. The quality of the electronic medication management  (EMM)   system  was directly linked to the quality of the entire IHS, and these are in turn completely dependent on the organisation’s capacity for vision, resourcing and governance.

This report includes an overview of the hospital visits, focusing on six key areas: ‘Governance Structure’, ‘Pharmacy Department’,  ‘EMM  Technology  and  Automation  adoption’,  ‘Closing the Loop on Medication Management’, and ‘EMM Implementation strategy’.

The final section includes lessons learned, key recommendations and opportunities and conclusions drawn from the study. These may be useful for Australian  governments  and tertiary health care organisations to consider when moving towards innovative technologies.

The knowledge and insights gained on this trip will be disseminated to the wider community both locally and nationally. All levels of healthcare organisations, the  media,  specialist bodies and universities  will be informed and encouraged  to  participate  in  this  transitional and transformational change to healthcare in Australia.

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