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June 2013

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Emergency Nurse Queenie Menchavez using the new tablet scanners to access her patients’ information.

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New tablets and ID wristband printers help streamline medication management in Frankston Hospital’s ED.

Frankston ED trials medication technology

Frankston Hospital emergency department is the first in Australia to introduce digital e-prescribing and medication management.

Both are now live as part of the Department of Health’s Clinical Information System initiative.

In another first, Peninsula Health is one the first in Australia to use the National E-Health Transition Authority’s (NeHTA) – standardised Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT) in a hospital setting.

Known as CLOVeR (CLinical Ordering, results Viewing, epRescribing) the information system utilises technology to implement electronic medication management and e-prescribing facilities on the ED floor.

This technology will allow patient information, medications and pharmacy needs to all be easily streamlined in to one, easy, digitalised process.

‘The introduction of this new technology means that prescribing is now much more streamlined and eliminates the need for hand written scripts,’ said Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine Helen Hewitt.

‘The use of electronic drug charts will enable clinical staff to easily read patient’s medication histories in a much clearer and a more functional format,’ Dr Hewitt said.

Clinicians and pharmacists are now equipped with multiple platforms on which they can access and record patient information at the touch of a button.

Clinicians can easily access the technology at every bedside with the implementation of 39 bedside devices made up of a generic all-in-one workstation, a SealShield washable keyboard and 2D barcode scanners (some of which are cordless).

To complement the ‘onthe-move’ nature of the ED, 23 portable workstations, including 20 Cmotion tablets and three portable ‘work stations on wheels’, have been introduced.

The portable stations are equipped with Motorola 2D barcode scanners.

They read the newly-implemented identification wristband infrastructure that has streamlined the creation and barcode scanning of patient unit record numbers, also introduced to the ED as part of its move into the technological era.

‘The introduction of the new identification wristbands will significantly assist the streamlining of patients’ data when they move from emergency to other wards that have already adopted the technology,’ said Dr Hewitt.

‘Overall, it will make the whole process much more effective, potentially resulting in greater traffic flow through our ED.’

Emergency nurse Queenie Menchavez said the move to the e-prescribing system had made a big difference on the ED floor.

‘It’s a lot easier now to access and administer patient medications,’ Ms Menchavez said.

‘Everything is simpler to use and only requires a few touches of a button rather than a pile of paperwork.

‘The patients are interested in the new technology as well and always asking questions about what the scanners and tablets do.’

The move to the digital era is part of an organisation-wide move for Peninsula Health which has already implemented the technology in a number of areas across its acute and sub-acute sites under the Department of Health’s program.

It is currently one of only three Victorian health services to trial the system.

The others are Austin Health and Eastern Health.