With the implementation of the Integrated Electronic Medical Record (ieMR) there are significant opportunities to use the digital platform to improve the quality and efficiency of care for patients and provide solutions to important clinical issues. Digitising Patient Flow represents an opportunity to build on existing tools to identify delays to patient care.
Digitising Patient Flow – Phase one
The Digitising Patient Flow (DPF) Project aims to deliver information solutions to improve the flow of patients through public hospitals, leveraging existing tools, and converting and improving them in a digital environment. Phase one of the DPF project aimed to assess the need for and ability to digitise patient flow information, utilising data captured through integrated digital applications.
- Embed a sustainable escalation and monitoring process for patients with delays in their care.
- Reduce risk of complications or adverse events associated with long stays.
- Improve patient and carer experience.
- Improve team communication, care planning and care coordination processes.
In non-digital hospitals tools have been developed to assist clinical teams in the monitoring, management and early escalation of delays in care. Waiting for What (WfW) and Watching Our Waits (WoW) are two tools whose objectives could be translated into the digital environment with the implementation of the ieMR.
Phase one of the DPF project included an in-depth gap analysis and a scoping and feasibility assessment. The findings showed that it was feasible to build to a digital solution that is integrated with the ieMR and other integrated systems. This digital solution will provide retrospective and near real time data for clinical and strategic decision making concerning patient journey time points and waiting reasons. A tiered approach is planned for phase two, capturing the patient journey and waiting reason data elements that would be useful for clinical decision making.
This project was assessed against the criteria from the CED Assessment and Prioritisation framework. This assessment demonstrated that the continuation of this project into phase two would address critical patient safety and risk issues and has the potential to benefit 80 per cent of Queensland patients by 2020.The solution proposed to be developed in phase two would be scalable and sustainable across all digital Queensland Health hospitals. Furthermore, principles established for the project ensure that as much as possible the data collection burden, the impacts and changes to clinicians’ workflows and changes to the ieMR interface are minimised.