Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital has gone live with the Electronic Transfer of Care platform, a first of its kind innovation in Australia that speeds up medications information sharing between intensive care units and general wards.
The first ICU patient transfer using eTOC at Prince of Wales occurred on Wednesday, 2 March, with a doctor describing the system as “magic” after using it for the first time.
WHY IT MATTERS
Dr Zoran Bolevich, Chief Executive of eHealth NSW and CIO of NSW Health, said web-based eTOC ensures patients’ medication details are available when they are moved from ICU to wards in a way that reduces the chances of errors and saves valuable time.
“Historically, this was a time-consuming manual process reliant on clinicians’ physically transcribing details into different systems. eTOC was developed to resolve this, improving both clinical productivity and patient care,” Dr Bolevich told Healthcare IT News.
Faster transfers and reducing the potential for medication errors are other advantages to the system, which digitally transfers medication orders from the electronic record for intensive care (eRIC) to the Cerner EMR used in NSW public hospitals.
“Since going live, survey feedback has showcased increased clinician satisfaction in terms of safety, time, ease and the overall medication order transfer process. Preliminary safety and quality audit results also show a reduction in transcription errors,” Dr Bolevich said.
With future interoperability in mind, the system has been designed to ensure NSW Health’s future digital health integration capabilities, and leverages the FHIR standard and Ontoserver for terminology mapping.
eTOC integrates directly with existing workflows employing complex medication order matching capabilities across multiple different medication catalogues and prescribing processes.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
The system took 18 months to be initially developed, with its first implementation at Wyong Hospital in February 2021. eHealth NSW has since rolled it out at a further eight hospitals across NSW: Gosford, Griffith, Hornsby, Prince of Wales, Royal North Shore, St George, Wagga Wagga and Bega – South East Regional Hospital.
A further four hospitals – Goulburn, Shoalhaven, Sutherland and Wollongong – are scheduled to go live with eTOC over the next few months as it is deployed across the state.
Prince of Wales Hospital is a major teaching hospital and tertiary referral centre based in south eastern Sydney with 450 inpatient beds and almost 3000 staff caring for more than 58,000 emergency patients and 50,000 admitted patients each year.