A Sydney hospital is the first in the state to introduce wristbands that electronically record patients’ vital signs and other key data – one of a suite of technological advances streamlining patient care in NSW.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Member for Drummoyne John Sidoti today saw the wristband technology in action at Concord Hospital.
Mrs Skinner and Mr Sidoti also viewed the Electronic Medication Management system (eMM), which dramatically improves the way medicines are prescribed, dispensed and administered across a hospital.
“Concord Hospital is at the forefront of the roll-out of cutting-edge technology across the NSW health system,” Mrs Skinner said.
“Technology is changing the way personal clinical data is stored and shared in our hospitals, delivering clear benefits to both patients and staff in terms of safety and efficiency.”
Under the new wristband system, a patient’s wristband ID is scanned, as is the treating clinician’s ID. The patient’s vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, temperature and oxygen saturation) are recorded electronically on a computer and instantly transferred to the patient’s medical record, which can be accessed around the hospital.
The new wristband and interface technology – which is on trial for three months in Concord Hospital’s emergency department – means staff no longer need to write down vital signs or open a patient’s file on the computer to enter them. This saves time and reduces human error associated with manual data entry and transcription.
Under the eMM, a patient’s medication history is computerised and centrally stored, allowing staff to access if from multiple locations across the hospital.
The eMM reduces the potential for prescribing errors caused by illegible handwriting, reduces duplication and waste and allows clinicians to better coordinate a patient’s care.
Concord Hospital is a pioneer in the roll-out of the eMM system, with a further 27 hospitals set to take it up over the next three years.
The NSW Government has committed $300 million towards eHealth initiatives in its second term.