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Changing times

Hamish Barwick | May 30, 2013
Ensuring the optimum use of resources while providing data and systems to meet the needs of clinical physicians is what Simon Richardson sees as his main task.

Prior to the thin client rollout, there were a limited number of shared computers that people logged onto. However, St Vincent's "had issues" because if people wanted to log on as themselves, it was taking minutes to log on to every computer.

The hospital also uses Medical Records Online (MRO) which allows healthcare professionals to access patient information whether they are visiting patient's or across campus.

Within the first 12 months of operation, MRO has accumulated over 2.2 million scanned documents. Because the majority of medical records are still paper based, MRO was designed to get an electronic version of the medical records available for clinicians.

"As people present to the organisation, we are getting their records scanned online. Through that project we have also moved to the creation of electronic data such as clinical notes. The medical record is tied into clinical results as well and it allows live access to clinical radiology results."

Based on Cisco's wireless local area network (WLAN) network, Richardson said MRO was also the first step on the long journey towards Electronic Medical Records (EMR).

"We have a strategy to get to a level where there is a paperless environment but that's a long way off for us," he said. "We will go to a phased approach over the next three years."

There are also plans to link MRO to the personally-controlled electronic health records (PCEHR) which the federal government is rolling out.

For consumers who chose to opt in and register for a PCEHR, they can expect their healthcare providers to have access to electronic clinical documents that provide accurate medication information and summarise the current status of their health.

 

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