Electronic Patient Records To Save Lives

30 April 2018

More patients will get better, faster and safer care thanks to a massive investment from the Andrews Labor Government to fund a world-leading digital records system across three key Parkville health services.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy and Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings today announced the Victorian Budget 2018/19 will include $124 million to roll out cutting-edge electronic medical records (EMR) across the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne Health and Royal Women’s Hospital.

The project will link patient records at the three health services with the successful system operating at the Royal Children’s Hospital, which is already saving lives and delivering significant improvements in patient care.

This world-class technology means patient records are updated in real-time, equipping our life-saving clinicians with all the information they need to provide the very best care, every step of the way.

It means faster care, as doctors will no longer wait for paper records and test results to wind their way through the system, from one department to the next. And fewer unnecessary, duplicated tests, less frustration and waiting for the patient who just wants a diagnosis and a treatment that works.

Most importantly, the system will also deliver safer healthcare – with fewer avoidable errors, duplications and delays to treatment – all of which can pose serious risks to patients.

An increasing number of patients receive shared care across hospitals in the Parkville Precinct. By bringing all of Parkville’s major hospitals onto one system, a patient’s complete and up-to-date medical record will be available to their care team wherever in the precinct they receive their treatment.

It is estimated the EMR will save Victoria $34.1 million every year once it is operational. And just 12 months after being implemented, the Royal Children’s Hospital EMR has delivered massive benefits to patients, including a:

  • 27 per cent reduction in medication prescribing and administration errors
  • 4 per cent increase in immunisation rates for children in hospital
  • 6,768 fewer pathology tests performed
  • 2,414 fewer medical imaging examinations

The Labor Government also launched the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct Strategic Plan today – a roadmap to transform the Precinct into an economic powerhouse, ensuring our state’s medical discoveries and their economic benefits can stay right here in Victoria.

This strategy will create 10,000 new jobs by 2030 through an increased focus on commercialisation, unlocking the value of health data and attracting and retaining the best scientists and entrepreneurs.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“This world-class system will save Victorian lives. We cannot underestimate the value of getting real-time records to arm our medical professionals with the information they need.”

“This will make life easier for our hardworking doctors and nurses and will give patients peace of mind that their medical records will be up to date and easily accessible wherever they are receiving treatment.”

Quote attributable to Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings

“The EMR rollout is crucial to improving patient healthcare now, and boosting innovation and research for even better care in the future.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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