Public hospital staff in South Australia will soon have access to patient records through a web-based information system, thanks to updates to the careconnect.sa initiative.
Careconnect.sa is South Australia's electronic health records system, the goal of which is to connect all clinicians to patient information over the next decade.
The system currently in place does not allow sharing of information between hospitals.
"Linking nurses and midwives through a patient health record system will allow faster access to patient information, which will lead to more responsive and informed treatment," said David Johnston, chief information officer with the SA Health Department.
The new system will link all the major public hospitals in South Australia, and is intended to improve the planning and management of patient care, as well as the utilisation of staff.
Lyell McEwen Hospital in Adelaide will serve as the frontrunner for the system, which is slated to be rolled out to another 17 hospitals by the end of 2009.
Features of the new system include a risk assessment profiler for each patient, as well as a tool to ensure patient treatment follows a care guide.
"Because all the information is at [nurses'] fingertips, they'll have more time to spend on patient care and less on chasing paperwork," Emerging Systems CEO Russel Duncan said.