Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

First DataBank (FDB), the world’s leading provider of drug databases and electronic clinical decision support, today announced a new partnership with Hunter New England Health (HNEH). As part of a HNEH wide strategy to streamline medication management and reduce medication errors, FDB’s electronic drug catalogue will be integrated across its hospital information systems.

FDB’s clinical decision support used within computerised physician order entry systems helps reduce the risk of medication errors by providing active clinical checking at the point of prescribing including drug-drug interactions, contraindications and precautions, sensitivities and duplicate therapy. 

HNEH, part of New South Wales Health, provides care for 840,000 people across a large, geographical area. Starting from October 2009, HNEH in-patient wards will use the FDB drug terminology when discharging patients. Staff will be able to quickly and easily produce a comprehensive list of a patient’s medications that is consistent, unambiguous and free of other terminology related errors. Complete and accurate discharge documentation helps to ensure that patients and their GPs have a clear picture of current medications. 

The rollout across HNEH of full electronic prescribing for discharge medications is planned in 2010. Medical staff will then have access to comprehensive drug information on thousands of prescription drugs including side effects, drug interactions, official warnings and alerts, and medical conditions associated with specific drugs. For the first time clinicians will be able to consider relevant drug information whilst prescribing a course of treatment or offering guidance to a patient.

“Medication errors occur at an alarming rate in Australian hospitals - affecting at least 2.4% of admissions or some 164,000 patients annually. Major contributing factors are confusion arising from inconsistent terminology and a lack of drug information during prescribing. The implementation at HNEH will help to alleviate some of the errors that occur every day in Australian hospitals” says Chung Liauw, Managing Director, First DataBank Australia. 

Chris Kurtz, HNEH Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Program Manager adds: “The first step towards a reduction in medication errors is improved online documentation. By providing clinicians with more interoperable systems and the very best drug information at the point of data entry, we have taken that first step - and laid the foundation for more advanced decision support in the future.” 

For more information about First DataBank in Australasia, call +61 3 6425 6444 or visit www.firstdatabank.com.au

Contact Profile

First DataBank Australia

First DataBank, a subsidiary of Hearst Corporation, drives patient safety and healthcare quality by providing drug databases that are used within information systems that touch every aspect of healthcare. For 30 years, First DataBank have partnered with system developers to integrate and optimise drug information to improve user workflow and enhance clinical decision making by those entrusted with treating patients at the point-of-need. 

Chung Liauw, Managing Director, First DataBank Australia
P: +61 3 6425 6444
M: 043 864 2562
W: www.firstdatabank.com.au/

Hunter New England Health

A part of NSW Health, Hunter New England Health provides care for approximately 840,000 people over a geographical area of 130,000 square kilometres with a staff of 14,500 including 1,500 medical officers and 1,600 volunteers. Head office is located in Newcastle with a regional office in Tamworth. Hunter New England Health is unique, in that it is the only Area Health Service with a major metropolitan centre (Newcastle/Lake Macquarie) as well as a mix of several large regional centres and many smaller rural centres and remote communities within its borders.

W: www.hnehealth.nsw.gov.au/home


Medication errors affect 164,000 Australian patients annually. To reduce medication errors Hunter New England Health has licensed First DataBank electronic drug information for integration across hospital information systems.



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