CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA, November 29, 2010 – Exciting new Australian research presented at the Health Informatics Conference (HIC) 2010 shows that electronic medication management has the potential to markedly reduce prescribing errors by more than half. Medication errors affect some 189,000 Australian hospital admissions every year and cost the health system an estimated $1 billion.
The study titled, “The effectiveness of an electronic medication management system to reduce prescribing errors in hospital” <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=430012692310760;res=IELHEA> is the first Australian research of its kind. Professor Johanna Westbrook, Director of the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research, University of New South Wales was the study lead author.
The study authors examined the introduction and use of MedChart, the iSOFT Medication Management solution <http://www.isofthealth.com/en/Solutions/HospitalsandClinics/MedicationManagement.aspx>, within a mental health unit of an Australian teaching hospital. The solution included an electronic medication chart, and combined prescribing, clinical pharmacy review and drug administration.
Study co-author and internationally renowned patient safety expert, Professor William Runciman said “electronic medication management systems have been shown to reduce or even eliminate, some of the most common problems relating to documentation and communication. Incomplete or unclear drug orders were completely eliminated during the study."
Acccording to Professor Runciman, "The next stage is to target the ordering and decision making process, work is now underway to try to determine how most effectively to use the system to reduce this type of error.”
Prescribing errors are the most frequent type of medication errors in hospitals. Following introduction of MedChart, the iSOFT Medication Management solution, overall prescribing errors per patient were more than halved.
Commenting on the study results, iSOFT Systems clinical director Dr Dennis Armstrong, a former GP in Yarralumla, said “I have always known that our system improved medication safety, but having this proven and documented in a clinical research study is gratifying. Now we know we are making a difference!”
As the effectiveness of electronic medication management systems become clearer, more hospitals are looking to improve medication safety by implementing these important systems.
In the past six months iSOFT Medication Management <http://www.isofthealth.com/en/Solutions/HospitalsandClinics/MedicationManagement.aspx> has been implemented at sites in New Zealand and Australia.
Otago University Hospital in Dunedin, recently completed implementation of MedChart for all internal medicine teams, and has already seen error reduction and excellent staff engagement.
Macquarie University Hospital, Australia’s first and only private university hospital, opened in June this year and immediately implemented MedChart for medication management. The system went live on 15 October, and all wards in the state-of-the-art hospital now use the iSOFT Medication Management solution.
Developed in Canberra, iSOFT’s (MedChart) medication management application will soon be implemented at its first UK site in a hospital near Manchester.
iSOFT Group Limited (ASX: ISF) is the largest health information technology company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, and among the world’s biggest providers of advanced application solutions in modern healthcare economies.
iSOFT works with healthcare professionals to design and build software applications that answer all of the difficult questions posed by today’s healthcare delivery challenges. Our solutions act as a catalyst for change, supporting free exchange of critical information across diverse care settings and participating organisations.
Today, more than 13,000 provider organisations in over 40 countries use iSOFT’s solutions to manage patient information and drive improvements in their core processes. The group’s sustainable development is delivered through careful planning, in-depth analysis of the market, and anticipation of our clients’ evolving requirements. Our business is driven by the collective talent, experience and commitment of more than 3,500 specialists in 19 countries worldwide.
A global network of iSOFT subsidiaries, supported by an extensive partner network, provides substantial experience of national healthcare markets. As a result, we offer our clients comprehensive knowledge of local market requirements in terms of culture, language, working practices, regulation and organizational structure.
John Ainge, iSOFT Systems (Canberra)
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