Monday, March 28th, 2011

Clinical information system implementations are not easy. Research indicates that some 30% of implementations fail. The consequences of these failures range from poor staff uptake to boycotts and “de-installations” by deeply frustrated and even enraged staff. The potential financial and organisational impact is dramatic when expensive systems are left untouched by clinical users.

Despite the difficulties, health systems continue to implement clinical information systems such as electronic prescribing, medication management, pharmacy, patient administration and laboratory systems. The reason is that these systems, when implemented successfully, hold great promise to simultaneously improve the quality and reduce the cost of health care. 

Numerous studies demonstrate that when done right, clinical information systems can provide important clinical and efficiency improvements. Research into electronic medication management by Professor Johanna Westbrook, Director of the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research, University of New South Wales, indicates the significant reductions in medication error that are possible.

The great difficulty is conflict; conflict between the need for clinical information systems to respect and support established clinical workflows, while simultaneously transforming and improving processes. Clinical information system implementations are actually about change management. For clinical leaders, the challenge is to balance healthy change introduced by the clinical information system, against the increased risk that the implementation will fail because of those very changes. This delicate balance requires skilful and determined leadership.

In a study of the 150 factors of implementation success, the two most important factors were: (1) senior management support, (2) user involvement.

So how is this support and involvement achieved and maintained? The answer is incremental change that leaves plenty of room for clinician input, and the achievement of small wins that build toward a larger goal.

One successful example of this approach is a project at the Dunedin Hospital on New Zealand’s South Island. Led by Dr Andrew Bowers, the project introduced electronic prescribing and medication administration to medical wards at the 388 bed hospital. While it has not been without difficulty, Dr Bowers and colleagues have succeeded in engaging staff and defining the medication management system to suit their needs and to improve their ability to deliver quality care.

Within months of implementing the iSOFT Medication Management system (formerly known as MedChart), the hospital saw a significant reduction in medication error and an increase in staff efficiency. According to one senior nurse “there would be a riot” if the wards reverted to the old system.

Hear Dr Bowers explain in his own words how he achieved user involvement and clinical improvement with the Dunedin Hospital’s successful implementation of iSOFT’s medication management. Join this free, live webinar at 10 am Eastern Standard Time (Australia) 1 April 2011.

WEBINAR | Sustaining Clinician Engagement: Implementing Electronic Medication Management at Dunedin Hospital


Live Webinar / 10 am EST / 1 April 2011
Pre-registration required

Presenter: Dr Andrew Bowers
Medical Director of IT, Southern District Health Board, New Zealand
Clinical Leader, Electronic Prescribing, New Zealand Ministry of Health, Safe Medication Management Programme (concluded February 2011)
National Health IT Board National Information Clinical Leadership Group

Dr Andrew Bowers is the clinical lead for the successful Dunedin Hospital electronic prescribing and electronic medicine administration project, which is part of a wider New Zealand Ministry of Health project to address medication safety. Join him for a live webinar in which he explains the pilot, what they did how they did it and what is next. The results so far are attracting wide spread attention, with hospitals across New Zealand actively requesting to be a part of the program. Dr Bowers will also provide valuable insights for achieving clinician engagement and other learning resulting from the implementation.

Register today to secure your seat and hear directly from a successful clinical leader. Dr Bowers’ presentation will be followed by a 15-minute question and answer session, so have your questions ready.

Contact Profile

iSOFT Group

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 organizations.

Today, more than 13,000 provider organizations 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 3,300 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.
Delia Dent
P: +61 2 8115 6355
M: +61 410 575 123


medication management, electronic prescribing, clinician engagement, webinar, medication management systems, iSOFT medication management, medication chart, MedChart, medication errors



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