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Digital & Innovation

NSW Minister for Health to deliver ‘an integrated view of care across the public health system’

Health Industry Hub | October 20, 2023 |

Digital & Innovation: NSW Health has inked a significant contract to facilitate the delivery of the Single Digital Patient Record (SDPR). This landmark agreement, with Epic Systems, a global software giant, signifies the commencement of the ambitious endeavour’s initial design and build phase, ushering in a new era of healthcare record-keeping and service provision.

Currently, these systems are not connected state-wide. Data is routinely collected but is often unable to be shared or integrated in real time. This can create duplicative data collection or create information gaps in decision making. As a result, patients may have to recall and repeat complex medical information when they’re feeling unwell. Often this is when patients are receiving care at different locations or from separate treatment teams and impacts the experience of care they receive.

The SDPR is poised to be a state-of-the-art, fortified digital record-keeping platform that will revolutionise the way healthcare services are administered within New South Wales. At its core, SDPR will provide a unified, secure, and comprehensive solution, overhauling the digital infrastructure upon which NSW Health professionals rely daily to deliver exceptional patient care.

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NSW Minister for Health, Ryan Park, commented “The NSW Government’s new single digital patient record, will deliver healthcare workers and their patients with consistent, timely and secure health information. A consolidated and centralised record keeping system will provide a holistic and integrated view of the care a patient receives right across the NSW public health system. As Health Minister, one of my priorities is to embrace innovative solutions to find efficiencies in the way we deliver care.”

For the very first time, healthcare teams across the state will have seamless access to an integrated all-in-one electronic medical record system, patient administration system, and pathology laboratory information system. This consolidated approach will enhance the consistency and continuity of care for all patients, streamlining clinician workflows and enhancing the overall patient experience.

NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce AM said “We can now move into the next exciting phase of this project which is to work together across all of NSW Health on the design, build and testing of the Single Digital Patient Record, so we can create a world-class digital platform that meets the diverse needs of our clinicians, staff, patients and carers. The Single Digital Patient Record will support NSW Health’s ongoing commitment to delivering safe, timely, high quality, equitable and patient-centred health care for the people of NSW.”

Clinicians will be empowered to securely access a patient’s clinical records from any location with speed and reliability. SDPR promises to elevate the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare services across NSW. Patients will enjoy a more reliable and consistent healthcare experience, with the assurance that their healthcare providers will have all relevant information at their fingertips.

The decision to partner with Epic Systems reflects the culmination of a rigorous, two-and-a-half-year procurement process that engaged over 350 clinical and technical experts from across the healthcare system. Epic Systems specialises in designing and delivering electronic medical record systems and associated technologies. Their software solutions are already in use in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), certain Melbourne hospitals, and numerous leading healthcare services internationally, including the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Single Digital Patient Record initiative will be implemented through collaborative efforts involving Local Health Districts (LHDs), Specialty Health Networks (SHNs), and other NSW Health organisations, facilitated by eHealth NSW and NSW Health Pathology.

SDPR will be rolled out in all NSW Health public hospitals over the next six years, representing a transformative milestone in the healthcare landscape of New South Wales.

Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) is poised to become the pioneering LHD to deploy the new platform in 2025. A sequencing plan for other local health districts is currently under consideration, with a readiness assessment in progress.

The SDPR program follows a comprehensive timeline that includes finalising contract negotiations in 2023, design and build phase spanning from 2024 to 2025, lead site deployment in Hunter New England LHD during 2025/26, state-wide rollout in remaining LHDs/SHNs from 2026 to 2029/30, and NSW Health Pathology adoption spanning from 2026 to 2029/30.

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