Apr 07
Hospital technology steals national spotlight

The Orange Health Service will pioneer new technology in western NSW hospitals, designed to corral the maze of monitors and machines that surround critically ill patients.

The Orange Health Service is the first regional hospital to install a new integrated monitoring system, the Philips Intellivue Clinical Information Portfolio Clinical Information System (ICIP), which allows hospital staff to see patients’ information clearly, in one central place.

The system has been installed in 44 beds in Intensive Care, Coronary Care & Stroke, and the Cardiac Catheterisation Lab.

Director of Critical Care Dr John Lambert has been a driving force behind introducing the new technology in western NSW.

“Orange was the first hospital to go live with the ICIP on 28 March 2011, and eventually more than 64 beds in Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo will be supported by the system. That’s just the beginning,” said Dr Lambert.

The Orange Health Service is the first installation in the world to use some elements of the ICIP system, which includes integration with more hospital systems than any other site. It is breaking new ground as a wide area network implementation, which is likely to be followed by other hospitals across the state.

“Clinicians will be able to log-in from remote locations, both inside and outside hospitals, to check on their patients, which is a huge advantage in country areas where some doctors travel huge distances across the Health Network.”

Philips CEO Harry van Dykis visiting the Orange ICU today to evaluate how the ICIP is progressing and to earmark Orange as a flagship hospital for demonstrating the technology right across the country.

“This system is the way of the future for hospitals in regional areas,” said Mr van Dyk.

“The beauty of this technology is that it feeds back to a central data source and links with other hospitals. Clinicians in Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo will be able to log-in from a remote location and view patients’ medical details in real-time.”

The real-time system stores patient data from clinical bedside devices including Patient Monitors, Ventilators, Dialysis machines and Infusion Pumps. This level of integration will greatly improve efficiency and patient safety, by enabling staff to monitor changes in a patient’s condition on one clear screen.

“A typical ICU patient may be hooked up to six or more bedside devices, all sourced from different vendors and running different monitoring software. The new ICIP system cuts out the clutter, by enabling the ICU to operate as a paperless environment, displaying all vital patient information in one place, and facilitating clear clinical analysis,” said Mr van Dyk.

Dr Lambert said the ICIP will reap economic benefits for the Health Network, with other trials proving to cut ICU running costs by up to 25%.

“There will be a reduction in unnecessary patient transfers, and earlier transfers for more acute patients requiring treatment from specialist Intensivists. This greatly reduces the stress load on patients and their families, by allowing them to stay close to home if possible,” said Dr Lambert.

“The system reduces the amount of paper used for printing, and the costs for storage and retrieval of hard copy files. It also cuts out repetitive tasks such as manually entering data in different forms, which will boost staff productivity.”

“It allows us to generate complex reports electronically, which will facilitate research that would be simply impossible without this system.”

“I look forward to working closely with the Philips team in the staged roll out of this sophisticated technology. There is still a long way to go, but when it’s finished, we will have the capacity to save and improve many more lives across the Local Health Network.”