Counties Manukau DHB rolls out MedChart electronic medication management

A pilot was conducted in some aged care wards last year in order to understand the training and device needs and how much support staff needed to go live with the electronic system.
By Rebecca McBeth
01:51 PM

Counties Manukau Health/District Health Board (DHB) in New Zealand has gone live with electronic medication management in its emergency department, aged care facilities and medical wards.

CM Health clinical sponsor and director of allied health Sanjoy Nand said MedChart electronic medication management was rolled out to inpatient services from April this year.

The next stage of the project is to implement across surgical, with 80 per cent of these services due to be live with electronic medication management by the end of 2019.

The DXC Technology system includes an electronic medication chart, ePrescribing, pharmacy review, decision support and medication administration.

Counties Manukau conducted a pilot in some aged care wards last year in order to understand the training and device needs and how much support staff needed to go live with the electronic system.

“We used that information, along with a benefits analysis, to get the business case to the board for roll-out to the rest of the organisation,” said Nand.

The business case was approved at the end of 2018 and the DHB chose to implement first in ED, then across the rest of inpatient services, after discussions with other DHBs that have already gone live such as Southern, Canterbury and Waitematā.

“Implementing MedChart aligns with our Healthy Together Services objective of improving the delivery of safer patient care achieved through a reduction in adverse drug events and prescribing errors,” he added.

Starting in ED meant the team had to look closely at patient flows throughout the hospital.

“One of the biggest challenges was making sure that whenever a patient comes in, we only move from electronic to paper once, so we’re not creating a mismatch by going from electronic to paper then back to electronic,” Nand explained.

“We did a lot of work to make sure staff were aware when to use paper and when to use MedChart.”

He said another key challenge is ensuring there are enough devices available for staff on the floor to ensure clinical workflow is not affected.

The DHB plans to go live with MedChart in maternity in 2020.

This article first appeared on eHealthNews.nz.