Digital Health Strengthened by New Irish Initiative

St Michael’s Hospital achieved a significant milestone in East Ireland’s journey towards digitally enabled healthcare by going live with an electronic patient management system in its Emergency Department (ED).

The new system will effectively make the ED paper-lite as the core clinical and administrative processes move from being paper-based to electronic.

And representatives from St Michael’s state that this was achieved with no disruption to patient care.

The new software, referred to as MAXIMS, introduces new work-flow processes that are intended to simplify and speed up core activities.

It is hoped that the paperless environment will contribute to better informed clinical decisions and enhanced outcomes for patients.

Following the successful activation of this system, the ED teams gain access to real-time oversight of a patient’s journey through the department.

Live tracking of a patient’s condition using alerts and warnings including life-threatening risk factors, means patients can be prioritised on their level of urgency, triage priority and length of stay.

It is also hoped that patient safety in the department will be greatly improved by using a single healthcare record for each patient, with the intention of seamlessly integrating this into the hospital’s other clinical systems.

Olive Vines, Emergency Department Nurse Manager, St Michael’s Hospital, is enthusiastic about the new system.

“Since the successful go-live, nursing and medical documentation have improved significantly, becoming clearer and more concise. Our workflow processes have become more efficient with the reduction of transcribing patient details into hand written referral and GP letters. Our need for storage of paper notes has also reduced and the introduction of an electronic version of the Manchester Triage system allows the ED to provide standardised patient priority allocation.”

Vines also suggested that the new system has aided collaborative working process at the hospital.

“Switching from a completely outdated, inadequate ED patient assessment and care documentation paper system to MAXIMS has been a dramatic change management project for the staff of St Michael’s ED. The transformation, however, has been a success because of the true partnership approach between us and IMS MAXIMS – from the outset and throughout we worked as one team.”

The next phase of the project will be to make the department completely paperless with the introduction of electronic order communication, assessments for specialist services such as the wound clinic, and e-prescribing.

It is hoped that this new system can be successfully migrated to other institutions and regions in Ireland in the coming months and years.

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