NSW Health has revealed plans to roll out a multi-million dollar clinical information system to 45 intensive care units within two years.
According to tender documents issued this week, clinicians take 1700 measurements a day for an average patient in intensive care, compared to 32 measurements a day for a ward patient.
Manual recording of data in intensive care units (ICUs) resulted in transcription and omission errors, illegible entries and misplaced and incomplete records.
“Demand for ICU services is growing quicker than budgets, driven by a growing aging population who place disproportionate demand on high-acuity services like ICU," the documents stated.
“Existing services are at full stretch – the ICU’s are running at an average deficit of 10 percent of the budget with utilisation levels over 90 percent of theoretical capacity.
"The recommended maximum is 85 percent for optimal patient safety and care."
NSW has 55 combined ICU/High Dependency Units (HDU) facilities but only six of these have a clinical information system.
Of the six who have it, half are due for upgrade, replacement or renewal of service agreements.
It is hoped that widespread use of such systems will reduce the length of hospital stays and save lives.
At Blacktown Hospital in Sydney's west, intensive care stays were cut from five to 3.5 days following the introduction of specialised software.
At St. George Hospital in Sydney's south, patient mortality rates had also fallen since the implementation of a clinical information system.
Must work with VMware
Health Support Services is in the midst of a major virtualisation push, and notes that it is "highly desirable" that the new clinical information system be able to operate in a VMware environment.
It preferred “a fully integrated solution on a state-wide basis” but was open to a rollout on a “modular basis” reflecting existing priorities, business requirements and project budget considerations.
A briefing session for prospective tenderers is set for January 20 at the NSW Ministry of Health offices. Deadline for tenders is February 7.