Electronic Medication Management System Receives National Exposure

Pictured: Gaynor Denboer, John Okarah, Claire Holt and Len McCormack
Thursday, 15 May 2014
Portland District Health’s successful introduction of a new electronic medication management system has received national exposure.

PDH Health Information Manager Claire Holt recently presented at the Electronic Medication Management (EMM) conference in Sydney and impressed the national audience with details of the successful roll-out of the TrakCare Medication Management module in Portland.

The presentation generated a lot of interest as it detailed how a small rural hospital successfully implemented EMM over a short timeframe and for less than $10,000.

Ms Holt said the new system ensured the prescribing by doctors and administration of medicine by nurses was legible and accurate.

While other larger-scale projects around Australia have cost millions and taken years to implement, PDH was able to introduce the new module within six months and for a very reasonable cost.

The project added another module to the TrakCare clinical and patient administration system used in the SWARH network and was implemented by existing PDH and SWARH staff.

The project started in June 2013 and we aimed to implement the new system on December 3. We were ready to go by that date but because it was a busy week in the hospital we deferred until December 10, Ms Holt said.

Some of the key factors in the successful implementation included commitment from executive, regional support, pre-implementation data gathering, a strong strategic plan, staff support, good education, training and communication.

The system is now functioning well.

The roll-out project team consisted of Ms Holt, pharmacist John Okaroh, clinical educator Gaynor Denboer, project worker Lena McCormack and Mary Rowe from SWARH.

Ms Holt added that the system enforced good practice but no system can replace good clinical judgement.

SWARH Application Enhancement and Support officer Mary Rowe co-presented with Ms Holt at the Sydney conference. Most presentations at the conference were from major metropolitan hospitals.

Ms Holt said the presentation had created a lot of interest and other hospitals were impressed by PDH’s success. Just because we are a small rural hospital doesn't mean what we do should be discounted, she said.

Ms Holt has also become one of the inaugural group of Certified Health Informaticians of Australasia.

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