November 27, 2022
NSW Health has selected US healthcare software provider Epic to unify its core clinical and laboratory information management systems under a state-wide, single digital patient record (SDPR). NSW Health currently uses nine electronic medical record systems (EMR), six patient administration systems (PAS) and five pathology laboratory information systems (LIMS). Currently, Cerner and Orion Health provide…

NSW Health has selected US healthcare software provider Epic to unify its core clinical and laboratory information management systems under a state-wide, single digital patient record (SDPR).

NSW Health currently uses nine electronic medical record systems (EMR), six patient administration systems (PAS) and five pathology laboratory information systems (LIMS).

Currently, Cerner and Orion Health provide NSW Health’s EMR instances, Cerner and DXC provide its PAS instances, and Citadel (Auslab) and Integrated Software Solutions (OmniLab) provide its LIMS.

NSW Health Pathology chief executive Tracey McCosker said the modular, cloud-based environment would give healthcare teams across NSW real-time access to comprehensive medical records

“Patients and our busy staff will benefit from clinical insights gained from the capture of important new data that enables ongoing innovation across the state,” McCosker said.

“Our work in pathology is vital to the diagnostic process and developing a statewide laboratory information management system will ensure we provide the best possible services to the community and partners for decades to come.”

Key features include integration with medical devices such as ECG and other patient monitoring devices, a unique identifier for patient identification, and patient information portals.

SDPR is expected to build on the state’s existing electronic medical record (eMR2), which is currently used in more than 90 percent of NSW public hospitals.

The unified platform will first go live in the Hunter New England local health district before being rolled out across all 15 of NSW’s local health districts, all NSW Health Pathology laboratories and two specialty health networks.” 

Hunter New England local health district executive director of medical services Professor Trish Davidson said: “Once implemented, it won’t matter which facility a patient turns up to – whether it be in the Hunter, Lower Mid-North Coast or New England region – our specialists will have all the information required to provide timely, safe and quality healthcare.”

NSW Health’s digital arm eHealth issued the tender for SDPR in 2020, highlighting its preference for a cloud-based solution, in line with the government’s ‘public cloud by default’ approach for all digital infrastructure released the same year.

The tender’s requirements were separated into three ‘lots’ to be provided by one or more vendors or consortia.

Lot one focused on the “envisaged SDPR capabilities within the PAS, EMR and LIMS environments”, including any support and operational management or the solutions, while lot two was for hosting and lot three for implementation services.

eHealth chief executive and chief executive information officer Zoran Bolevich said the department engaged with 350 stakeholders, including clinicians, scientists and technicians, to select Epic.

The agency did not address whether a SDPR would give patients access to their own medical records, which Bolevich said eHealth was considering including in the project as a requirement in 2019.

Clarification was being sought by iTnews at the time of publication.

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