This means all four district health boards can see the same, up-to-date data wherever the patient goes
More than 200,000 digital growth charts have been created since the Northern Region district health boards (DHBs) and ICT services partner healthAlliance rolled out eGrowth charts.
Eclair’s eGrowth charts have replaced a paper-based charting system, allowing clinicians to electronically capture and record growth data and parameters for a range of patient scenarios, for example, the monitoring of preterm infants.
Dr Karl Cole, chief clinical information officer at healthAlliance, says the main advantage of the project is the integration of patient records.
"This means all four Northern DHBs can now see the same, up-to-date data wherever the patient goes,” says Cole.
He says primary care clinicians can view the eGrowth charts for their patients via TestSafe, the region's clinical data repository system for laboratory and radiology results and reports, medications, discharge summaries, clinical documents and other patient data.
eGrowth charts can also convert it to PDF format for printing so that copies can be given to patients and their families or emailed to other healthcare providers.
Auckland DHB was the first to go live in September last year, followed by Waitemata DHB, Counties Manukau Health and more recently Northland DHB.
Traditionally paediatricians, nurses, midwives, dieticians and other health professionals would each have their own handwritten charts or would use older electronic charts that were not widely available.
Digitising this data has resulted in increased consistency and accuracy of values and provided automatic calculations of key indicators such as BMI, height velocity and z-Scores. The clear, precise graphics also help clinicians, patients and families visualise and more easily understand the information presented, reports healthAlliance.
Greg Williams, paediatrician at Starship Child Health, says the eGrowth charts have been a huge technological leap forward in monitoring the growth of patients.
"They are easy to access and use, are available across the hospital and community care team, and are now regional."
"The proof is in the uptake – we are using Eclair eGrowth charts way more than the previous versions, and this is providing us with much better information to support clinical care,” says Williams.
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