17 June 2017

Patients in NSW will benefit from safer and more coordinated care thanks to a record $536 million investment in eHealth which will see the phasing out of paper patient files.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the investment in Information Communication Technology (ICT) over eight years will ensure measures like patient data is accurate and accessible.

“eHealth is arguably the most important revolution in modern healthcare. These funds will deliver health information and services more effectively and efficiently,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The investment will provide value and safety to patients and practitioners, decrease costs by freeing up clinician time and improve the quality and portability of health care services.”

The Government’s more than half a billion dollar spend includes further funding to extend the state-wide rollout of the successful eMeds electronic medication management system.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said research shows electronic systems can reduce medication errors, which could result in significant patient harm, by more than 50 percent.

“Nearly all patients who are hospitalised will take at least one medication during their stay. Given the sheer volume dispensed, mistakes are a very real possibility,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Notes might be illegible, errors can be made transcribing medication charts, or charts can be lost but this technology helps ensure patients get the right medication at the right time.”

Mr Hazzard said eMeds is already successfully operating at 13 healthcare facilities and the new funding will add the state-of-the-art technology to another 120 facilities across NSW.

Investment in ICT infrastructure and systems include:

  • $286 million for the Whole of System Digital Platform, which will enhance the digital infrastructure supporting the clinical and other health-related systems across NSW
  • $236 million for Digital Patient Records to extend the eMeds roll out and ensure patient records are easy to read, accurate and instantly accessible whenever needed
  • $14 million for the HealtheNet Pathology Results Repository, giving clinicians easier access to public hospital pathology results no matter where tests originally happened
  • Continue the Electronic Medications Management System ($29 million in 2017-18)
  • Continue the Corporate Systems 2B ($6 million in 2017-18)
  • Continue the ICT for NSW Ambulance ($4.5 million in 2017-18).