The government-backed Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre, along with the University of South Australia and SA Health, has started working on a project that will create a digital analytics tool predicting the emerging risk of adverse events in hospitals.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Based on a press statement, a research team behind the project has studied and developed a preliminary predictive harm algorithm using 18 months of data from the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It was developed to “effectively inform safety, quality and risk management strategies related to patient medication strategies”.
The research has been expanded to cover falls risk and code blacks (personal threats).
Utilising existing software frameworks, the analytics tool will be instrumental for the development of a “visual, interactive programme” that will be accessible via a dashboard summary for clinicians and administrators, according to Marion Eckert, director of the Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre at the UniSA.
The said programme will deliver real-time insights describing risk exposure in a hospital setting, informing decision makers’ assessments and predictions to forecast special considerations for the implementation of safety measures.
WHY IT MATTERS
The project aims to resolve patient safety issues, such as ramping, suicide prevention, medication and falls incidents. According to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, patient safety accidents in Australian hospitals cost an estimated A$4.1 billion in 2017-2018.
The analytics tool will be initially trialled at the general medical and mental health departments in South Australia’s Central and Southern Adelaide Local Health Networks.
THE LARGER TREND
The DHCRC announced in July a A$2.1 million ($1.5 million) project to deliver real-time patient data through dashboards. Led by the Faculty of Information Technology and Eastern Health Clinical School, both institutions under Monash University, the four-year dashboards project will provide live feeds of clinical analytics and reporting information from Eastern Health’s electronic medical records and the Victorian Health Incident Management System.
According to Monash University, the digital dashboards will benefit a number of areas covering clinical governance, prevention and control of healthcare-associated infection, medication safety, among others.
ON THE RECORD
“Our local health networks face a number of operational challenges in response to a population with increasing physical and mental health care needs. This research project will help us form solutions and represents the importance of our partnership with the DHCRC. It allows us to team up with leading academics and be supported by the [DH]CRC’s Commonwealth funding, so we can use advanced digital technologies to support our workforce to maintain world-class care,” Alastair McDonald, director of Strategy and Architecture at Digital Health SA, commented.
“The ability to seamlessly predict risks in a hospital setting is powerful, and we look forward to this project delivering key evidence and scaling more broadly across South Australia and nationally,” DHCRC CEO Dr Terry Sweeney also said.