Auckland District Health Board is spending $6 million on CPR. However, in this instance the initials stand for “computerised patient record” project, rather than cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
The project involves the scanning of patient records to enable their electronic transfer between hospitals in Grafton and Greenlane. Once the board’s new Grafton hospital is complete in 2003, and the Greenlane facility converted into an outpatient and day surgery centre, it’s expected that 4000 records a day will be passed between the two.
If records remained in paper form only, their transfer would be a logistical headache involving trucks and trolleys and inevitable delays, says patient information management adviser Linda Fletcher.
The board is in the throes of appointing a project manager, who will work with a team from Australian company Tower Technology, which was the successful bidder of 18 companies vying for the contract. Scanning will be done using high-speed colour devices for some forms, and flatbed scanners for large documents.
Fletcher says the board is redesigning its clinical record forms so all future scanning can be done using high-speed scanners.
Patient records will be accessible from PCs in wards and consulting rooms.
Fletcher says fears that the system could compromise patient privacy are misplaced since records in electronic form are more secure than paper files, for which there is no audit trail.
The project is due for completion toward the end of next year.