Electronic ordering of diagnostic investigations for laboratory and radiology is gaining momentum in NZ with successful implementations in a growing number of DHB areas.
Most recently, Canterbury DHB join the move to electronic ordering, adopting a similar model to that used by other leading healthcare organisations. Canterbury DHB has selected Sysmex’s Eclair to provide the solution.
The system will enable online, electronic orders to be placed for laboratory testing of patients inside public hospitals and by GPs and health professionals in the community, and for radiology tests by hospital healthcare providers. This means that patient testing will now be ordered and carried out faster and with greater accuracy, without the errors that can occur using the current manual, paper systems.
Canterbury DHB has worked for two decades with Sysmex, and in 1999 purchased Sysmex’s New Zealand developed Eclair, so that electronic diagnostic laboratory and radiology test results would be available in hospitals. This expanded to allow GPs and other health professionals to be able to view Eclair’s electronic patient results in their practices in 2009.
The region-wide database in Canterbury which utilises Eclair is now known as TestSafe South. However, the system has until now relied upon manual, paper ordering of tests. The latest investment decision adds Sysmex’s e-Orders module to Eclair’s patient results system, streamlining the entire ordering and reporting system for diagnostic testing.
“The new electronic ordering system means faster patient diagnosis and safer care,” says Trevor English, General Manager of Hospital Support and Laboratories at Canterbury District Health Board. “By replacing our current paper test requests with e-Orders means we can significantly reduce the manual steps involved in the current laboratory and radiology ordering processes.”
“Making ordering tests electronic has been shown to improve quality and reduce turn-around times for testing, so reports are given to clinicians faster. Auckland DHB is another DHB which has successfully implemented electronic ordering and results, to the benefit of patients and doctors alike”.
A feature of e-Orders is that when doctors and health professionals are about to order tests, they can immediately see if the patient has already had those tests before.
“So using Eclair e-Orders can reduce unnecessary test requests, thereby minimising the need for uncomfortable or invasive tests for patients,” says Trevor English. “It also means the status of test ordered for a patient can be more easily monitored”.
“Eclair has proven a critical tool for Canterbury’s doctors. The TestSafe South electronic patient information repository was essential during the earthquakes, for both patients that remained in Christchurch and those transferred to other regions,” says CEO of Sysmex in New Zealand James Webster. “It’s a credit to Canterbury that the region has had the foresight to create this repository and that they continue to expand the system providing real patient benefits and clinical value. Adding e-Orders to the system is another great step for the DHB in achieving their vision and aligns with National Health IT board objectives. “
NZ’s Medlab Central which provides laboratory services across four DHBs (Whanganui, Mid Central DHB, Tairawhiti DHB and Wairarapa DHB), also use the Sysmex Eclair solution for electronic test ordering. (Link to reference article).