Quality Care

Health Information and Technology Standardization Case Studies

Health information and technology standardization for better orthopedic care

St. Stephen’s Hospital, part of UnitingCare Queensland, was named a 2019 HIMSS Davies Enterprise Award recipient for leveraging the value of health information and technology to improve outcomes. The three case studies below cover how St. Stephen’s reduced medication administration variance, improved data access through an integrated environment and reduced length of stay for patients in orthopedic settings.

Case Studies

1. Reducing Medication Administration Variance

St. Stephen’s Hospital identified an opportunity to decrease variance in the medication process with device integration and closed loop electronic medication management. The improved workflows in moving from the paper environment to the digital environment enabled St. Stephens to reduce the variance in their medication process. With an increase in computerized physician order entry adoption and the utilization of bar code medication administration, the hospital realized a significant decrease in adverse drug events and medication omissions.

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2. Creating an Integrated Environment for Improved Data Access

The opening of St. Stephen’s digital facility provided an opportunity for care redesign in multiple areas. The focus of the digital hospital went beyond the EMR and included a scalable platform to meet the need for device connectivity. St. Stephen’s set out to decrease infection rates, improve the utilization of early warning scores and sepsis algorithms, enhance the efficiency of image documentation for the management of pressure injuries, and to provide access to a patient engagement solution. The interoperability between the EMR and the device middleware at St. Stephen’s led to improved patient outcomes as the result of seamless communication between the EHR, medical devices and care team communications.

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3. Reducing Length of Stay in the Orthopedic Setting

St. Stephen’s Hospital set out to minimize variation among the orthopedic population for hip and knee procedures, as standardization has been linked to improving outcomes and decreasing length of stay (LOS). The high number of retirees in the region sets this group up as one of the highest diagnosis-related groups for the system, providing an opportunity to improve both clinical and financial outcomes. The St. Stephens team relied on healthcare data analytics to help identify the best opportunity for improvement in the population, and with data as the compass for change they targeted the outcome of LOS. The reduction in LOS was achieved by careful planning, an engaged governance team, embedded best practices into the EHR digital forms, and technology testing—all in a patient-centered environment.

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Updated March 6, 2020