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Middleware enabling safe electronic transfer of patient information

Tuesday, 8 October 2019  
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Picture: Ryman operations clinical and quality manager Karen Lake editor Rebecca McBeth


Ryman Healthcare is working with Canterbury and Auckland District Health Boards to deliver ‘transfer of care packs’ electronically when residents are transferred to hospital.


The aged care provider recently built and implemented its own electronic care record, myRyman, that runs on 3600 tablets deployed in residents’ rooms across its 33 residential villages.


Ryman operations clinical and quality manager Karen Lake says the development of myRyman means nurses can see all of a resident’s care record in one place, including diagnosis, current care plan and progress notes.


Having an electronic patient care record has enabled the development of a middleware option to allow the safe transfer of patient information to acute hospital services and general practitioners.


When a resident is being transferred to another care provider, a nurse in one of the villages can push a button to pull together all the relevant documents, allowing them to spend more time with the patient.


Integration work with the 1Chart electronic medication management system provided by Toniq means the resident’s medication record is included in the transfer pack.


While the transfer pack can be being printed off, the integration project will ultimately enable the data to be directly received by hospital systems.


“We want to have points of sharing between us and GPs and hospitals,” Lake says.


“We have done the integration work, which is now being tested.”


Ryman is also working with MyPractice on a data sharing strategy to enable doctors to write directly into either myRyman Care or their patient management systems and have this information pulled through to the other system.


Lake is speaking about the myRyman project at the HiNZ Conference 2019 during Digital Health Week NZ in Hamilton this November.


The $20+ million project has seen wi-fi deployed across all Ryman’s villages and the organisation’s IT team grow from three to 80 people since 2015, when work first started.


Lake says that with more than 11,000 residents in its aged care villages and more than 3600 in the care areas, the data bank being built up via myRyman is “extraordinary”.


“I love data and now I can easily analyse data not just from one village, but from 33 villages in real time,” she says.


“It’s not reactive, it’s really proactive.”


She says Ryman is now moving into using machine learning on its data to identify trends never seen before and develop assessments and interventions to help prevent decline and improve people’s quality of life.


Lake calls her team of 20 people the ‘dreamers’ because their job is to take what they see in the data and create new initiatives to improve care quality and outcomes for residents.


Doctors and allied health professionals are also being onboarded to the care planning system.


“What really excites me about myRyman Care is that its infinitely practical,” she says.


“I have been nursing since the 1980s and nurses always manage to find a way around a raft of problems and bridge gaps. Finally, we have delivered something to nurses that really makes their lives easier.”


Read more about Digital Health Week NZ 2019 


If you would like to provide feedback on this news story please contact the editor Rebecca McBeth.


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