Some of the finest healthcare innovation in the globe took centre stage in Brisbane last night at the sixth Asia Pacific HIMSS-Elsevier Digital Healthcare Award 2018.

The awards were presented in two categories: Outstanding ICT Achievement and Outstanding ICT Innovation. All the winners were recognised for their outstanding achievements and innovations in the usage of health information and technology to advance patient care and safety. 

There was a three-way tie in the healthcare providers that took home the Outstanding ICT Achievement. Metro South Health and Royal Children's Hospital from Australia, as well as Xuanwu Hospital Capital Medical University from China were named winners in the category. 

Metro South Health won for its Metro South Health Digital Hospital Project, which caused it to become Australia’s first digital health service, delivering improvements in health outcomes for its patients, increased productivity for clinicians, and operational efficiencies for the health service. 

The Metro South Health Digital Hospital Project forms an integral part of Queensland Health’s $1.26 billion investment over 20 years to implement ICT and eHealth innovation throughout the state’s healthcare infrastructure. The organisation’s Princess Alexandra Hospital was selected as the exemplar site for the implementation of the shared iEMR solution for Queensland. 

As a result of the project rollout, the organisation has seen medication errors fallen by 44 per cent, a 17 per cent decrease in emergency readmissions within 28 days of discharge, a 56 per cent decrease in hospital-acquired pressure injuries, and an increase of 59 per cent in early identification of detriorating patients. 


The Royal Children's Hospital nabbed the title for its RCH ViCTOR EMR Project, which aims to provide early detection of rapid health deterioration among hospitalised children. ViCTOR began as a paper-based observation chart with various data value labels for normal and abnormal physiological observations. The solution went digital in April 2016, with a hospital-wide EMR system implementation. 

Some of the outcomes of the project include a reduction of errors by 30 to 40 per cent on governance risk and compliance reports, better clinical decision support enabled with the availability of a more complete view of the patient’s medical history, and timely monitoring and reporting of clinical treatments at point of care. 

Xuanwu Hospital Capital Medical University won for combining AI and rebuilding ED process to improve efficiency and quality of stroke emergency care. Enabled by the strategic opportunities of big data and IT advancements, the hospital introduced the AI-enabled clinical decision support system with the Mayo Clinic knowledge base for its care process and checking of physician documentation quality breaches. 

It also created a new stroke emergency patient fast-track process with the revised emergency department information system, creating a closed loop of the complete stroke emergency care process. 

[Read more: RCH’s big bang success story proves EMRs save lives | ‘Phenomenal achievement’: Queensland health service wins global hospital awards for digital health innovations]

Under the Outstanding ICT Innovation award category, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited and Aravind Eye Hospital-Pondicherry from India shared the win. 

Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited was recognised for its Multifactorial Cardiovascular Risk Prediction Tool using machine learning for the Indian population. The objective of the project was to come up with a cardiovascular diseases risk score prediction model taking into consideration risk factors associated with cardiac disease in India, with the ability for the model to be integrated into EMR. 

This was the first EMR integrated heart risk related project and risk model on the Indian population using retrospective and prospective data for better management of cardiovascular disease care. 

Aravind Eye Hospital-Pondicherry stood out for its low-cost technology, coupled with Electronic Medical Record to tackle needless blindness in rural India. It devised a way to increase the rate and completion of referrals to the base hospital by creating an EMR based camp. This technology-intensive model utilises portable low-cost devices such as the ICare Tonometer for glaucoma screening, fundus cameras for diabetic retinopathy and optic neuropathies and hand-held slit lamps for anterior segment disease, paired with a tablet-based EMR.

“Asia-Pacific is expected to have the oldest population in the world,” Elsevier Health Informatics Vice-President Robert Nieves said. 

“It is expected to reach 923 million senior citizens by the mid-century. This shift in population structure wll service further growth of the digital healthcare markets and demand to provide more personalised services.” 

As such, the awards celebrate the achievements of healthcare organisations who are striving to improve patient outcomes through the use of information and technology.

“This year’s winners have demonstrated that the strategic and considered use of technology can bring about huge benefits in care delivery and patient outcomes,” Nieves said.

HIMSS Analytics Global Vice-President John Daniels said there is a need to recognise ICT change and executing projects, which these organisations delivered. 

“These organisations are reaping the fruits of their labour but more importantly, have created a repository of best practices that other organisations can learn from,” he said.




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