The Australian government-backed Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre has announced a A$2.1 million ($1.5 million) project to deliver real-time patient data through dashboards.

The Faculty of Information Technology and Eastern Health Clinical School, both institutions under Monash University, will lead the project. The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, Eastern Health and Victoria's Department of Health will serve as collaborators.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT

Based on a media release, the four-year dashboards project, a "first of its kind in Victoria", will provide live feeds of clinical analytics and reporting information. It will draw data from Eastern Health's electronic medical records and the Victorian Health Incident Management System.

Chris Bain, a professor of Practice in Digital Health at Monash University, said the dashboards will "combine data engineering techniques with user-friendly visualisations" to display key information from large datasets.

WHY IT MATTERS

Prof. Bain said that the dashboards will "enable clinicians to better understand the quality of care needed on a continuous daily basis, leading to improved quality standards, better patient care and overall support for clinicians".

According to Monash University, the digital dashboards will benefit a number of areas, including clinical governance; preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infection; medication safety; comprehensive care; blood management; recognising and responding to acute deterioration; communicating for safety; and partnering with consumers.

Moreover, the project is important for hospitals' accreditation of safety and quality in health services, which ensures that a health system is better informed, supported and organised to deliver safe and high-quality care. The national standards for such accreditation are set by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

THE LARGER TREND

Data dashboards have guided Australia's Health Department during the COVID-19 pandemic. The department was able to deliver daily curated data to keep the Australian public informed on the COVID-19 situation. It was supported by solutions offered by software provider Qlik.

Once the dashboards project in Victoria is completed, it will render a roadmap for Australian hospitals to adopt digital dashboards with new models supporting quality care improvement and accreditation.

ON THE RECORD

"It’s essential we shift from manually collating clinical data. Digital technologies will empower our hospitals to provide real-time data for clinical decision making and for accreditation against national standards set by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care," Neville Board, the chief digital health officer of the state of Victoria, said.

"[The] use of real-time data will support hospitals to review the quality of care delivered and provide information for the external evaluation of health care services through accreditation," Australian Council on Healthcare Standards CEO Dr Karen Luxford also stated.

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