Sydney Local Health District in New South Wales announced the rollout of the PowerChart Maternity system, which tracks a woman’s pregnancy and creates a fully integrated electronic medical record for newborn babies.

The system, which was developed by Cerner and tailored specifically to fit Sydney LHD, went into use on the first of the month, and is part of the wider digital transformation of the hospitals in Sydney and across NSW.

The main goal is to create an EMR for Australians starting from the moment they are born, which will put the individual medical history from day one in one place, and help clinicians reduce the paper workload through the elimination of duplicate records.

The PowerChart Maternity system generates a digital health record for babies born at Royal Prince Alfred and Canterbury Hospitals in the Sydney LHD, and that EMR is also connected to different health systems across NSW through integration with HealtheNet.

The first baby born in NSW to have a fully integrated EMR was Charlene Nguyen, who was born at Canterbury Hospital on October 1, following the rollout of the system.

Going forward, the PowerChart Maternity system will be available in all maternity wards and antenatal clinics in Sydney LHD, according to the health organization.

“The system will improve our care of women by streamlining communications between doctors, midwives and health professionals as they will all see the same information,” Sydney LHD chief executive Dr. Teresa Anderson said in a statement.

The system’s capabilities also break down physical barriers to the access of medical records, allowing hospital staff to check in on a woman’s health anywhere in the hospital or outside of medical facilities.

“Midwives who visit mums and new babies at home don’t have to come into the hospital first to collect piles of paper files, and the obstetrician can log into the secure system and view observations in real-time,” said Aaron Jones, chief nursing information officer at Sydney LHD. 

“They can view the records on their mobile devices. Not having to transport the files will give them more time to see women in their homes," he said.

A Melbourne Institute Health report released in May indicated digital technology has the potential to bring doctors and patients together online through teleconsultations and shared EHRs.

The report examined the trends likely to influence the future of the medical practitioner workforce, which included the challenges and opportunities ongoing digitalization of the healthcare industry would present.

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