In a digital hospital, processes are streamlined to create paperless automated digital workflows. The aim is for processes to seamlessly unite patients, doctors, staff, assets and information throughout the hospital.
New Zealand public hospitals are already on their way to becoming digital. For example, digital medical imaging systems are quickening the process of reviewing medical images by health care professionals. Electronic prescribing and administration reduces the risk of errors from prescribing, dispensing and administering medicines.
Benchmarking use of digital systems
New Zealand public hospitals are being assessed against an international benchmark, the EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM). EMRAM consists of eight stages (Stages 0-7) towards achieving a digitally enabled hospital. HIMSS Analytics, which provides EMRAM, is a wholly-owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).
HIMSS Analytics provided a report on the findings within New Zealand in June 2016. Evidence from implementations overseas has shown a strong correlation in improvement in productivity and quality as hospitals move up the EMRAM model to Stage 7.
Digital maturity investment recommendations have been included in regional service planning guidance for 2017/18. Current regional service plans have been reviewed to note planned work that will increase the digital maturity of acute hospital systems. The final plans will be submitted in June 2017.
A repeat of the EMRAM assessment of public hospitals will be undertaken in July 2018.
EMR Adoption Model Scores for district health boards