Epic to supply NSW patient record system

4 minute read

The NSW government has also revealed which LHD will be first to go live with the new technology.

The worst-kept secret in digital health is finally confirmed with news global health software giant Epic has signed up to deliver the NSW government’s promise of a single digital patient record. 

The government’s eHealth NSW department announced late last week that the contracts had been finalised to form the partnership for the project that will be rolled out over the next six years. 

“The contract signing marks an important milestone with work now starting on the initial design and build of this next generation system,” the statement said. 

Epic will work closely with local health districts, specialty health networks and other NSW Health organisations, facilitated by eHealth NSW and NSW Health Pathology. 

“Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) will be the first LHD to go live with the new platform in 2025,” said eHealth NSW. 

“The sequencing of other local health districts is currently being considered, with a readiness assessment underway.” 

The single digital patient record (SDPR) will deliver a state of the art, secure digital record-keeping platform that will transform the digital systems that NSW Health staff use every day to deliver care, according to the statement. 

“For the first time, our healthcare teams will have access to an integrated all-in-one electronic medical record system, patient administration system and pathology laboratory information system,” said eHealth NSW. 

“Having one statewide system will support consistency and continuity of care for all patients, while also streamlining the way clinicians work.” 

Clinicians will be able to access a patient’s clinical records quickly, securely, and safely, regardless of their location. The SDPR will also provide simplified clinical workflows in an intuitive, user-friendly system with streamlined technical support. 

“Patients will benefit from a better, more consistent experience no matter where they seek care,” said eHealth NSW. 

“Having confidence that their healthcare team will have all the relevant information at their fingertips.” 

The NSW government’s decision to partner with Epic Systems followed a procurement process that took more than two years and involved over 350 clinical and technical experts from across the system. 

Epic Systems is a world-leading software company specialising in the design and delivery of electronic medical records systems and associated technologies.  

Its software is currently being used in the ACT and in hospitals in Melbourne, as well as offshore in health services in the UK and the US. 

The SDPR program is working towards the following timeline: 

  • Finalise contract negotiations: 2023. 
  • Design and build: 2024–2025. 
  • Lead site deployment in Hunter New England LHD: 2025-26 
  • Statewide rollout in remaining LHDs/SHNs: 2026–2029/30 
  • NSW Health Pathology adoption: 2026–2029/30 

A website has been set up to provide more information about the SDPR program. 

The NSW government yesterday announced the planned overhaul, describing the state’s current health records system as “complex, cumbersome and outdated”. 

“Currently we have nine systems used for electronic medical records, 10 patient administration systems and five pathology laboratory information manage systems in use across NSW Health,” the government said in a statement. 

“Currently, these systems are not connected statewide. Data is routinely collected but is often unable to be shared or integrated in real time. This can create duplicative data collection or create information gaps in decision making.  

“As a result, patients may have to recall and repeat complex medical information when they’re feeling unwell. Often this is when patients are receiving care at different locations or from separate treatment teams and impacts the experience of care they receive.” 

New chief executive of NSW Health Pathology, Vanessa Janissen, told Health Services Daily a statewide pathology laboratory information management system would a key component of the single digital patient record (SDPR) and would improve pathology service delivery. 

“A statewide record keeping system will support consistency and continuity of care for all patients, including providing enhanced analytics, tools and reporting to support patient safety, and streamlining ways of working for our public health professionals,” she said. 

“The SDPR will provide all NSW Health professionals with highly secure real-time access to medical information for their patients, including pathology results, no matter which NSW public hospital they are treated in. 

“The implementation of the SDPR will support our ability to potentially electronically integrate with other states and territories in the future.” 

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park said embracing innovative solutions to find efficiencies in the delivery of healthcare was a priority. 

“The NSW government’s new single digital patient record will deliver healthcare workers and their patients with consistent, timely and secure health information,” he said.

“A consolidated and centralised record keeping system will provide a holistic and integrated view of the care a patient receives right across the NSW public health system.” 

End of content

No more pages to load

Log In Register ×