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Midland Clinical Portal data proving valuable to Waikato DHB clinical staff

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Data accessible through the Midland Clinical Portal (MCP) is proving valuable to clinical staff across Waikato District Health Board.

The MCP provides read-only access to regional patient activity, including demographics, encounters, alerts and most clinical documents generated in the region since July 2016. Its latest enhancement now offers visibility of national dispensed and prescribed medication data from the New Zealand ePrescription Service (NZePS).

Dr Drew Henderson, Clinical Director of the Regional Renal Centre, says having access to clinical information from the other Midland DHBs helps to understand a patient’s medical history better. "I’m able to formulate an effective treatment plan based on all their clinical information."

For Drew, having visibility of national medication data makes the MCP even more worthwhile. "As a physician, a large part of the treatment is medication and as such medicines reconciliation is a key step for safely prescribing both for in-patients and out-patients.

"NZePS is another tool that I can use in conjunction with a conversation with the patient to understand their current treatment. This allows me to be more confident when I change medication that I am not increasing the dose of a drug they are not actually taking, or when I prescribe a new medication their other drugs will not interact with the new medication," says Drew.

His testaments are shared by David Kane, Clinical Pharmacist at Thames Hospital, who says he has noticed a dramatic improvement in the accuracy and quality of prescribing medicines on admission since NZePS data became available through the MCP.

"A core component of my job is identifying and resolving unintentional discrepancies between a patient’s current medication list and what is charted on admission," says David. "Thanks to the MCP, this aspect of my job has become a whole lot less complicated.

"Prescribers are able to access ‘real-time’ community pharmacy dispensing data 24/7, and build a clearer picture of a patient’s current medicines regimen on admission. This helps clarify that previously ‘grey area’ that confronted prescribers in determining whether medication changes on admission are either unintentional due to poor information, or intentional but not clearly documented."

Both Drew and David agree that having access to accurate clinical information reduces risk and potential harm to patients. Drew says "Having access to information is important but having access to all the relevant information reduces the risk of making mistakes and improves patient outcomes - the MCP assists with this."

The MCP is a clinical information system accessible across all five Midland DHBs, including Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Tairāwhiti, Lakes and Taranaki. Its aim is to realise the region’s vision of one patient, one record by integrating with local DHB systems and ultimately becoming the system of clinical record for the region.

The NZePS is a data feed containing a near complete record of all non-hospital and community prescriptions dispensed to health consumers nationwide since 2013. The MCP provides visibility of NZePS data in real-time from an information system built and managed by Whanau Tahi on behalf of the Ministry of Health.

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