May 24 2004
In a first for the Monash Medical Centre, Ward 54 is going wireless. Efficiencies are expected to increase when clinical staff use innovative hand-held devices and mobile equipment to deliver patient care. To see a demonstration of this exciting new technology, come to the live demonstration at 11am on Thursday 27 May at Ward 54 North, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton.
The project, called mWard, has been developed by the Centre for Health Services Operations Management (CHSOM) within the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University in conjunction with partners NEC Business Systems and Southern Health. It will aim to demonstrate the benefits of wireless technology in a hospital environment, and the positive impact the technology can have on the workflow of nurses and doctors, and ultimately, patient care.
The infrastructure for the mWard project has been established in the neurology, neurosurgery and stroke areas at Monash Medical Centre and a range of wireless devices and applications will be on display at the demonstration. The equipment used has been generously donated by NEC Business Solutions, their partners Telenet and Spectralink, and Warp Systems Pty Ltd.
Dr Andrew Howard, an honorary associate of CHSOM and National Manager, Community and Health for NEC Business Solutions, said a range of wireless ICT equipment had been used in healthcare environments. "This project will explore and seek to demonstrate benefit to the workflow of nurses and doctors and, ultimately patient care," Dr Howard said.
"Some quality-in-health-care studies have concluded that adverse events in hospitals are related to information management. We will seek to use mobile ICT technology to provide timely access to relevant information where and when decisions are made about patient care.
"Clinicians seek hospital information from a range of sources such as physicians, health information management groups, nurses, case managers, resident doctors and diagnostic and treatment departments such as X-Ray and pathology. Gathering information is time consuming and can make decisions about patient care slow".
Dr Liza Heslop, director of CHSOM, said that with the trial of the first wireless ward at Southern Health, clinical and administration information would be more readily accessible where it was most needed -- at the patient's bedside. "It is expected that the wireless ward will provide information quickly to the clinical staff which, in turn, benefits the patient enormously" Dr Heslop said.
Wireless technology uses radio signals, not hardwired systems, to transmit data. A wide range of equipment can make up a wireless solution including personal digital assistants (PDAs), pagers, telephones, tablet computers, subnotebook computers and smart telephones. http://www.monash.edu.au