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78 percent of the region’s inter-district flow and previously would struggle to send patients back to their local region. Giving regional providers insight into the status of those patients via FloView has been “slightly magical”, says Topp, as now they “pull their patients back”. Planning ahead With more than 300 patients arriving at ED most days, senior medical officer James Weaver says his job would be “very challenging” without the digital tools he has available. “We save a huge amount of time between Vocera and EDaaG in trying to find and communicate with people,” he explains. There is some automation in the system so when a bed request is sent, it comes out as a message over Vocera on that ward. Christchurch Hospital is also implementing an ‘in transit’ function for EDaaG to create something similar to an airport arrivals board, showing patients coming in by ambulance or being sent from their GP. And they are looking to use the wealth of data being collected to try and predict demand for inpatient beds and assign resources. Technology alone cannot fix patient flow issues as no amount of digital tools can fix a full hospital. “But the tools enable us better visibility of where’s there’s likely to be any problems so we can problem-solve early,” Weaver says. “Trying to measure improvements in flow is always difficult in a complex system like a large acute hospital, but we can’t imagine not having these technologies.” ©

Waiting for doctors or consultants to do their rounds and discharge patients can be time-consuming and unnecessary but solving this is an age- old problem for busy hospitals trying to manage patient beds. “We have tried for years to have nurse-led discharge, but it’s not been very successful,” Topp admits. The benefit of doing it electronically means all the necessary information is available in one place and is especially useful on weekends when staffing is lower. On a mission Topp’s mission is to ensure each patient is, “in the right place to get the right care by the right person”. As the age and acuity of patients

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attending hospital increases, its capacity to “hold on to patients” reduces and getting patients to where they need to be becomes all the more important if it wants to avoid the dreaded ‘gridlock’. PREMIUM TO CONT I NUE READ I NG TH I S PAGE JO I N HiNZ TODAY FROM $1 7 PER MONTH WI TH NO M I N I MUM TERM . OR $1 9 8 PER YEAR .

“There’s nothing simple about patients in hospital these days,” explains Topp, “and before we had no visibility of who was where and what they needed, so we were just guessing. “Now we know who’s coming in, what’s wrong with them and the best place for them to go, all live and minute by minute. “It’s really transformational because hinz.org.nz/page/JOIN a lot of hospitals have data, but not a lot have translated that into operational information”. “This allows us to be extremely agile and pull different levers to keep patient flow going.” As the main tertiary hospital for the South Island, Christchurch deals with

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