At the upcoming free-to-attend Australian Healthcare Week running on the 27-28 March at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, Darren Clark, Nursing Director – Medical Services, Division of Medicine and Emergency, Logan Hospital, will be speaking about the data model the hospital is using to improve decision making.

The ‘DASH model’ features electronic ‘dashboards’ that display clinical information in a meaningful way to clinicians to use for clinical surveillance, decision making and audits.

For example, nurses refer to a Nurse Unit Manager dashboard.

The data is sourced from integrated electronic medical records.

Mr Clark said the model is still in its infancy, but the application could be widely developed, including for use in aged care facilities.

With data capture a growing aspect of aged care, the DASH model could be a way that data is presented in an accessible and useful way for clinical and care staff.

Nurses can assess patients at a glance

The DASH model means clinical staff have ready access to clinical information about patients in an “easy-to-assess” format.  

“Nurse Unit Managers can, at a glance, assess for patients at risk on their wards from the completed clinical assessments, changes to patient vital signs, and if a patient has been unstable,” Mr Clark said.  

“They can also quickly assess if patients have not had assessments completed or clinical tasks completed within designated safe timeframes. For example, if a ward has had multiple admissions and patients have not had routine admission assessments completed, the Nurse Unit Managers can quickly identify this and ensure that resources and support are provided so that these assessments can completed,” Mr Clark sais.

“This would only normally be apparent to the Nurse Unit Managers if this information was handed over to them, or they reviewed every patient’s paper chart pre integrated electronic medical records,” he said.

Previously, clinical staff only had information from verbal clinical handovers or by labour-intensive auditing, Mr Clark said.

DASH model helps manage workload and accountability

Mr Clark said the DASH model has had a “mostly positive” impact on staff morale, as “workloads are clear” for all staff, and the system provides a “clear visible accountability line”.

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The DASH model’s applicability to aged care

Mr Clark said the DASH model would “definitely” have applications for aged care.

“The dashboards are enabled by an integrated electronic medical record, so the facility would need digital data to be able to be displayed.  

“We are really only learning what the dashboards could be used for in acute hospitals so there is plenty of scope for development in aged care,” he said.

Mr Clark will be speaking at Australian HealthCare week, which is being held on 27-28 March 2019 at the International Convention Centre, Sydney.

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