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Queensland Health Electronic Patient Journey Boards - Case Study

Project Background

Efficiency is a fundamental part of how a successful hospital operates. Every aspect of the hospital experience is focused on the patient and Queensland Health strives to provide the best possible care and service available in the most efficient manner. To be able to provide this care, hospital staff need to be continuously updated on patients’ status and location.

Traditionally, this is done in each ward using software to track each patient and manually transferring this information to a large whiteboard for all staff to note the vital pieces of information. However, this system can be time-consuming and untidy. Staff at The Prince Charles Hospital in 2009, successfully developed the Electronic Patient Journey Boards (EPJB’s) for use locally to address these issues in their Medical wards.

Subsequent to this, in an effort to improve patient flow within hospitals across the state, the Centre for Healthcare Improvement decided to investigate if the use of these Journey Boards would be effective in other metropolitan, regional and rural hospitals across various surgical, maternity, mental health, paediatric and sub-acute wards.

The primary aim was to change the technology used from a simple manual whiteboard to commercial-quality LCD panels. By limiting the amount of paperwork, phone-calls and duplicate data entry within the wards, the new system would provide a means to display patient information and allow all relevant stakeholders to view the whole ward at a glance.

Installation

Starting as an initial ‘pilot’ project, Sales Manager at VIDEOPRO, Ken Hawkins discussed Queensland Health’s requirements with their Project Manager and provided the best possible solution for each hospital.

A variety of Full HD LCD panel sizes were selected to allow for the variations between all the wards. Panel size was determined by the size of the ward and the wall space available as well as the volume of information each ward needed to display. The decision to use commercial panels allowed flexibility in wall mounting, either landscape or portrait, and also allowed functionality twenty-four hours, seven days, without any loss of image quality.

Many logistical issues needed to be overcome during installation; walls needed to be strengthened to ensure they could hold the weight of the large panels and brackets, not to mention seamless Project Management to guarantee efficient installation with minimal disruption to the daily tasks of the hospital staff.

Ken Hawkins explains that the successful coordination of each installation has been the most integral part of this project, “Equipment was required at designated times to ensure the installation ran smoothly. The ability to coordinate every detail of the project and make sure each installation was of a consistent high quality was imperative,” Ken said.

Outcomes from the evaluation trial have proved to be very positive. Since initial installations across a number of hospitals in the Brisbane area, Queensland Health has now installed Journey Boards into over 14 hospitals including Prince Charles Hospital, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Royal Childrens’ Hospital, the Royal Brisbane and Womens’ Hospital, as well as hospitals in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Nambour, Ipswich, Roma, Toowoomba and Robina.

The initial Electronic Patient Journey Board trial is now complete and has been formally awarded the Queensland Premier’s Award for Excellence in Public Service Delivery (Health) 2011.

Susan Moller - “Electronic Patient Journey Boards” Principal Project Officer, Queensland Health

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