Expanding digital technology at Westmead

Posted 16 Aug 2016

Caption: Dr. Lina Lee at a computer on wheels (COW)

Digital patient recordkeeping and new patient entertainment and information systems are just a few technologies being planned for the new central acute services building.

A major part of the planning process has been looking at how information and communications technology (ICT) changes can be implemented - now and in the future. ICT is being discussed in terms of ways of working together, services for patients, improved signage and much more.

Many exciting technologies are already being used across the Westmead precinct, within Western Sydney Local Health District and at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Paper-Lite and COWs

On Thursday, potential mobile devices to be used in the upcoming electronic medical record system (eMR2) were demonstrated at Westmead Hospital. The project, Paper-Lite, which has already rolled out eMR2 in Blacktown, Mt Druitt and Auburn hospitals, is scheduled to go live at Westmead Hospital on 1 May 2017.

Paper-Lite moves some of the patient records to a live digital system, rather than relying on paper-based records. It includes electronic patient observations and assessments such as vital signs, height and weight, pain assessments and blood glucose levels.

Dr. Lina Lee, clinical lead for eMR2, said: “this is a great example of how we can improve our work right now, rather than waiting until we have the new building. By re-thinking how we use technology, we are able to improve the accuracy, accountability and legibility of the clinical notes while also supporting better co-ordination of patient care.”

Lina continued: “staff at Auburn have said they can spend more time with patients as a direct result of the roll-out there—what a result.”

Staff view patient records on mobile devices like tablets and Computers on Wheels (COWs). A COW is a computer-mounted trolley. The screen can display systems like Paper-Lite and can be used for general word processing and internet access.

Thursday’s Paper-Lite event also incorporated a display of COWs from a number of suppliers. These devices already exist at Westmead, Blacktown and Mt Druitt and Auburn hospitals and new models will be required for the acute services building.

During the demonstrations, staff asked suppliers about the trolley and technology options including desk height adjustability, infection control design features, screen adjustment and displays and storage options.

Patient information and entertainment systems

This year, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead has been busy rolling out an upgrade of its patient technology systems.

Earlier this month, 14-year-old Ryan was asked to be the first patient to try out the new MyHealth Memory system.

The new integrated bedside system combines entertainment and communication with clinical health information, enabling patients and families to access free-to-air TV, Foxtel, web-browsing, social media, Skype, in-built games and movies on-demand while also giving staff access to electronic health information at the bedside.

In September, the MyHealth Memory system will be integrated with a new system called Oneview.

It shows a patient’s name and the names of their immediate treatment team. Appointment reminders and preventative health messages can also be programmed. For example, staff can program a message about not eating or drinking before upcoming surgery and can block access to the TV until information is read.

Virtual reality

To deepen the staff and consumer engagement experience, virtual reality (VR) technology is being used by Westmead Redevelopment planners and architects. Wearing the VR goggles is a more immersive experience than looking at illustrations, presentations or floor plans. Users put on a headset that houses a smartphone. They can look up, down, and from side-to-side. We will be able to show artist’s impressions of what the new and renovated buildings might look like, both inside and outside.

We’ll update you soon on when this technology is ready to go!


Do you have an idea for new or existing technology that could be used across the Westmead precinct? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Call the project team on 1800 990 296 or send us an email at WSLHD-WestmeadProject@health.nsw.gov.au.

Caption: Staff at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead now have access to Computers on Wheels in clinical areas

Related information

Consumers' Technology Vision - story on community participation in Westmead's technology future (published 2 Aug 2016)