Canterbury and West Coast DHBs introduce Patientrack to deliver safer care

Patientrack is an electronic system to help clinicians identify deteriorating patients sooner


Canterbury and West Coast District Health Boards (DHBs) are set to implement a new digital patient observation and alert response system, aimed at helping clinicians identify deteriorating patients earlier.

The system called Patientrack will be introduced from next month and is designed to make patient observations immediately visible to the clinical team anywhere through the hospital information systems.

Susan Wood, Director of Quality and Patient Safety, for Canterbury and West Coast DHBs says Patientrack uses the patient’s vital signs to add up the Early Warning Score (EWS) and automatically sends alerts to the appropriate clinicians.   

It will track more than a million patient observations, which are currently recorded on charts in 10 hospitals throughout Canterbury DHB and West Coast DHB every year.

“Replacing paper-based EWS with a broader suite of automated assessment and communication tools will reduce error rates and improve work flows, allowing clinicians to dedicate more quality time with patients, and ultimately reduce the number of adverse events,” Susan says.

“Electronic capture of patient data will give our teams improved visibility of EWS, enabling more timely review and follow up of patients.”

Susan says adopting the digital track and trigger system is partly in response to recommendations from the Health and Disability Commissioner to error-proof and better adhere to clinical protocols, and also to reduce the paperwork from up to 40 different patient observation assessment forms.  The system chosen was conceived by a New Zealand Trained Intensive Care Specialist.

“Initial configuration of the new system has started at Christchurch Hospital, and will progressively go out across all wards over the next six months,” Susan says.

“Joining up with the clinical management system will also provide more reliable data to assist planning and reporting on improvements in clinical and patient workflow.”

Kate Quirke Director, MKM Health says internationally, hospitals that have implemented electronic early warning systems have been able to further reduce avoidable mortality due to late detection or notification of deterioration, as well as cardiac arrests.

“In addition to increasing patient safety and improving the overall patient experience, automating the scheduling, recording and communication of observations and EWS through Patientrack offers real operational and organisational benefits to New Zealand hospitals.”


About Patientrack

Patientrack helps hospitals deliver safer care – which is also more cost-effective care – by ensuring observation and assessment protocols are carried out correctly and consistently, and by automatically calculating early warning scores and alerting clinicians when interventions are needed. Through early identification of deteriorating patients, and the promoting of necessary assessments, Patientrack helps hospitals meet national and local targets for improvements in patient safety, improving patient outcomes and supporting frontline staff, while at the same time cutting costs and reducing paper. Patientrack was developed in conjunction with health professionals and its effectiveness in delivering both patient safety and cost improvements has been proven in a peer-reviewed clinical journal.

For further information please visit or follow @Patientrack on Twitter.


About MKM Heath

MKM Health is an information technology solutions company dedicated to healthcare. We work with our clients to implement solutions, integrate systems, align business and technology and ultimately help deliver best outcomes for patients. We are passionate about improving patient outcomes, avoiding harm and improving efficiency and effectiveness as well as working with our clients to maximise investments. Our team is dedicated to providing advice and practical support that requires strategic insight into health technology trends. We have proven deep health domain knowledge, technical knowledge of hospital systems and health informatics, combined with our technical systems integration capabilities.  We are the distributors for Patientrack in New Zealand and Australia.

For further information please visit or follow us @mkmhealth on Twitter.