News &

New project saves hours of work for oncology nurses 

Grampians Health Cancer Resource Nurse Catherine Olston, and Wimmera Cancer Centre Manager Carmel O’Kane check patient information in the new system.

24 June 2024

A new project developed at Wimmera Cancer Centre that has received national attention is helping oncology nurses to deliver more quality supportive care for cancer patients by saving time with administrative duties. 

Grampians Integrated Cancer Services Cancer Service Improvement Facilitator Donna Bridge worked on the project with the Grampians Health Horsham team. Together they developed a digitised system for gathering patient information on an electronic tablet. 

Ms Bridge said the new system prevented double handling of patient records and streamlined the administration involvement for nurses by using a screening consultation. 

“This was a combined project with the oncology nurses at Wimmera Cancer Centre and the Clinical Information Application Support team and supported by GICS,” Ms Bridge said. 

“In real terms, we have basically provided a system where nurses can gather a patient’s information electronically on the spot instead of filling out forms and then going back to the computer to transfer the data. 

“So we have been able to digitise the Modified Adelaide Supportive Care screening tool in the electronic medical record. The patient’s screening information can be entered directly via tablet by nurses during the screening consultation. 

“This then allows the data to be uploaded via dynamic data into a Supportive Care Multidisciplinary Report – without double handling the information. 

“The report is then ready for the fortnightly Supportive Care Multidisciplinary Team meeting with members spread across all hospitals in the Wimmera. The team can access the report in the EMR (OPAL/Bossnet) for the relevant patients to be discussed. 

“Previously these processes were conducted manually so we’ve now saved nurses between 3-5 hours of work a fortnight which equates to around 3.3 weeks over a year for each nurse.” 

The project has also been acknowledged by peers of the health industry, with Wimmera Cancer Centre Manager Carmel O’Kane presenting the work on the podium of the Cancer Nurses Society of Australia National Conference that was held from June 19 – 21 in Brisbane.