Harm event detection tool successfully trialled

Written by: eHealthNews.nz reporter Sam Sachdeva
Published at: https://www.hinz.org.nz/news/411485/Harm-event-detection-tool-successfully-trialled.htm

An alerting system designed to slash the number of prescribing-related harm events could be rolled out further after a successful trial, its developer says.

The Conporto Event Detection and Mitigation Solution has been developed by Patients First, a non-profit organisation owned by General Practice New Zealand and the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners.

Patients First chief executive Helmut Modlik says the motivation for the software came after development partner DrInfo carried out an audit of prescribing-related harm events for the Waitemata District Health Board.

Shocked by the number of events it uncovered, DrInfo developed a system to monitor GP appointments and email its clients daily with specific risks for patients.

It then approached Patients First to use its secure email system, hMael, to distribute the alerts, before the companies decided to collaborate on the Conporto system.

Modlik says the software can be installed on servers hosting patient databases in primary care, hospitals, emergency and after-hours clinics, and pharmacies.

It finds a patient’s NHI number across the various networks, with a rules engine looking for data points that relate to specific harm risks based on research carried out by the British Medical Journal.

Patients First and DrInfo have coded data points for nine conditions which, if not identified, mean patients are “virtually guaranteed to end up in hospital or worse”.

If enough data points relating to a harm event are identified, the clinician is sent a notification at the start of the day with a brief narrative description as signed off by an independent clinical governance group.

The clinician then receives a further notification in their practice management system at the time of the patient’s appointment, giving them access to an integrated patient summary record with all the relevant database information in a single view.

Modlik says there have been no significant technical challenges in developing Conporto, with one obstacle – the lack of data standards – overcome by the data DrInfo had gathered in its earlier work with GPs.

A focus has been ensuring the system could be integrated easily into GPs’ existing workflows. An in-field trial of Conporto EDM during March, involving 94 general practices and 152 pharmacies around New Zealand, showed 100 percent of harm event notifications were successfully sent, opened and viewed by GPs.

Patients First and DrInfo are in discussions with the Ministry of Health and ACC about the future of Conporto, with the Ministry keen for a longer trial of the solution to gather longitudinal data on the range of outcomes, says Modlik.

However, he says clinicians and health informatics professionals in New Zealand and abroad are already positive about the software.

“The idea that we can in real time query large numbers of distributed databases, find data points and find a query in real time – that is world-class.”

Helmut Modlik will be presenting on the development of Conporto at the HiNZ Conference 2018 held at Wellington TSB Arena from November 21–23.