March 27, 2024

Digital Health News – March 2024

The Digital Health team is driving forward with high-impact projects, making this an exciting time for all of us at Western Health.  

We’re focused on optimising EMR functionality for Specialist Clinics, collaborating closely with clinical and operational staff to enhance workflows and usability.   

The integration of Digital Health applications into the New Footscray Hospital is a high priority for the team in the lead-up to the opening of the hospital next year. Kick-off meetings with Oracle Health have taken place to prepare for the EMR requirements gathering phase. 

As part of the Bacchus Marsh and Melton (BMM) Digital Health Transition project, we’ve completed the non-production build for EMR, iPM and BOSSnet.  These systems are now undergoing the initial phases of testing, marking a significant milestone thanks to the collaborative efforts of our team and BMM staff.  

Our EMR discovery project for Western Health’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Services is progressing well, with in-depth interviews and site visits revealing opportunities to streamline systems and workflows. 

We’re also gearing up for the annual major code upgrade for Western’s Health EMR system, planned between August and November 2024, in partnership with Oracle Health.  

I look forward to bringing you further updates next month and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.  


Lily Liu 

Director, Digital Health 

  • Optimisation of EMR – Specialist clinics update

    The Digital Health team continues to prioritise the initiative, focusing on the optimisation of the EMR functionality related to Specialist Clinics at Western Health.  

    Collaborating closely with clinical staff, several EMR updates have been implemented to enhance functionality and workflows related to referral and waitlist management, face up display of information and ensuring easy access to key referral and clinical information. Oracle Health is currently visiting our clinicians and administration staff onsite using the EMR in these activities. Improving the quality of patient and general practitioner communications, performance reporting and billing also remain a key focus. 

    To complement these enhancements, tailored support is being provided to medical staff in Specialist Clinics, focusing on education and upskilling teams to meet their individual needs.  A Clinical Informatics Medical Officer – Outpatient Optimisation lead, will commence in April 2024 to further enhance engagement with each of the units.  

    In addition to the updates reported last month, further enhancements were made during March 2024, including: 

    • The pilot of a ‘Referral Letter – ISBAR’ workflow in the EMR aimed at improving the quality and visibility of internal referrals to Specialist Clinics, taking place with clinicians between 13th March and 10th April 2024. 
    • Operationalisation of Single label printing within Specialist Clinic settings. 
    • Creation of two Quick Reference Guides outlining how to access Next of Kin details within the EMR.


    The team continues to communicate with Operations and Clinical Managers to provide updates for all affected staff. A summary of all EMR updates made during March 2024 is available on the new EMR Updates page. 

    Bacchus Marsh and Melton Digital Health Transition Project update

    The Digital Health project team is actively collaborating with Bacchus Marsh and Melton (BMM) representatives to extend Western Health’s well-integrated solutions for documenting and managing patient care to BMM sites. The team has successfully completed the non-production build for EMR, iPM and BOSSnet which are now undergoing the initial phases of testing.  This achievement marks a significant milestone for the project, bringing us one step closer to determining a go-live date!  

    We’re currently engaged in key activities that directly impact the project timeline, including exploring various go-live options.  These options are going through a governance process, and we hope to provide further information soon.  

    Digital Technology Services (DTS) has completed critical works and we’re working with BMM representatives to align the timing of device deployments, including printers (MFD, wristband etc), Workstations on Wheels (WOWs), Laptops on Wheels (LOWs), desktop computers and laptops with the project timeline. 

    New Footscray Hospital

    A priority for the Digital Health Team is integrating the Digital Health applications into the New Footscray Hospital, which is expected to open in 2025.  Kick-off meetings with Oracle Health, were conducted in March 2024 to prepare for the EMR requirements gathering phase.  This phase will collect necessary information for Oracle Health to complete the EMR build.  

    The project’s next phase includes the assessment of scope for technology, interfaces and other Digital Health applications, and EMR build which is scheduled to commence in April 2024. 

    Planning for 2024 EMR Code Upgrade

    Each year, the Digital Health team, along with Oracle Health supports a major code upgrade for Western’s Health EMR system. This upgrade ensures that we have the latest and most secure code level for our EMR system, which is crucial for maintaining security, performance and functionality.  

    The proposed window for the code upgrade is between August and November 2024.  You will hear more from us in the coming months as we finalise our plans.  

    Mental Health and Wellbeing Services: EMR Discovery Project

    The Mental Health and Wellbeing Services, EMR Discovery project is progressing well! Our team is doing a deep dive into the systems and data requirements required and recording the differences in daily workflows that exist across patient care, especially noting the differences in community and bed-based services. To formalise these documents accurately, we’re initially focusing primarily on the bed-based locations, before proceeding with the remainder of community services. 

    Interviews and site visits are providing key insights, and we’re seeing opportunities to connect currently separate systems and improve overall workflow. 

    Approval has been granted for “EMR for View Only” access for Mental Health and Wellbeing services. Over the last month, staff across the services have been nominated to complete the required WeLearn training and ten services have now been granted access. The remaining eight services will receive access soon. This is a significant step towards comprehensive EMR access for the division, enabling staff to expand their EMR knowledge before the implementation of any Mental Health EMR modules. 

    Overall, we are thrilled with the progress and are committed to creating a system that makes a real difference to consumers by supporting all aspects of Mental Health and Wellbeing Services. 

    Update - Maternity EMR Module

    Western Health is committed to a digital roadmap with the goal of implementing a well-integrated Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solution for all clinical areas. Since EMR 2.1 GoLive in July 2023, significant progress has been made to develop a Maternity module in our Oracle EMR and this was planned for implementation in mid-2024.

    After careful consideration, we have decided to pause the implementation of the Maternity EMR module to ensure the final solution is able to support all organisation requirements, including continuing to provide Best Care for our community and meeting external reporting obligations.

    Full details are available on the Western Health intranet – Operational Bulletin: 13 March 2024

    Check out the new EMR updates page!

    The Digital Health team continues to work closely with staff and application vendors to make changes that improve the usability of the EMR and associated systems. 

    The new EMR updates page, is an important resource to add to your browser favourites! You can keep up to date with the EMR enhancements that we’re making each month.  

    In addition to the EMR, we work with other teams across Western Health to support many applications and systems.  You can find out more about how we can support you, including the process for EMR change requests on the Digital Health Support page. 

Page last updated: 27 March 2024