Preparing Northern Health for EMR Go Live: Nursing and Midwifery

Northern Health is less than four months away from going live with the Electronic Medical Record (EMR). There is a lot of work happening behind the scenes to prepare the whole of Northern Health for a change this significant.

Today, we have the opportunity to speak with Lisa Cox, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, and Vanessa Reid, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Informatics Officer, on how they have been preparing Northern Health for EMR Go Live from a nursing perspective.

Q: With more than 4,000 nurses and midwives working at Northern Health, what are the general sentiments on implementing an EMR?

Lisa: The general sentiments among our 4,000 nurses and midwives at Northern Health regarding the upcoming implementation of an EMR are mostly excitement with a touch of nervousness. Our nurses and midwives are enthusiastic about the positive impact the EMR will have on patient care and workflow efficiency. While there is some natural apprehension about the change, I recognise that the support from the EMR team, including comprehensive training, will be instrumental in ensuring our nurses and midwives feel prepared and empowered during the transition.

Q: One of our EMR training principles is ‘no training, no access.’ What is your view on this and why do you think this is important?

Vanessa: The training principle of ‘no training, no access’ for the EMR implementation is of great significance in my view. Patient safety is a top priority and ensuring that all staff members are adequately trained on how to navigate and utilise the EMR system is crucial for accurate and comprehensive clinical documentation.

Q: It is not an easy task to train the whole nursing and midwifery cohort within eight weeks, how is this being managed?

Lisa: Training all our nurses and midwives within an eight-week timeframe presents a significant challenge, but we will successfully manage this process with the invaluable support of our Nurse Unit Managers (NUMs) and Midwifery Unit Managers (MUMs). Their pivotal role in registering our nurses and midwives for training has been instrumental in streamlining the process, and they will continue to play a crucial role in coordinating this work ensuring all nurses and midwives have the ability to attend the scheduled training sessions.

Q: What do you look forward to when EMR goes live at Northern Health?

Vanessa: As we approach the go-live of the EMR at Northern Health, I am filled with anticipation for the transformative impact it will have on our organisation. While there will be an adjustment period for our nurses and midwives, I am confident that we will witness increased efficiency and a noticeable enhancement in the quality of patient care. It is a privilege for me to be part of this significant event, and I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to work alongside such exceptional nurses and midwives.

Q: What advice would you give to nurses and midwives as we progress towards the implementation of the EMR?

Lisa: As we move forward with the EMR implementation, my advice to nurses and midwives is to approach this transition with a positive mindset and a sense of resilience. Embrace the change as an opportunity for growth and improvement in patient care. Actively participate in the provided training to become proficient in navigating the EMR system. Remember to reach out for support whenever needed, as we are all here to help each other. With our nursing and midwifery expertise and dedication, I have full confidence that we will successfully adapt to this new system and continue providing exceptional care to our patients.

Featured image: Lisa Cox, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer with Vanessa Reid, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Informatics Officer.