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  • 4 February 2005 09:27

NSW Health, Meridian Health Informatics and Microsoft Australia partner to launch new obstetrics system

Hospitals across New South Wales now have access to an information management system that promotes better care for expectant mothers and their babies

Sydney – 4 February 2005 – Microsoft Australia, the NSW Health OBSTET Consortium and Meridian Health Informatics have partnered in the development of ObstetriX, a new online information management system created specifically for clinical staff to improve patient safety through the implementation of expanded data management processes.

Developed on Microsoft’s .NET Framework and using the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 database, ObstetriX is designed to track and manage detailed maternal and neo-natal information from the initial stages of pregnancy through to birth. It acts as a repository for antenatal screening information, patient and family history together with birth outcomes, enabling a more holistic view of patient history. The system replaces OBSTET, a legacy application which had limited functionality and was only available on mainframe systems.

ObstetriX has already gone live at the Nepean, Hawkesbury Private and Blue Mountains District hospitals in New South Wales (NSW) and there are plans to roll out the system to other member hospitals of the OBSTET Consortium. Eventually it will be available in 12 major public maternity units and between 20 to 30 smaller units throughout NSW. Currently 50 percent of all babies in NSW are recorded in Obstet. It is hoped through the implementation of ObstetriX that this will increase to over 80 per cent of all NSW babies.

Recognising that the level of IT skill and expertise can vary greatly amongst clinicians, Meridian Health Informatics worked closely with obstetricians and midwives to tailor the system to their specific needs. ObstetriX differs from other clinical systems in that data definitions and rules are specified directly by users, enabling clinicians to take a primary role in the design of the system.

A major strength of ObstetriX is the ability to define comprehensive clinical rules, which will drive consistency and coherency in the types of clinical information entered. These rules can also alert clinicians immediately to possible adverse situations affecting expectant mothers. For example, early notification enables clinicians to recommend patients to appropriate models of care, resulting in better health care outcomes.

“Clinicians are finding the new ObstetriX interface very easy to use. It provides relevant and timely information and operates much faster than the old system. ObstetriX also generates tailored reports, enabling hospitals and NSW Health to meet their statutory reporting requirements electronically, making it an easier and more efficient process,” said Dr Michael Nicholl, Chairman of the New South Wales Department of Health OBSTET Consortium.

Mr David Ashton, managing director, Meridian Health Informatics, said, “The comprehensive information captured in ObstetriX will also become an invaluable epidemiological resource as the original database has produced significant research results. We are very pleased to have helped develop a system that improves both patient safety and clinical processes.”

Mr Kevin Ackhurst, Public Sector Director, Microsoft Australia, said, “Microsoft is proud to have partnered with NSW Health and Meridian in the development of this new system. The brief was challenging, but through the use of the .NET Framework, Meridian were able to complete the build within six months and commence live operation six weeks later. ObstetriX enhances the great work NSW healthcare providers do by tracking the heath and welfare of expectant mothers and reducing the time spent on administration. This is a great example of how innovation in IT can make a difference to new lives.”


About Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

About Meridian Health Informatics Meridian Health Informatics (MHI), established in 1996, is an Australian developer of innovative software for the health care industry. MHI is a pioneer in customisable electronic health record software that enables clinicians to take a leadership role in providing better health IT solutions. For further information: Samantha Herron Corporate Communications Manager Microsoft Australia Ph: 02 9870 2316 or 0412 589 951 Katie Peters or Simon Murphy Howorth Communications 02 8281 3810

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