Project to develop digital analytics tool for patient safety in South Australia underway

The government-backed Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre, along with the University of South Australia SA Health, has started working on a project that will create a digital analytics tool predicting the emerging risk of adverse events in hospitals. 


Based on a press statement, a research team behind the project has studied developed a preliminary predictive harm algorithm using 18 months of data from the Royal Adelaide Hospital the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It was developed to “effectively inform safety, quality risk management strategies related to patient medication strategies”.

The research has been expanded to cover falls risk code blacks (personal threats).

Utilising existing software frameworks, the analytics tool will be instrumental for the development of a “visual, interactive programme” that will be accessible via a dashboard summary for clinicians administrators, according to Marion Eckert, director of the Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre at the UniSA.

The said programme will deliver real-time insights describing risk exposure in a hospital setting, informing decision makers’ assessments predictions to forecast special considerations for the implementation of safety measures. 


The project aims to resolve patient safety issues, such as ramping, suicide prevention, medication falls incidents. According to the Australian Commission on Safety Quality in Health Care, patient safety accidents in Australian hospitals cost an estimated A$4.1 billion in 2017-2018. 

The analytics tool will be initially trialled at the general medical mental health departments in South Australia’s Central Southern Adelaide Local Health Networks.  


The DHCRC announced in July a A$2.1 million ($1.5 million) project to deliver real-time patient data through dashboards. Led by the Faculty of Information Technology Eastern Health Clinical School, both institutions under Monash University, the four-year dashboards project will provide live feeds of clinical analytics reporting information from Eastern Health’s electronic medical records the Victorian Health Incident Management System.

According to Monash University, the digital dashboards will benefit a number of areas covering clinical governance, prevention control of healthcare-associated infection, medication safety, among others.


“Our local health networks face a number of operational challenges in response to a population with increasing physical mental health care needs. This research project will help us form solutions represents the importance of our partnership with the DHCRC. It allows us to team up with leading academics be supported by the [DH]CRC’s Commonwealth funding, so we can use advanced digital technologies to support our workforce to maintain world-class care,” Alastair McDonald, director of Strategy Architecture at Digital Health SA, commented.

“The ability to seamlessly predict risks in a hospital setting is powerful, we look forward to this project delivering key evidence scaling more broadly across South Australia nationally,” DHCRC CEO Dr Terry Sweeney also said.

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