Hospital wristband

Image: Flickr / capturedbychelsea

By Daniel Chamberlain

For anyone who has recently visited an emergency room, you probably weren’t shocked to hear that 90 per cent of patients are left waiting longer than four hours before being treated following the release of the National Health Performance Authority’s report into hospital performance. However, you may be surprised to know that Australia has one of the highest per capita spending on healthcare around the world.

With many in the industry labeling this as one of the most significant issues facing our nation, we are tackling these challenges head-on in a number of our research areas. For example, we have been trialing a new software package to help hospital staff predict demand on their services. The Patient Admission Prediction Tool (PAPT) allows on-the-ground staff to see what their patient load will be like in the next hour, the rest of the day, into next week, or even on holidays with varying dates, such as the busy Christmas period.

We recently took the opportunity to speak with internationally renowned expert in the use of technology in healthcare, Prof. Richard Kitney from the Imperial College in London about these issues and how further ICT research can be used to address them.