Saving clinicians time by introducing simplified inpatient data entry systems

Mrs Louise Maye1, Mrs Mary Caine1, Ms Clare Daley1

1Hunter New England Local Health District, Newcastle, Australia

In 2018, Hunter New England Local Health District developed a specialised system to record Allied Health inpatient activity. The development of IDAH (Inpatient Data Allied Health) provides a time efficient, clinician friendly replacement for retiring archaic data source systems to collect reportable Allied Health activity within an inpatient setting.

IDAH, was developed by the district’s own application development team, in consultation with key stakeholders from allied health, existing clinical system teams, costing and activity reporting departments with the aim to enable efficient collection of mandatory data items, and where possible, auto populating from the Patient Administration System (PAS).

IDAH access is based on logging into an internet browser page, using a network log in and bringing up defaults for the logged in user (facility, wards, provider type and role e.g. Clinician or student or AHA) which can be changed if required. The patients display on screen for a chosen ward with the key fields required for data collection adjacent – requiring the clinician to simply choose the correct patient, adjust the fields as required and add the service delivery.

The information collected in IDAH is utilised for mandatory state reporting requirements, as well as localised reporting and quality improvement tasks.

Since the roll out in June 2018, clinicians have reported an average reduction in data entry time of 60%. For the most part, this is attributable to the system’s design features that negate the need for replication of data entry, resulting in increased data entry efficiency and additional time to focus on patient care. In addition, the design of the system reduces data entry error rates through the use of actual PAS admission data and the elimination of free text entry fields.


Louise Maye is an Allied Health Project Officer for Hunter New England Local Health District. Over the past 10 years, Louise has coordinated many projects such as telehealth, clinical supervision, clinical redesign and data reporting systems for the district, all with a key focus on providing workforce solutions to enable clinicians to streamline their practice and provide better patient care and outcomes.

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