Personalising patients’ care at the click of a button

Western Sydney breast cancer patients can be sure every doctor looking after their health will know everything about their treatment and condition, thanks to new technology developed by Western Sydney Local Health District.


A new electronic database is ensuring that various healthcare professionals managing a patients’ care enters information into an individual treatment plan, specifically allocated to the patient.


It will ensure all decisions and notes are in one central place which is important, given patients with cancer can see up to ten different clinicians to manage different parts of their condition.


Patients with cancer are likely to see surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, operating theatre staff, medical and radiation oncologists, nursing, allied health staff and general practitioners.


The new system will also speed up the treatment process, as patient information can be forwarded electronically to general practitioners or other clinicians in an instant.


Prior to these advancements, clinicians relied on a paper based file which was physically transported to various departments across the hospital and written correspondence was distributed to the general practitioner.


Westmead Breast Cancer Institute Associate Professor Nirmala Pathmanathan explained that the treatment of a breast cancer is complex and not every patients’ cancer is managed the same.


“Treating breast cancer involves complex decisions by a team of specialists who expertly review each patients’ case in order to develop an appropriate treatment plan,” Nirmala said.


“There is no one-size-fits-all approach, which is why it is important for all doctors to know everything they need to know about the patient and which doctors they’ve seen.


“Specialist doctors can also review all the patient data to plan treatment or diagnosis and share this information immediately with their general practitioner at the click of a button.


“This system has streamlined communications between our teams across the hospitals, letters are no longer dictated but printed and reviewed by the doctors and posted within 24 hours of an appointment with a patient.


“I’m proud that our team is utilising this technology developed by our staff to improve patient care and outcomes.”


The database is available to medical staff across Western Sydney Local Health District and Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District for patients who live in Auburn, Blue Mountains, Mount Druitt, Lithgow, Penrith and Westmead.