University of Otago-designed computer software for helping surgeons monitor how their patients are doing during their time in hospital has been developed into a commercially available system.
DIVA is a clinical auditing tool that allows medical staff to input and monitor information on patients during their surgical visit, reducing the risk of human error in record keeping, and saving time for medical staff in the process.
University of Otago Clinical Audit Director, Dr James Haddow (left), has extensive experience in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service where systems like DIVA were simply not available.
“I never saw a system as good as DIVA in the UK. The worst I saw was a white board in a doctor’s office where staff would write patient names and their complications to be discussed at the next morbidity and mortality meeting,” Dr Haddow says.
With the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons now requiring all surgeons to record outcomes and undergo regular clinical audit and peer review, Dr Haddow believes the medical sector can benefit from software that helps surgeons improve patient outcomes and efficiency.
Unlike other systems, DIVA allows medical teams to see how all their patients are doing, irrespective of whether they’ve had an operation or not.
“For example, if we wanted to see how many times patients with gallstone disease were admitted to the department before they eventually received a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the data captured by DIVA can answer this easily. These are questions that departments up and down the country commonly face,” Dr Haddow says.
Accessed through a web browser, DIVA can be easily connected to existing hospital systems. With the software now available commercially, the Otago Clinical Audit team are excited to see how DIVA benefits New Zealand surgeons, patients and their whãnau.