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27 April 2009

Abstract: Andrew Crowhurst is coordinating the Royal Darwin Hospital's clinical guidelines quality improvement project. This has come about for a variety of reasons, in particular: current guidelines (nursing/clinical) are difficult to find being located in a variety of sites; many are out of date, contain no references, are duplicated or have no review date.

The first stage of the project is to locate all the nursing and clinical guidelines that are in current use on to one data management system called PROMPT.  Andrew will explain how this works and how it has been rolled extensively throughout Victoria.

However, PROMPT goes much further and allows a sharing of information between hospitals that use the system as well as being a data management system for authoring and updating guidelines.

Further to this, as far as possible, this project is aiming for version control across the 5 hospitals. This will be the biggest hurdle and in some cases there is a definite need for a hospital specific treatment guideline. However, in the majority of cases the project aims for a one size fits all approach. Nursing is a good example which Andrew will talk about.

The other arm to the project, and one that Andrew is only coming to appreciate as time goes on, is that this is part of a huge quality initiative and an essential prerequisite for accreditation. Hence, the project is also developing a guideline/policy aimed at the writing of new or the updating of existing guidelines and the process that needs to be

in place for the guideline to be approved / endorsed before going on to the system. In addition, the project also aims, as time goes, on for a more evidence based approach ... at least as far as possible for the writing and updating of clinical and nursing guidelines. This will be a fundamental part of the library's role and will be a long but worthwhile process.