Publication Details

Dawson, L., Plummer, V., Weeding, S., Harlem, T., Ribbons, R. & Waterhouse, D. (2010). Building a system for managing clinical pathways using digital pens. HIC 2010: proceedings; 18th Annual Health Informatics Conference: Informing the Business of Healthcare (pp. 32-36). Melbourne: RMIT Publishing.


Background: A research team from Monash University and Peninsula Health, Victoria is undertaking a trial of digital pen and paper technology for clinical pathway management. Digital pen and paper allows for the capture of images of handwritten documents using an embedded camera in the pen which is matched with special patterns of dots on the paper. These digitised images can be uploaded to a database for analysis. Objectives: Clinical pathways have been adopted in most Australian hospitals to document and manage multidisciplinary care across a variety of acute care environments. Analysis of the information collected in paper-based clinical pathway documents is often time-consuming. This project seeks to streamline the collection and analysis of this data by developing a Digital Clinical Pathway Management System (DCPMS) based on digital pens and a customised database. Method: The DCPMS will be developed as part of a two year proof of concept project at Peninsula Health’s Frankston Hospital. The goals are to: 1. Implement digital pen and paper technology on selected wards; 2. Analyse data collected by the DCPMS for usefulness in clinical decision-making; 3. Identify potential contributions to resource management for bed access, HR management and strategic planning; 4. Utilise clinical and managerial variance analysis from the DCPMS for resource planning in a casemix environment. Implications: This paper discusses the potential of a DCPMS in a hospital setting and the possible adoption of digital pen technology for other point of care data collection and analysis.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Health Informatics Conference