Growth tracking a positive

22:26, Oct 08 2012

An electronic system for documenting a child's growth could improve clinical management in the Southern District Health Board, a Dunedin-based professor says.

Professor Barry Taylor - alongside a medical team from the health board - has developed an electronic system for documenting child health growth information based on height, weight and body mass index (BMI).

The information would provide clinicians with growth assessment data that would be useful in the operating theatre and for prescribing medication, Professor Taylor said.

The initiative has received the thumbs-up from a health group sector under the South Island Alliance, a partnership between the five South Island district health boards.

Having weight information available quickly could improve the scheduling of operating theatre lists and access to diagnostic procedures. It was more useful having measurements over time, rather than one single measurement.

It also gave clinicians better access to patient information when managing long-term conditions, he said.

It could also be used to track weight and body mass index of adults over time as information would be shared around all the South Island health boards.

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