World-first decision support software saving lives in trauma centres. This is a great example of a technology innovation.
How Trauma Reception and Resuscitation System works
Saving lives in a trauma centre requires decision making in a fast paced, highly stressful environment. A decision has to be made every 70 seconds by medical staff at the Alfred Hospital Trauma Centre (Melbourne) when treating patients. ‘Omission errors’ can occur due to ‘fixation’—high-level concentration on a task resulting in another vital action being not being taken, e.g. inability to control bleeding while trying to revive a patient.
The TR&R is the world’s first decision-support system for trauma centres. Similar in principle to computer-guidance systems for pilots, it is not designed to instruct the medical team but provide advice on treatment actions to help prevent omission errors. Operated from computers in the trauma bays, it analyses patient data like vital signs and diagnosis information and provides action prompts which are displayed on a large screen visible to all staff. An independent academic study of the TR&R found it saved lives by reducing omission errors by 21%, but also reduced the need for blood transfusion by 80% and improved recovery times.
At the heart of TR&R is the innovative Medical Algorithm Builder. Invented by SSIL, it enables doctors to create and modify the algorithms which guide the system using Visual Programming Language. Drawing upon SSIL’s expertise in User Experience Design and Machine Learning, it was developed in close collaboration with trauma centre staff. This ensured the system was intuitive and easy to use—essential for Australia’s busiest trauma ward, where in the race to save lives every second counts.