St Stephen's Hospital in Hervey Bay.
St Stephen's Hospital in Hervey Bay. Contributed.

Hospital's technology earns world-class standard

PAITENTS at Hervey Bay's St Stephen's Hospital can recuperate a little easier knowing they are being cared for with the latest in world-class technology.

The Uniting Care facility is one of only two Australian hospitals officially recognised as having the highest international standards of digital health.

St Stephen's has been accredited as a Stage 7 of Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society at the AsiaPac18 Conference and Exhibition yesterday.

This means the local hospital has the most advanced of the HIMSS Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model for its inpatient facilities.

It has improved efficiencies and patient safety through the utilisation of electronic barcode scanning of blood and medication products.

The new system also provides access to online data to monitor and improve care and share data with other health care providers caring for the hospital's patients.

General manager Darren Rogers said achieving the accreditation has been a significant journey.

"Not only did we demonstrate how we were utilising the technology within our hospital, we were also assessed on our consistency of use, which showed a real behaviour shift by our team," he said.

"For St Stephen's, the rewards of following the EMRAM process has extended past the utilisation of technology. It has strengthened our ongoing commitment to providing innovative health solutions for the safety and care of our patients.

The hospital first opened in October 2014 and the $96-million facility is the first fully-integrated digital hospital to be opened in regional Australia and Queensland's first digitalised hospital.

According to global vice president of HIMSS Analytics, John Daniels, the awards represent the first time that any hospital in Australia has reached this advanced stage of digital healthcare and could lead to significant improvements in patient care.

"Technology is a tool that, when put in the right hands, can change lives. Australia is beginning to realise a future where integrated, more personalised care is a reality," he said.

"Historically, Australian doctors and nurses faced vast challenges from systems that didn't communicate with each other, lost records, and information accessibility.

"This is a major step towards overcoming these issues. These hospitals are showing Australia what digital transformation can achieve - and the outcomes it delivers for Australian patients - and we're delighted to be part of their journey." The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne outpatient clinic was also accredited.