St Stephen's Hospital — Registered nurse Peter Hartley shows patient Audrey Ross the options on her digital menu.
St Stephen's Hospital — Registered nurse Peter Hartley shows patient Audrey Ross the options on her digital menu.

Fraser Coast hospital receives award in an Australian-first

A FRASER Coast hospital has achieved an Australian first by receiving an international award for excellence by using technology to improve patient care.

St Stephen's Hospital has been given the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Davies Award of Excellence to be presented in March at the 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference and Exhibition in Orlando.

St Stephen's Hospital acting general manager Madonna Bowers said the paperless hospital's system was both safer and faster.

Every patient and staff member has a barcode which is scanned to access things like medicines, use observations machines and even manage dietary requirements.

 

St Stephen's Hospital — Registered nurse Peter Hartley scans patient Audrey Ross's wristband.
St Stephen's Hospital — Registered nurse Peter Hartley scans patient Audrey Ross's wristband.

 

"There is no way you can get medication wrong under this system as you scan the patient into the discrepancy for their prescribed medication," Ms Bowers said.

"When patients are admitted we are given their diet, we put that into the system and they choose their meals on the touchscreen computer screen which doubles as a TV at their bed.

"The system means you don't have to write anything down. When you are taking blood pressure or heart rate, it electronically updates to the patient's records which means you can't make a mistake writing it down. It also flags with the nurse if something is really wrong."

The hospital says nurses have been able to spend nearly 3,000 more hours at the patients' bedsides, leading to a 58 per cent improvement in care efficiency.

A work station on wheels is a transportable computer which means doctors and nurses can update their records sitting next to the bed with the patient.

"A doctor can have the patient chart in the corridor, nurse can have the chart right at the bedside, a lot of time is wasted trying to find the chart because with paper charts only one person has it at one time," Ms Bowers said.

"At the bottom line healthcare is not about technology it is about caring for people and this is just another tool. This means it frees up time so they have more time to spend talking, interacting and helping patients as this system allows us to really focus on them."