Federal Health Minister officially opens St Stephen's
UPDATE: Australia's first fully integrated digital hospital has been officially opened by Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton.
More than 100 guests attended the ceremony at St Stephen's Private Hospital which Mr Dutton described as "world class".
"St Stephen's has raised the bar for all healthcare providers by embracing technology literally before the foundations were laid," he said
"It will be a showcase for the improvements that eHealth information technology can make for health care and patient outcomes.
"Given the demands on our health system - from an ageing population, rising levels of chronic disease and ever-rising consumer expectations - creating new efficiencies is essential".
The expanded St Stephen's features three storeys, 96 acute care beds and three additional operating theatres.
EARLIER: Health Minister Peter Dutton will officially open St Stephen's Private Hospital in Hervey Bay after touring the wards on Monday morning.
The hospital was designed by Conrad Gargett Riddel and managing director Bruce Wolfe said it was pretty obvious going fully digital saved money and time.
"Being able to integrate the digital technology throughout the design and then see it in action has been one of the biggest highlights of working on the project so far," he said.
Considered to be the hospital-of-the-future, Mr Wolfe said everything in St Stephen's, operated by UnitingCare Health, was done electronically from x-rays to equipment monitoring in theatres.
The $96 million hospital has been accepting patients since October 13 and includes 96 inpatient beds, with six renal dialysis chairs and six day oncology chairs.
Mr Wolfe said this would be expanded to 132 inpatient beds in stage two and eventually to 180 inpatient beds.
"The hospital provides vital services and an unparalleled model of patient care," he said.
"It will establish St Stephen's Hervey Bay as the Australian benchmark in automated patient care."