First Australian Hospitals Reach International Best Practice for Digital Health


Old and new team members with award

St Stephen’s Hospital Hervey Bay, UnitingCare Health, and The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne outpatient clinics become the first two Australian hospitals to be recognised for highest level of electronic medical record adoption internationally.

New technology reshaping care for children with complicated health conditions and improving end-to-end digital experience for patients.

Organisations receive prestigious EMRAM and O-EMRAM Stage 7 Awards at HIMSS AsiaPac18, recognising their digital innovation to achieve higher-quality, safer and more integrated care.

BRISBANE (7 November 2018) – Today, two Australian hospitals have been officially recognised as the first hospitals to adopt the highest international standards of digital health at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) AsiaPac18 Conference and Exhibition. St Stephen’s Hospital Hervey Bay (UnitingCare) and The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne are being accredited as Stage 7 – the most advanced stage of the HIMSS Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM). St Stephen’s Hospital Hervey Bay has achieved EMRAM Stage 7 for its inpatient facilities and The Royal Children’s Hospital has achieved Outpatient EMRAM (O-EMRAM) Stage 7 for its outpatient clinics.

According to John Daniels, Global Vice President of HIMSS Analytics, 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,” said Mr Daniels.
“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 (RCH) Melbourne uses technology to support the treatment and care of all children, particularly those with complex and chronic disorders, requiring care by multiple specialties. The technology allows clinicians to have a more holistic view of the care that each patient needs and receives: any clinician can receive a real-time, single view of the entire patient journey and the interplay between disciplines.

Prior to the introduction of the EMR, clinicians needed to hand write patient information, which had a number of challenges, particular with timeliness, communication across clinical disciplines, and when patients had multiple and simultaneous clinical needs. With the new electronic medical record system, it is much easier to see every single aspect of a patient’s care, from hospital operations, to outpatient services. This allows staff to provide safer care and improve outcomes.

Along with improved clinical outcomes through a more coordinated delivery of clinical record keeping, the RCH has also opened this transparency up to patients and families. A new patient portal has strengthened the partnership between clinicians and patients’ families, enhancing the hospital’s ability to deliver patient and family centred care.

“We have invested significantly in upgrading our healthcare technology to improve outcomes for patients and their families, and we are seeing the benefits through clinical outcomes, hospital efficiencies and enhancing the transparent healthcare partnership between clinician, hospital, patient and family,” said Jane Miller, Chief Operating Officer of The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.

Queensland’s first digitalised hospital; St Stephen’s in Hervey Bay 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.

“Achieving the HIMMS Stage 7 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.

“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,” said Darren Rogers, General Manager St Stephen’s Hospital.

HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database. The O-EMRAM was developed in 2012 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of EMR systems at outpatient facilities. These models consist of eight stages (0-7) that measure a hospital's implementation and utilisation of information technology applications. The final stage, Stage 7, represents an advanced patient record environment. The validation process to confirm a hospital has reached Stage 7 includes a site visit by an executive from HIMSS Analytics and former or current chief information officers to ensure an unbiased evaluation of the Stage 7 environments.

“Around the world, adopting electronic medical records has been shown to help healthcare organisations to save lives by using data and analytics to improve high-quality care, safety, and efficiency,” Mr Daniels said.

“Stage 7 is really the tipping point that allows hospitals and patients to see the true benefits of EMRs. The real goal across Australia is for all organisations to reach this Stage and achieve better health through information and technology.”

“HIMSS will continue to work with State and National Governments to provide clear direction and help Australian healthcare organisations reach this level nationally.”



About the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) has been providing outstanding care for Victoria's children and their families for over 140 years. With more than 4,500 staff, RCH provides a full range of clinical services, tertiary care and health promotion and prevention programs for children and young people. RCH is also the designated state-wide major trauma centre for paediatrics in Victoria and a Nationally Funded Centre for paediatric cardiac and liver transplantation.

About St. Stephen’s Hospital
St Stephen's Hospital in Hervey Bay is Australia's first fully integrated digital hospital providing a comprehensive range of inpatient medical services, as well day surgery.

Since October 2014 when the hospital opened, Fraser Coast residents have had access to one of the country’s most advanced healthcare facilities. The new $96-million facility is the first fully-integrated digital hospital to be opened in regional Australia, and will transform the quality of healthcare available to the Fraser Coast’s growing population.

For more information about St Stephen’s Hospital please visit:

About HIMSS AsiaPac18
The 12th Annual HIMSS AsiaPac18 Conference & Exhibition is taking place in Brisbane Australia from November 5-8, 2018, this year themed Healthcare Anytime, Anywhere.

The event will gather more than 1,500 of the brightest in health and health IT across APAC and the globe: healthcare providers, C-suite leaders, government officials and solution providers. Attend and learn from the best practices, case studies and expert insights on the latest in digital health and information technology. Visit for more information.


Media contacts:
Aaron Dowling
Edelman Australia
P: +61 474 269 294

Melissa Leong
Manager, Marketing and Strategic Relations
HIMSS Asia Pacific
P: +65 6664 1181

Louise Johnstone
P: +61 412 674 013

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