St Stephen’s Hospital achieves another Australian-first


Paul du Toit and Madonna Bowers 2St Stephen’s Hospital has been announced as the first Australian recipient of the prestigious international ‘HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence’ for improved patient outcomes through health information and technology.

Awarded by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMMS), the ‘HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence’ recognises the thoughtful application of health information and technology to substantially improve clinical care delivery, patient outcomes and population health.

Madonna Bowers, General Manager/Director of Clinical Services St Stephen’s Hospital, said she was extremely pleased to accept the award and proud of the world-class improvements in patient care that have been realised.

“As the first fully integrated digital hospital in Australia, health information and technology has been a cornerstone to our success in providing high quality, safe care to our patients and the community,” Ms Bowers said.

“Providing high-quality care to our patients is at the heart of everything we do at St Stephen’s and our technological innovations are all designed to ensure we offer compassionate and professional care to the Fraser Coast community,” she said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank HIMSS, and the past and present employees and volunteers of St Stephen’s and UnitingCare who have been on this journey with us.”

This latest accomplishment follows St Stephen’s Hospital becoming the first fully integrated digital hospital in Australia in 2014 and the first HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 validated hospital in Australia.

Following the implementation of its Electronic Medical Record (EMR), St Stephen’s Hospital has further improved access to data and images in near real time, improved the efficiencies of image documentation for the management of pressure injuries, and enhanced the patient experience as a whole.

Thanks to biomedical device integration, nurses have been able to spend nearly 3,000 more hours at the patients’ bedsides, leading to a 58% improvement in care efficiency. Additionally, hospital acquired Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rates have been completely eliminated at the hospital, and hospital-acquired injuries have been reduced by 19%.

"St Stephen's thoughtfully adopted a variety of technology solutions as part of a digital health strategy to improve acute care access and quality in the Hervey Bay area," said Jonathan French, CPHIMS, SHIMSS, senior director of quality and value-based care at HIMSS.

"Care standardisation is supported by the seamless exchange of clinical data and vital signs into St Stephen's decision support, making it easier to deliver the right care at the right time. For this, HIMSS is proud to recognise St Stephen's Hospital as the first Davies Award recipient in Australia."

St Stephen’s Hospital will be recognised during the 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference and Exhibition, which takes place March 9–13 in Orlando, Florida.

Part of UnitingCare, St Stephen’s Hospital is a private healthcare provider owned by the Uniting Church, and is the only not-for-profit provider of private hospital services on the Fraser Coast. For more information about St Stephen’s, please visit

Photo: Pictured is Rehabilitation Specialist Dr Paul du Toit and General Manager and Director of Clinical Services, Madonna Bowers.

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