What's being said

A message from Richard Royle Executive Director of UnitingCare Health

Photo of Richard RoyalOn behalf of UnitingCare Health, I welcome you to St Stephen’s Hospital — Australia’s first fully integrated digital hospital.

St Stephen’s Hospital in Hervey Bay is the fulfilment of a 10-year vision for UnitingCare Health.

The pioneering digital technologies and advanced models of patient care in operation at St Stephen’s will revolutionise the quality of healthcare available in the rapidly growing Fraser Coast region.

This hospital is now the national benchmark in automated patient care, setting the standard for regional healthcare in this country and paving the way for further advancements across UnitingCare Health.

St Stephen’s recently became the first hospital in Australia to achieve Stage 6 certification from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), on the Analytics Medical Electronic Medical Records Adoption Model (EMRAM).

The health, safety and comfort of patients is at the heart of this project. Patients will now enjoy a higher quality of care, more face-to-face time with medical and nursing staff, and improved health outcomes. There will also be improved opportunities for patients and their families to be actively involved in their treatment.

From an operational perspective, the state-of-the-art systems will increase operating time per theatre, facilitate more efficient use of hospital resources, improve the engagement of medical and nursing staff and enhance communication with GPs and specialists.

Our development model centred on collaboration with a range of health professionals, whose input into systems design has ensured the technology translates directly into benefits for our patients.

In paying tribute to the many people whose commitment has enabled our vision to become a reality, I would like to acknowledge the invaluable support of the federal government who contributed $47.1 million of the total $96 million digital hospital.

I know this shared belief in our vision will confer on the Fraser Coast community a positive impact for decades to come.

A message from The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Health and Minister for Sport

Photo of Peter DuttonIt is with great pleasure that I welcome the future of Australian healthcare — the world-class $96 million St Stephen’s Hospital in Hervey Bay.

At a time of unprecedented demand for health services, Australia’s first fully-integrated digital hospital has not only transformed the level of healthcare available to residents of the Fraser Coast, but raised the bar in terms of healthcare provision across the country.

As a nation, we have a history of quickly adopting — and in many cases, inventing — technologies that transform our lives.

Digital healthcare is just such an innovation, offering many solutions to the dual challenges of a growing, ageing population, creating unprecedented demand for healthcare services, and increasing pressure on budgets as we implement fiscal reform.

In this way, St Stephen’s exemplifies how advances in IT are as critical to improving the quality, accessibility and effectiveness of healthcare as advances in medicine.

St Stephen’s also underlines the power of collaboration between the public and private sectors on major social infrastructure, with the Federal Government providing $47 million, or nearly half, of the funds required to complete it.

It is comforting to know that the community has the support of dedicated not-for-profit providers like UnitingCare Health, which has a long and proud reputation for providing quality patient care. UnitingCare Health is to be applauded for their dedication to this project as part of their vision for improved healthcare in regional Australia.

All this augurs well for the future of healthcare in this country, no matter where it is that you live.

As a Queenslander, I am proud that this quiet healthcare revolution has occurred in my home State, and particularly, that it has occurred in a regional area.

I congratulate UnitingCare Health Executive Director Richard Royle and his team on their vision and drive in achieving this milestone in healthcare, and thank the many people and organisations who have worked together to make it possible.

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