UnitingCare Health and Cerner Australia have signed a multi-million dollar contract to finalise the provision of eHealth solutions and services for the new St Stephen’s Hervey Bay Hospital.
The e-health initiative component of the new 96 bed hospital in Hervey Bay will receive $21M funding from the Australian Government’s Health and Hospital Fund. UnitingCare Health (UCH) and Cerner are providing a further $15.5m to the e-health initiative. The total St Stephen’s Regional Hospital project will receive $47.1m from the Australian Government’s Health and Hospitals fund towards the total project costs of $87.5 million. The Hospital is on track for a January construction commencement.
“This is an important milestone for the project”, Executive Director UCH Richard Royle said. The eHealth initiative is extremely complex and will present may challenges as we will be breaking new ground in Australia”.
“We are very confident that our ongoing partnership with Cerner will deliver an outstanding example of how eHealth and technology integration can provide improvements in patient care and experience and provide clinicians with effective and easy to use resources”.
The contract was signed by Mr Richard Royle and Mr Scott Schmidt, Cerner Managing Director at a meeting with the combined Cerner and UCH eHealth teams present. Both leaders commented on the professionalism, expertise and dedication of their negotiating teams that worked diligently over the past two months to achieve this result within the required time frame.
“We look forward to the strategic partnership with UCH, and congratulate them on having the vision to take the leap forward with us” Paul Willma Cerner General Manager Qld said.
The Uniting Care eHealth project team have recently co-located their team with Cerner in the Brisbane CBD, demonstrating how close this working relationship between the two organizations will be. “The implementation of advanced technology requires advanced management, teamwork and communication methods”, Paul Willma said “this is a demonstration that both organizations are thinking strategically, positioning themselves to perform beyond an ordinary vendor-client relationship to that of true partnership with joint and aligned objectives”.
Mr Royle is leading a UCH team to the United States this week to attend the Global Cerner Conference and to visit US Hospitals who have implemented the solutions and services to be introduced into the new State of the Art Hospital at Hervey Bay.
The team will include Connie Harmsen (eHealth Project Director), Dr Monica Trujillo (Director Medical Services St Stephen’s, UCH Chief Medical Information Officer ) Dr Luis Prado (UCH Chief Medical Officer) and Dr Christian Rowan (Directors of Medical Services, St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital), Vicki Ibrahim (UCH Director of Pharmacy), Marianne Francey (UCH CIO) and Leanne Tones (General Manager, St Stephen’s).
Mr Royle believes that it is crucial that UCH key Clinical Leaders are able to talk directly with those who have experienced first hand the transformational journey that hospitals undertake when they introduce eHealth. “Clinical Leadership and support is an important driver in delivering a successful transformation” Mr Royle said.
Connie Harmsen, the eHealth Project Director, who UCH has recruited from the United States to lead the eHealth initiative is experienced in delivering digital solutions in the acute care setting. Connie has been in Australia for 7 weeks and has progressed the contract negotiations over the past weeks, with major input from UCH executives. She has also been instrumental in identifying exemplar sites in the US for the team to visit to gain the most benefit.
“The signing of the contract will allow us to progress to the next level of detailed planning”, Leanne Tones General Manager of St Stephen’s Hospital stated. “The eHealth project has to progress in tandem with the construction project” she said. The next milestone for the eHealth project is to complete the detailed project planning which is scheduled to be finalized prior to Christmas.