A SPECTACULAR asset to the Fraser Coast region was just one of many compliments made by more than 500 members of the community who attended the open day at the new St Stephen’s Hospital Hervey Bay on Saturday 27 September.
Local residents queued to be among the first to view the $96 million facility, which will be Australia’s first fully integrated digital hospital in a regional area.
First through the door were Hervey Bay couple Ineke and Keith Janes who were blown away by the new hospital.
“We’ve been watching the construction of the hospital for ages and couldn’t wait to get inside to have a look,” Mr Janes said.
“When you walk through the front doors it is a spectacular entrance, and I certainly didn’t expect it to be so impressive.
“It’s much bigger than I thought it would be, and the architecture is incredible – not what you expect from a hospital.”
Mrs Janes was equally impressed.
“This is a real asset to our community and something that we can be really proud of,” she said.
“I love the little touches that demonstrate that this belongs to the local community and show local people’s involvement, such as the artwork.
“You also have the advantage of having all the latest of technologies, the newest equipment and the best processes to ensure patients get the best care.
“From the tour it looks like there is no room for error – nurses scan the patient’s wristband which is barcoded to get their details, they scan their own names with barcodes, and they scan the medication to ensure the patient gets the correct medication and quantity goes to the correct patient. I think that is very impressive.
“Perhaps most importantly though we don’t have to now travel to Brisbane, Sunshine Coast or Bundaberg for the more complicated surgeries or treatments, such as oncology, and it’s wonderful that we can get this all here.”
Staff and volunteers also took the opportunity to attend the open day with family and friends, including theatre ward clerk Darleen Bick.
“It’s really big, but also very beautiful and will be a great place to work and more importantly a nice environment for our patients.”
Deb Boyd, General Manager for St Stephen’s, thanked the community for their interest and support for the new hospital.
“I was thrilled that so many members of our community came to have a look at their new hospital,” she said.
“It was clear the people who attended on Saturday were very impressed with what they saw and that they share my excitement and enthusiasm for this new facility and what it means for healthcare in the Fraser Coast region.”
As part of UnitingCare Health, St Stephen’s Hospital is a not-for-profit private healthcare provider owned by the Uniting Church and is the only not-for-profit provider of private hospital services on the Fraser Coast.
St Stephen’s Hospital Hervey Bay will be Australia’s first fully-integrated digital hospital in a regional area. The state-of-the-art ‘hospital of the future’ has been supported by the Federal Government’s Health and Hospitals Fund, which is providing $47 million towards the estimated $96 million construction and eHealth costs.
Stage one of St Stephen’s Hospital in Hervey Bay includes 96 inpatient beds. This will be expanded to 180 beds at a later stage.