St Stephen's a trailblazer


The new $96 million St Stephen’s Hospital in Hervey Bay, Australia’s first fully integrated digital hospital, continues to operate smoothly just months after its official launch.

Executive Director of UnitingCare Health Richard Royle said the hospital, which was officially opened in December 2014, is the first in Australia to completely computerise and integrate all its operations, equipment and services to offer an exceptional level of patient care.

State-of-the-art systems include:

- Electronic Medical Records, including automatic updates to patient data directly from monitoring systems, and full electronic communication with patients’ GPs and other healthcare providers.
- Real-time alerts to doctors and nurses about patients’ allergies, medications, vital signs and results, which improves patient safety.
- Automated, secure medication delivery which reduces potential medication errors and adverse drug events.
- Remote access to patients’ charts via computers and tablets.
- Electronic meal ordering linked to patient medical and dietary information.

“The latest eHealth technologies, the best practices, and our top class team of clinicians and staff allow us to deliver outstanding care for our patients,” Mr Royle said.

“Many Australian hospitals have trialled or implemented digitisation but St Stephen's is the first hospital to completely integrate and digitise all its activities.”

The hospital also 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). This is an internationally recognised measure of the digitisation and integration of a hospital’s technologies, systems and processes.

In February, St Stephen’s Hospital hosted the first 2015 Queensland event of the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA), a not-for-profit digital health community dedicated to the advancement of e-health in this country. The hospital was selected to host the event because it is the country’s only fully integrated digital hospital.

St Stephen’s digital system includes 29 applications, 20 devices, five clinical interfaces and 13 business interfaces.

“The ‘hospital of the future’ has 96 beds and five operating theatres, with plans to eventually expand to 180 beds,” Mr Royle said.

Its location in Hervey Bay in close proximity to the Base Hospital, and to a range of medical specialists, enhances the services it can offer.

A courtesy transport service for patients and visitors operates from the Maryborough Medical Centre to the new hospital. This service helps ensure all Fraser Coast residents have reliable and convenient access to the new hospital.

St Stephen’s Hospital is part of UnitingCare Health (UCH), a not-for-profit private healthcare provider as part of UnitingCare Queensland, the health and community services organisation for the Uniting Church in Queensland. UCH is the only not-for-profit provider of private hospital services on the Fraser Coast.

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