962747-e35a382e-7ea1-11e4-aa2a-4fb2eb1be352Australia’s first fully integrated digital hospital officially opened yesterday in Queensland with expectations that it will transform healthcare across the nation.

Run by UnitingCare Health, the $96 million St Stephen’s Hospital at Hervey Bay is the first local hospital to computerise everything from diet to dialysis and integrate its operations, equipment and services. It includes more than 300km of fibre-optic cable.

Director of medical services Monica Trujillo said machines fed data into patients’ records directly when they underwent a test. Food was ordered and managed electronically, and medication dispensed in a paperless environment.

Patients were electronically logged when they changed areas. “As a doctor, I can log in from anywhere at anytime to see what that patient is doing in real time,” Dr Trujillo said. “You don’t have to chase the (patient) chart any more. That’s a huge benefit.”

Details patients gave on admission about allergies and medical conditions automatically flowed through to areas such as the pharmacy and kitchen. As a result, patients received food menus with just the items they could eat.

Dr Trujillo said the hospital had Wi-Fi throughout, with patient access and free internet. Patients could bring their own device to hospital.

Records also could flow through to their personally controlled e-health record — should they join the PCEHR system.

CEO of UnitingCare Queensland Anne Cross said St Stephen’s exemplified the not-for-profit’s strategy to improve social services by leading change.

For the full article: Australian



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