eHealth: Australia’s First Digital Hospital Opens

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Canberra (DWDD) – Australia’s first hospital with fully integrated, digital eHealth capability opened on Monday in the northeastern Queensland state, the Department for Health said.

St Stephen’s Private Hospital, operated by UnitingCare Health in Hervey Bay, has been created by expanding the regional hospital with a new, three-story inpatient hospital with 96 acute care beds and three additional operating rooms.

Health Minister Peter Dutton said St Stephen’s was a world- class hospital which showcased the future of health care.

According to the minister, given the demands on Australia’s health system – from an aging population, rising levels of chronic disease and ever-rising consumer expectations – creating new efficiencies was essential.

The hospital’s digital features include patient, community and medical web portals, and information linkages with Hervey Bay Public Hospital, medical practitioners, other UnitingCare Health hospitals, universities and diagnostic providers.

The patient-centered clinical systems include automatic record feed, automated care pathways, alerts, and medication management.

Instead of paper scripts, all medication transactions will be done electronically.

The Australian government provided 25.9 million Australian dollars (21.4 million U.S. dollars) for the construction of the new hospital building and 21.2 million (17.57 million U.S. dollars) to equip the expanded hospital with state-of-the-art eHealth technology.

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