Digital revolution improves patient care

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The digital revolution has helped Hervey Bay’s St Stephen’s Hospital improve its patient care and win a prestigious award.

The UnitingCare-run hospital is the first Australian recipient of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Davies Award of Excellence.

The award recognises the “thoughtful application of health information and technology to substantially improve clinical care delivery, patient outcomes and population health”.

St Stephen’s Hospital general manager/director clinical services, Madonna Bowers, said she was extremely pleased to accept the award and proud of the world-class improvements in patient care that have been realised.

“As the first fully integrated digital hospital in Australia, health information and technology has been a cornerstone to our success in providing high quality, safe care to our patients and the community,” she said.

“Providing high quality care to our patients is at the heart of everything we do at St Stephen’s and our technological innovations are all designed to ensure we offer compassionate and professional care to the Fraser Coast community.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank HIMSS and the past and present employees and volunteers of St Stephen’s and UnitingCare who have been on this journey with us.”

St Stephen’s Hospital became the first fully integrated digital hospital in Australia in 2014 and also the first HIMSS Analytics Stage Seven validated hospital in Australia.

Following the implementation of its Electronic Medical Record (EMR), St Stephen’s Hospital has further improved access to data and images in near real time, improved the efficiencies of image documentation for the management of pressure injuries, and enhanced the patient experience as a whole.

And it has had an immediate effect on patient care.

Thanks to biomedical device integration, nurses have been able to spend nearly 3000 more hours at the patients’ bedsides, leading to a 58 percent improvement in care efficiency.

Additionally, hospital acquired Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rates have been completely eliminated at the hospital and hospital acquired injuries have been reduced by 19 percent.

HIMSS senior director of quality and value-based care, Jonathon French, said St Stephen’s technology solutions had improved acute care access and quality in the Hervey Bay Area.

“Care standardisation is supported by the seamless exchange of clinical data and vital signs into St Stephen’s decision support, making it easier to deliver the right care at the right time,” he said.

“For this, HIMSS is proud to recognise St Stephen’s Hospital as the first Davies Award recipient in Australia.”

St Stephen’s Hospital will be recognised during the 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference and Exhibition, which takes place in March in Orlando, Florida.

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