The tech-savvy and environmentally sustainable design of Hervey Bay’s St Stephen’s Hospital has been recognised at the recent Masters Builders Burnett and Wide Bay Housing and Construction Awards.
Cockram Construction Limited received the project of the year award for its design of the hospital at last month’s event.
The company also won the ‘best health service building over $5 million’ category. St Stephen’s cost around $96 million to build.
UnitingCare project coordinator Christine Riley said Cockram Construction worked well to ensure the unique requirements for environmental sustainability with fully integrated digital healthcare were met.
“The hospital building and integrated technology is a showpiece for Australian healthcare, so much so that our executive director, Richard Royle, has been inundated with requests from the national and international health community to visit and view the hospital,” she said.
St Stephen’s opened in October last year as regional Australia’s first fully integrated digital hospital.
At the time, UnitingCare executive director Richard Royle promised it would be “one of the country’s most advanced healthcare facilities”. It seems Mr Royle has delivered on that promise.
Master Builders praised Cockram Construction in a statement on its website.
“The planning and technical requirements to create a state-of-the-art digital hospital are immense,” the statement read.
“It takes dedication and experience to work with medical staff to finalise the details while on site, and to complete the task on time and on budget.
"These challenges were met while also expanding all four sides of this existing hospital without disrupting its day-to-day function.”
St Stephen’s general manager and director of nursing Amanda Cruwys said the biggest winners of the hospital’s move into the digital age are its patients.
"Healthcare design and technology has progressed a long way and this attractive facility has been designed to improve workflow as well as provide open spaces to promote patient wellbeing," she said.
"The hospital has been designed to meet the needs of the Wide Bay community by providing a very modern healthcare facility which offers the benefits of the latest technology in the hands of the best medical specialists.
"The technology, which replaces handwritten medical charts with electronic medical records, increases patient safety by reducing transcription errors and also increases clinicians' time at patients' bedsides by reducing administrative tasks."
St Stephen’s is a not-for-profit facility owned and operated by UnitingCare Health.