Thermal imaging to screen visitors’ body temperature has been described as “the way of the future for hospitals across Australia”.
The UnitingCare Health group has installed the technology at its main facilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buderim Private Hospital was the first to use it as part of a comprehensive screening process to ensure the continued safety of its patients, staff and doctors.
People visiting the Sunshine Coast hospital have their temperature quickly and accurately assessed before entering.
They stand in a designated area in front of the high-tech scanning equipment, and an alarm sounds if their temperature is above 37.4 degrees – one of the symptoms of the coronavirus is a high temperature.
Hospital staff monitor the readings, ask screening questions and ensure visitor restrictions are observed.
Buderim Private Hospital’s general manager Karen Clark said the technology had replaced the manual temperature-checking process formerly used.
“It takes only seconds, is accurate to within +/- 0.3 degrees and also conserves valuable medical consumables, so I believe it is definitely the way of the future for hospitals in Queensland and across Australia,” she said.
Thermal imaging has also been introduced at The Wesley Hospital and St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital in Brisbane, and St Stephen’s Hospital on the Fraser Coast.
“Our investment in this innovative technology forms part of our commitment to place our patients at the centre of everything we do, and their feedback to date is very positive as they feel an enhanced sense of safety, comfort and reassurance,” Mrs Clark said.