St. Stephen's Hospital Hervey Bay extensions - (L) Richard Royle (Exec. Dir. UnitingCare Health), Anne Cross (CEO UnitingCare Qld) and Leanne Tomes (G/M St. Stephens Hospitals Maryborough and Hervey Bay) looking at an artists impression of the new hospital. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
St. Stephen's Hospital Hervey Bay extensions - (L) Richard Royle (Exec. Dir. UnitingCare Health), Anne Cross (CEO UnitingCare Qld) and Leanne Tomes (G/M St. Stephens Hospitals Maryborough and Hervey Bay) looking at an artists impression of the new hospital. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle Alistair Brightman

Contract for e-health services for new hospital signed

A MULTIMILLION-dollar agreement has brought Australia's first 'digital hospital' one step closer to completion in Hervey Bay.

UnitingCare Health and Cerner Australia signed a contract to provide e-health services for the new St Stephen's Hospital this week, and staff have already been recruited from the United States to lead the initiative.

"This is an important milestone for the project," UnitingCare Health executive director Richard Royle said.

"The e-health initiative is extremely complex and will present many challenges as we will be breaking new ground in Australia."

The innovative system will allow all medical records and results to be accessed electronically by staff from devices anywhere in the hospital, and will also integrate the nurse call system, phone systems and medical devices such as blood pressure machines and infusion pumps.

A team from UnitingCare Health will visit the United States this week to attend the Global Cerner conference and visit hospitals that use the e-health solutions, so they can see first-hand how the system will be implemented in Hervey Bay.

"The signing of the contract will allow us to progress to the next level of detailed planning," St Stephen's Hospital general manager Leanne Tones said.

"The e-health project has to progress in tandem with the construction project," she said.

The e-health component of the 96-bed hospital is worth $36.5 million.

The hospital, under construction at Hervey Bay, is worth $87.5 million, and the first sod is expected to be turned in January ahead of a 2014 completion date.



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