Australia’s First Digital Hospital

Australia’s first hospital with fully integrated, digital eHealth capability has been officially opened.

Page last updated: 08 December 2014

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Joint Media Release

The Hon Peter Dutton MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Sport

Keith Pitt MP
Federal Member for Hinkler

8 December 2014

Australia’s first hospital with fully integrated, digital eHealth capability was officially opened today.

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

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

“St Stephen’s has raised the bar for all healthcare providers by embracing the technology literally before the foundations were laid,” Mr Dutton said.

“It will be a showcase for the improvements that eHealth information technology can make for health care and patient outcomes.

“Digital technology can make health care far more efficient and more effective for patients and providers.

“Given the demands on our health system - from an ageing population, rising levels of chronic disease and ever-rising consumer expectations - creating new efficiencies is essential.”

The Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said having the first fully digital hospital in Hervey Bay was a huge benefit to the people in the Hinkler electorate.

“State-of-the-art facilities such as these enable regional people to stay close to home when ill or injured.

“This facility will create new jobs and attract medical specialists to our community,” Mr Pitt said.

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

The Government has provided special authorisation under Section 100 of the National Health Act 1953, to enable St Stephen’s to undertake a “Paperless Prescribing, Dispensing and Claiming Trial”.

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

The Australian Government provided $25.9 million for the construction of the new hospital building and $21.2 million to equip the expanded hospital with state of the art eHealth technology.

“My department will continue to work with St Stephen’s to monitor the effectiveness of the electronic system, and pick up on the benefits to inform future changes,” Mr Dutton said.

“We will use the lessons learned from St Stephen’s paperless prescribing, dispensing and claiming trial to refine the hospital electronic medication chart, which will soon be in widespread use in Australian hospitals.”

Electronic medication charts will start to be introduced in private and public hospitals this financial year (2014-15).

“This is a great example of the major contribution that private providers, including not-for-profit operators, make to our health care system,” Mr Dutton said.

For more information –

Peter Dutton’s Office on - 02 6277 7220
Keith Pitt’s Office on – 074152 0744

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