Welcome to Queensland’s hospitals of the future

Hospital visits are always tough. The stress of being unwell, long waits to see specialists and the seemingly endless paperwork can be an anxiety-inducing experience.

We understand, so we’re reshaping our health services to deliver better healthcare. We want your Queensland hospital experience to be straightforward and focused on your recovery, which is why Queensland Health is rolling out its digital hospital program.

The program is designed to equip Queensland doctors, nurses and healthcare teams with patients’ medical information at their fingertips, making hospitals safer and more efficient. Clinicians will be able to access medical information on digital devices instead of slow-moving paper charts and files. They’ll have faster and easier access to information, at the right time and in the right place.

When you arrive at a digital hospital, your medical information will be recorded via new patient monitoring devices. The system automatically uploads vital signs and observations (such as blood pressure, temperature and heart rate) directly to a secure electronic medical record. Medical professionals will have the information they need to deliver you the best care possible.

Your extended medical care team will have your records simultaneously throughout the hospital. The team will have immediate access to comprehensive, targeted plans of care for your treatment. You won’t have to go through the tedious process of repeating your medical history with every clinician treating you.

Switching to digital means medical staff will spend more time focused on you, and less time on paper work. They’ll be able to provide you with safer and higher quality medical care. Consultant Endocrinologist and Medical Informatician at Princess Alexandra Hospital and Statewide Medical Lead for Digital Health Improvement, Dr Clair Sullivan said hospital staff had enthusiastically risen to the challenge of going digital, with the benefits already starting to show.

“The scale of this change is unprecedented in an Australian hospital and by going digital, we will be able to provide patients with the best care possible,” she said.

With hospitals digitally enabled and focused on patient care, doctors can detect and monitor possible adverse clinical events as early as possible. The system can send early warning alerts and reminders, which helps save lives. Switching to digital will reduce the environmental footprints and operating costs of Queensland’s hospitals.

Security around accessing secure medical records will be limited to authorised personnel. Patient information will remain protected by strict legislation and built-in security measures.

In November 2015, the Princess Alexandra Hospital became Australia’s first large-scale digital hospital and has achieved reductions in serious falls, medication errors and waiting times, and increased productivity within the emergency department and the hospital.

This was followed in 2016 when Cairns, Townsville and Mackay Hospitals also underwent a digital transformation. These hospitals are leading the way in the future of medical care across Queensland.

Queensland Health plans to roll out digital hospital capability to 24 hospitals by June 2020. The Digital Hospital Program will continue to grow until there is an integrated network for all Queenslanders.

Visit qld.gov.au/DIGITAL1ST to read about other Queensland Government initiatives that put people at the heart of digital services.

DIGITAL1ST is our strategy that outlines the Queensland Government’s overarching approach to delivering great digital services.