31 March 2017

Princess Alexandra Hospital at the forefront of innovation

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The Princess Alexandra Hospital is at the forefront of healthcare innovation and better quality of care for patients, having become Australia’s first large-scale digital hospital in November 2015.

But the hospital is also at the forefront of their budget.

Extra functionality including clinical device integration, the delivery of digital records and wireless upgrades were some of the reasons why Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) and Cairns Hospital ran over budget, Queensland Health says.

A report by Queensland's Auditor-General released last week into the financial performance of Queensland's 16 Hospital and Health Services (HHS) found that most were performing well, but that the budget for PAH's digital hospital roll-out had overrun by $12m and Cairns by $15m. (Hyperlink: https://www.pulseitmagazine.com.au/australian-ehealth/3574-extra-functionality-caused-extra-cost-for-digital-hospitals-queensland-health)

The 2000 paper records that circulated in the hospital at any given time have been replaced by real-time patient information sent to a secure EMR.

Rollout of the project required training nearly 6000 staff and integrating more than 1600 new digital devices across the hospital, with extensive third-party support throughout implementation.

Despite the initial financial outlay, the benefits of a digital hospital are many. They offer:
    A work environment attractive to clinicians
    Reduction in transcription, legibility and omission errors
    Enhanced care coordination because of simultaneous access to the electronic record
    Reduced time locating/collecting patient information
    Decreased number of avoidable clinical incidents
    Reduction in the number of unnecessary administrative tasks, meaning more time to communicate with patients about their care and needs

Princess Alexandra Hospital Chief Executive Officer Dr Stephen Ayre will deliver the keynote at Akolade’s upcoming Australian Digital Hospitals Summit:

Delivering Australia’s first large scale digital hospital
    Implementing a realistic plan towards a fully operational digital hospital
    Setting the standards for digital healthcare to align innovation initiatives
    Initial steps towards digitisation and encouraging clinician-led innovation

Digital integration requires strategic planning, resource management and stakeholder engagement. What does your digital strategy look like?

Written by: Claire Dowler

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.


A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

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