QAO Report Says Queenslanders Health Improves Due to Digital Hospitals


While some may question whether digital hospitals can improve the well-being of those that are treated, one article shines a light on the benefits of digital hospitals.  Specifically, a report has come out stating that the health of Queenslanders was improved by using a these kinds of facilities.


Report Identifies the Benefits of a Digital Hospital

The report in question was conducted by the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) and pointed out how beneficial the digital hospital program was in Queensland, as well as making recommendations of a future roll-out of improving governance.  The article in Healthcare IT News mentions key findings from the report that, as a result of the digital hospital program, identified how Queenslanders would face improvements in patient outcomes and health service delivery. Another benefit would be a reduction of re-admission rates that were unplanned.

Another revelation was how clinical information could be accessed more quickly by medical staff while the records of patients were more legible.  Steven Miles, who is the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, said that the digital program is “one of the most significant health advances in decades.”

Miles added that, “Digital hospitals are making Queensland hospitals safer than ever before. Doctors and nurses have told me when I’ve visited hospitals that the digital system helps them do their jobs and helps patients.” 


Using Metro South Health’s digital program as an example, Miles commented on how it contributed to increased success in identifying early deteriorating patients, as well as a significant reduction in infections, and a reduction in re-admissions of emergency patients.

Princess Alexandra Hospital Becomes a Template

The healthcare provider, utilizing their move to digital, recently embarked towards enabling individuals dealing with progressive neurological conditions to utilize daily mobile digital assistants; one condition example is those living with Motor Neuron Disease (MND).  Also identified within the report was Princess Alexandra Hospital, due to the benefits it has received while becoming a template for the rest of the state in their adoption of the integrated electronic medical record (ieMR) system.

Dr. Keith McNeil, who is Queens-land Chief Clinical Information Officer, said that, “We can see digital hospitals are reducing the average length of stay and unplanned re-admissions.  Doctors are telling us the new system means they can spend more time on patient care and less time on paperwork.”

He also said that, “Nurses are saying that the system means they have a huge amount of readily available information and they are not having to waste time searching for notes. This means the system is working.”

McNeil went on about the increasing focus on continuing improvements and technological advances will keep providing new opportunities.  “Our increased focus on ieMR’s clinical capability will ensure our patients can access these opportunities, now and in the future.”

Reviewing the status of the system roll-out, Queensland Health Director-General Michael Walsh has also made numerous alterations in relation to recommendations from the report.  Walsh commented on how the system was being utilized in ten hospitals throughout the state’s Hospital and Health Services. The department said it would maintain its focus on making sure the system continues to be beneficial. Queensland Health, according to Walsh, has also found costs for this type of health care system to be comparable with other types of systems across the country. 

Walsh said that, “The people of Queensland expect and deserve the very best care when they are treated in the state’s hospitals.”  Additionally, “The report confirms the system is helping us deliver that and we accept the system-oversight recommendations the QAO has made. They are not difficult to implement because they are not major adjustments.”

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