Ipswich Hospital and many of its community clinics have transitioned to digital patient records.

The new technology involved kilometres of new electric and data cabling and hardware being installed.

This will power a network that provides for easier, interconnected care across all emergency, medical, surgical and outpatient areas.

West Moreton Health Chief Executive Dr Kerrie Freeman said the hospital, which last financial year saw more than 84,000 Emergency Department presentations, 72,600 patient admissions and almost 322,800 outpatient appointments, now had a world-class integrated electronic medical record system to provide the community with seamless healthcare.

“This change has been a monumental leap for our hospital,” Dr Freeman said. “We’ve moved from largely paper-based records that have served us well for over 100 years, to a fully electronic system.

“However, the point of going digital is nothing to do with the technology, it’s everything to do with how it enables our clinical staff to collaborate around a person’s care.

“It allows all of our clinical staff to have a view of an individual and bring to bear the collective expertise and knowledge in one place for one person.”

Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department Director and Digital Health Clinical Director Dr Cade Grima said the process to convert Ipswich Hospital and many of West Moreton Health’s Community Clinics took several months.

“We kept the care of our patients front of mind the whole time we were working on implementing the digital system,” Dr Grima said.

“At times we moved entire wards to ensure the safety and comfort of patients to fit out Ipswich Hospital with a digital backbone to support the new integrated electronic medical records.”

With West Moreton’s population predicted to double in the next 15 years, Ipswich Hospital and community clinics are now better placed to meet the needs of the growing community.

“Ipswich hospital is now fully digital but this is only the beginning,” Dr Freeman said.

“This new technology will allow us to deliver higher level services both within Ipswich Hospital and also care closer to people’s homes.  

“The care that is delivered to our community will still be compassionate, it will still be delivered at the bedside, the only difference is our clinical staff now have access to state-of the art digital technology to support that care.”     

Moving with the times