In collaboration with the 16 Hospital and Health Services, the Department of Health has been delivering eHealth solutions for the Queensland public health system since 2007.
The move towards electronic healthcare management for Queenslanders is a long term journey, being undertaken in a considered, staged way to ensure a successful transition for healthcare providers and patients.
The Digital Health Strategic Vision for Queensland 2026 and the eHealth Investment Strategy outline the vision and plan for investing in the digital future of Queensland Health.
Queensland Health's electronic health solutions
Queensland Health's eHealth journey is being undertaken in stages with a number of specialty clinical solutions already in use across the state.
To date, the following electronic health solutions have been delivered:
- anaesthetic record keeping solution to 43 healthcare facilities
- cardiac information solution to 7 healthcare facilities
- digital diagnostic imaging to 130 healthcare facilities
- discharge summaries from 114 hospitals being sent to the national My Health Record system (previously the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record)
- electronic discharge summaries at 110 healthcare facilities
- electronic radiology reports available at 130 healthcare facilities
- endoscopy reports available electronically at 31 healthcare facilities
- electronic infection surveillance available at 22 healthcare facilities
- intensive care clinical information system available in nine healthcare facilities
- patient referrals being sent electronically from general practitioners to 10 healthcare facilities
- statewide access for authorised clinicians to a patient's My Health Record through The Viewer, where available
- statewide oral health information solution (including schools)
- statewide digital breast screening solution
- statewide access for authorised clinicians to critical patient information through The Viewer
- statewide electronic availability of mental health records
- statewide public health licensing and compliance.
These specialty solutions have laid the foundation for the next stage of the eHealth journey which is focussed on the transition of paper medical records into an electronic format through the delivery of an integrated electronic Medical Record (ieMR).
Integrated electronic Medical Record (ieMR)
Historically, patient medical records were paper based and could be duplicated, damaged, lost or destroyed. Medical charts can often grow to a number of volumes, limiting access to correct information due to misfiling and an inability to quickly locate important information.
Paper based records are limited to a single health care facility with little or no integration or knowledge of previous history of care provided within alternative Queensland Health facilities.
Through the integrated electronic Medical Record (ieMR), clinicians and supporting staff will be able to securely access a single view of a patient's medical record, making it easy to share information about the patient's history. The system will increase the quality of care and safety for patients and will provide a sustainable health system.
Patients visiting ieMR sites will have their information entered in the system, making it available to any clinician across any of these sites.
To date, the ieMR solution has been rolled out in:
- Cairns Hospital
- Mackay Base Hospital
- Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
- Lady Cilento Children's Hospital
- Princess Alexandra Hospital
- The Townsville Hospital.
In November 2015, the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) became Australia’s first large-scale digital hospital.
In a digital hospital doctors, nurses and healthcare teams can document and access a patient's medical information on computers instead of using paper files.
New digital bedside patient monitoring devices automatically upload vital signs and observations, such as blood pressure, temperature and heart rate, directly to a secure electronic medical record.
Digital hospitals deliver a wide range of benefits including:
- increased patient safety
- healthcare quality
- early detection and monitoring of possible adverse clinical events
- reductions in admissions
- improved patient flow.
In 2016, Cairns Hospital, Townsville Hospital and Mackay Hospital will also become digital hospitals.
Queensland Health's eHealth initiatives:
PO Box 117
Fortitude Valley Qld 4006