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From the Chief Digital Health Officer

Friday 26 March 2021

From the Chief Digital Health Officer

Whilst navigating my first months as Mater’s Chief Digital Health Officer, it has been exciting to learn of all the areas with potential for us to create a more digitally-enabled healthcare model.

There are many digitally-enabled innovations already underway across our hospitals in Queensland to support you and your practice. I thought I would share with you some of the most recent projects in this space and provide an update on what is to come.

Digital response to support COVID -19 quarantine care

As you may be aware, Mater has been involved in Queensland’s COVID-19 hotel quarantine program. Mater’s Digital Technology team rapidly developed a new application to enable our clinical teams to monitor and track hotel guests’ physical, emotional and mental health, assess needs and connect guests with appropriate support via Telehealth. This has been a fantastic demonstration of Mater’s ability to remain agile and adaptive.

Digital workplace project

Mater’s digital workplace project is well underway with the replacement of computers organisation-wide. The most recent updates have been for those who work in Ambulatory and Outpatient Services in SEQ who now have faster devices which address the long-standing issue of running Intelleviewer smoothly. SEQ Clinicians also have access to the new ‘e-Progress Note’ system, which allows doctors, nurses and midwives to document an outpatient progress note electronically. It has been pleasing to see more than 5 000 notes being created by the end of week two! Whilst the system is basic, more functionalities will be available shortly.

App to mitigate risks associated with patient identification

Our Digital Technology and Information team has recently developed a smartphone app to mitigate risks associated with patient identification. The first use-case is currently being trialled in some of our busiest nurseries in Queensland. The app features a simple barcode scanner to confirm expressed breast milk ID and baby ID match and ensure the right milk is available for the right baby. Although a rather basic process to improve, this digital enablement has applicability in other clinical scenarios where patient identification is a risk.

Telehealth bridging the distance between hospitals

Soon, we will be rolling out nursery cameras and push-button support for Mater’s maternity services in Mackay and Rockhampton to enable staff real-time video-access to neonatal specialists in Brisbane, in the event of complex baby resuscitations. Another example of how technology can support access to care across our hospitals.

It’s been a long one from me this edition—which goes to show how much is happening in this space since we began implementing Mater’s digital transformation strategy.

Mike Beckmann
Chief Digital Health Officer
Medical Director Mothers Babies Women’s Health


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