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Pioneering digital disruption: Australia’s first integrated digital tertiary hospital

Digital transformation has started in Australian hospitals

Digital technology now underpins most industries; however, the health care sector (particularly in hospitals) has been slow to transform from traditional paper-based systems of care. In the United States, for example, federal legislation and financial incentives have facilitated the implementation of electronic medical records (EMRs);1 but there are only a handful of advanced EMRs in hospitals outside the US.2 The roll-out of a digital hospital includes an EMR system and other technical components, such as integrated digital vital sign monitoring and digital electrocardiogram (ECG) records. This transformation prompts revolutionary change in the way health care is delivered and monitored.

The enthusiasm for digital transformation in health has been tempered by previous failures, such as some of the unsuccessful EMR installations in the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.3 Digital health care in Australia is well established in primary care and private specialist settings, but so far it has been chequered and controversial in hospital settings, with several independent reviews previously commissioned by government and other bodies.4

There are known adverse consequences and costs accompanying digital transformation…