In essence, the roll out of NBN in Greater Bendigo will provide improved bandwidth to St John of God Bendigo Hospital at what we expect will be more competitive pricing.
This improved bandwidth will enable to the hospital to provide better access to clinical systems much needed by our nurses and medical workforce in order to deliver improved care to patients at the bed side.
The NBN will also help open the door to new innovative portable technology that can facilitate information capture, processing and retrieval, eliminating the need (where practical) for paper forms of communications.
This new electronic environment which is colloquially called e-health forms the next frontier in the delivery of patient-centred health care and is an area that this hospital has its sights set on achieving.
Bendigo Health chief information officer Bruce Winzar
High capacity broadband will change the way we live and work, in particular how health will be delivered. Integrated care delivery through varying telehealth applications will revolutionise operational and clinical performance.
Initiatives such as Hospital in the Home, Remote Patient Monitoring and the introduction of new telehealth delivery platforms will allow Bendigo Health to offer new models of care, very different from the traditional models now entrenched in day-to-day clinical processes.
For example, virtual care of patients will be commonplace, where specialists will provide advice and assistance to the local treating clinician in remote locations.
This is already happening within certain areas of Bendigo Health and elsewhere in the region – working with major specialist centres, such as the Alfred, St Vincent’s and the Royal Children’s hospitals.
High capacity broadband will deliver high definition video and audio to the bedside, allowing patients to be treated in their local hospital because specialists will be able to monitor remote patients, examine patient vital signs and check x-ray images in real time.
Patients may no longer need to travel long distances to receive certain types of medical attention – depending on individual cases – as capabilities will now allow this to be done remotely.
Bendigo Health is currently piloting new technology and models of care for telestroke, where a patient can gain access to on-call neurologists, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The introduction of electronic medical records (EMR) will improve efficiencies, safety and overall quality and it is an exciting time for technological advancements that enhance health care delivery.
High-capacity broadband will enable all the above and most importantly, save lives.