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Qld Labor govt trials digital hospitals

Patients, not paperwork, will be the focus in Queensland's hospitals after technology upgrades, the state government says.

Health Minister Cameron Dick has unveiled a plan to allow patients to be monitored electronically and have their file notes digitally stored in state hospitals.

The first hospital to go digital will be Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital in November, if it is clinically safe to do so.

Dick says Labor envisages a network of "digital hospitals", sharing information with each other, across the state.

It's all part of the government's 20-year health strategy.

"It's about delivering better patient care, but (also) more effective hospital operations for clinicians, so clinicians can focus on the patients not on the paperwork," he said.
The minister promised the government would tread carefully after previous government bungles involving technology in health sector.

He was particularly contrite about the Bligh Labor government's failed health payroll system, which was rolled out in 2011.

The debacle ultimately cost taxpayers $1.2 billion to fix and was described by Richard Chesterman QC, who headed an inquiry into it, as one of the nation's worst failures of public administration.

"The payroll system roll out in Queensland Health hit many, many people and it hit them hard," Dick said.

"They should not have been subjected to this. That is why today I apologise to them for what happened."

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