Technology Fund supports innovation in Victorian public hospitals

Technology Portfolio
Technology Fund supports innovation in Victorian public hospitals
Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips has announced a $230,000 grant from the Victorian Government Technology Innovation Fund for a collaboration between Austin Health, the CSIRO and HealthIQ.

Minister Rich-Phillips said the grant had been awarded from the $12 million Victorian Government Technology Innovation Fund, launched in December last year to supports ICT-enabled pilot projects that can deliver government services more efficiently and boost public sector productivity.

“More effective use of ICT is essential in delivering better public services for all Victorians. This is the first of a number of projects that the Victorian Government will be supporting under our Technology Innovation Fund, with a particular focus in the key areas of health, education, emergency services and transport,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

The Demand Prediction Analysis project will enable Austin Health to better predict bed demand, improve service delivery and maximise efficiencies at its hospitals. The project will apply algorithms to historic data from three Austin Health sites and test them in a range of hospital settings, with the trial to be completed by mid-2015.

“The project will provide the ability to anticipate patient volumes through emergency departments and inpatient beds. This will be an important tool in meeting the daily challenges of bed management, the scheduling of elective surgery, urgent cancer care and staffing resources and providing data for long-term planning,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“A better understanding of predicted demand will enable Victorian hospitals to provide more effective health services and maximise budget efficiencies.”

Health Minister David Davis welcomed the announcement and urged public hospitals to embrace the new technology.

“The potential savings to the Victorian public hospital sector of around $9 million per annum could be achieved if Victoria’s public hospitals were to adopt the technology following its successful trial,” Mr Davis said.

Liberal Candidate for Ivanhoe Carl Ziebell joined Minister Rich-Phillips at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre at the Austin Hospital and praised the initiative.

“The Austin has one of Melbourne’s busiest emergency departments and predicting patient volumes, as well as improved bed management, is an important aid to the daily challenges that the Austin faces,” Mr Ziebell said.

The Victorian Government Technology Innovation Fund is supporting collaborative projects that use new technologies, and take a staged approach to development and implementation and harness industry capabilities.

The fund delivers on the key initiatives and actions in Victoria’s Technology Plan for the Future – ICT and the Victorian Government’s ICT Strategy, enabling improved ICT decision-making and capability building to transform government services.

Media contact: Andrew Drever  0409 580 996
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