Patient Wi-Fi steals the show

Screen shot of Ahmed and Miniter Skinner
8 September 2016

Our seventh Expo was the biggest so far, and one of its highlights was an address by NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner in which she shone a spotlight on the cutting-edge clinical and infrastructure programs eHealth NSW is rolling out across the state.

“I've been watching with great interest the success you are having in introducing all manner of innovative new technologies and systems to public health,” Mrs Skinner said in her Ministerial address to Expo, which attracted a record 1,647 delegates on 5 August at Rosehill Gardens.

“Enabled by technology, you are shaking it up, thinking outside the box, and approaching challenges in creative and efficient ways.”

Mrs Skinner cited as an example the Patient Wi-Fi service eHealth NSW is rolling out at hospitals such as The Children's Hospitals at Westmead and Randwick as well as Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

She conducted a Skype for Business call to Ahmed El-Hababi, a 15-year-old patient, his nurse Nadine Shaw and Sydney Children’s Hospital Network Director of Clinical Integration, Cheryl McCullagh, asking them about their experiences with eHealth-enabled tools and services.

All three told the Minister how having hospital access to the internet had hugely enhanced the overall patient experience, citing international studies showing how social connectivity can help to shorten recovery times from illness or surgery.

Mrs Skinner wrapped up her address by thanking the staff of eHealth NSW for their dedication and expertise.

“All of this is possible because of the work you have done to build a secure, high-speed broadband network which connects 150 hospitals and health centres across NSW, including those in rural and remote locations – this is the critical infrastructure that makes Patient Wi-Fi possible,” she said.

“Clinicians are telling me over and over again that this means a great deal more than convenience to many of our kids and families – for many, it means whole new possibilities for staying connected with home, school and their friends.”

“Your innovations are truly making a difference and, speaking on behalf of the patients of NSW, we are all grateful for your hard work and dedication.”

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