The new Bendigo Hospital is the largest regional hospital development in Victoria. The architecture award-winning building is home to 372 inpatient beds; 72 same-day beds; 11 new operating theatres; an integrated cancer centre and an 80-bed psychiatryservices facility including a parent-infant unit.\nAs the physical build was taking place, the hospital\u2019s technology leaders were constructing a new vision for healthcare. The result makes Bendigo one of only a handful of \u2018digital hospitals\u2019 in regional Australia, where technology is bringing huge benefits to patients, their families, and medical staff.\n\u201cThe vision was to build a digital hospital, paper light, based on four key technology enablers \u2013 an electronic medical record, mobility, unified communications underpinned by a medical grade network \u2013 resilient, reliable, secure,\u201d explains Bendigo Health\u2019s chief information officer and executive director innovation and digital services Bruce Winzar.\nTo that end, the hospital has implemented a \u201cpaper light\u201d operation, with new systems integrated with legacy applications, to \u201cprovide a single data view of the patient record across the organisation\u201d.\n \n\u201cThe hospital has focused on leveraging all the new technologies \u2013 over 40 new technology systems, 90 different transactional interfaces, all integrated including medical devices, legacy and new clinical systems, as well as third party systems across a single infrastructure platform,\u201d Winzar adds.\n \nThe technology implementation was followed by a review by technical and clinical staff of 22 models of care.\n \n\u201cNew work practices leveraged the new infrastructure and mobile environment, nurses carry a single mobile device to send and receive all patient notifications, clinicians use video conferencing to manage patients from regional hospitals, patients order food from real-time menus and watch the latest videos on demand through smart interactive entertainment systems, and patient data is accessed electronically including integrated messages from pathology and radiology providers,\u201d Winzar explains.\n \n\u201cPatient digital medical record is stored in the cloud and clinicians can view the patient record externally through secure access to the cloud,\u201d he adds.\n \nQuantum shift\n \nThe journey towards becoming a truly digital hospital has been a \u201cquantum shift\u201d for clinicians, and has come with big changes to work roles, place and processes.\n \n\u201cThe digital hospital project was not about the technology rather the change in the way clinicians behave and patients experience healthcare, therefore change management was the single most difficult aspect of the project, followed by clinical engagement,\u201d says Winzar.\n \nTo achieve the changes, the project was set up as a clinical one, not an ICT one, Winzar says.\n \nAs well as extensive change communications from Winzar and his team \u2013 including on Twitter, Facebook, internal intranet, blogs and regular ICT events and meetings \u2013 new dedicated roles such as CMIO, CNMIO, CAHIO were created to support the change and engagement process along with a new governance body called Clinical Informatics Governance Group to oversee and direct all clinical changes.\n \n\u201cThis new structure has been very successful and all doctors, clinicians and staff are onboard and ready for the journey to a fully digital hospital,\u201d Winzar adds.\n \nStaff across the business have been put on health informatics courses \u2013 40 are now certified health informaticians \u2013 to help them understand the principles and importance of data, standards, security, integrity and why quality data underpins information, business intelligence and future initiatives like AI.\n \n\u201cThis is a first and Bendigo Health now has the most qualified informatics personnel of any hospital in Australia,\u201d Winzar says.\n \nBe yourself\nCommunication is key to being a successful CIO, Winzar says, that and being yourself.\n\u201cBe technical when you have to be, be open and transparent with colleagues and staff \u2013 it builds trust \u2013 and use simple language to communicate key messages. Be business savvy and use business terms when communicating to senior management and be well prepared and only use facts,\u201d he says.\nWinzar recalls once presenting to management for an internet upgrade.\nAlthough everyone in the room \u201cacknowledged that internet speed was slow\u201d and \u201ceveryone was onboard\u201d funding for the upgrade was ultimately denied.\nThe reason? \u201cI failed to identify the business benefit,\u201d Winzar explains.\n\u201cBusiness is not concerned with a technical internet bandwidth upgrade, but they are concerned with better customer service and experience, improved sales, improved workplace efficiencies and productivity,\u201d he says.\n\u201cCIO\u2019s are business leaders, change and transformational agents, innovators, strategists, visionaries, talent scouts and most of all must be effective communicators,\u201d Winzar adds.