Macquarie University Hospital is rolling out a new cashless payment system to its patients as part of its continuing efforts to eliminate paper.
Speaking with ZDNet Australia at CeBIT 2011's e-Health conference today, chief operating officer Evan Rawstron said that the hospital, which opened its doors to patients almost a year ago, has worked with several technology partners to roll out the cashless system.
Patients will put a pre-pay balance on their card and use it around the hospital to pay for services like food and phone calls, Rawstron said. The pre-paid proximity cards also integrate into the hospital's bedside "cockpit" terminals that serve to track patient care for doctors and nurses.
The cashless payment roll-out is just one of 45 ongoing technology projects going on within Macquarie University Hospital, according to Rawstron. Other technology projects include implementing Citrix access gateways and remote clinical record access, he said.
Macquarie University Hospital opened its doors last June as a paperless e-hospital. Paper records are be migrated into a digital format for use on workstations. The paperless system sees patient records, tests, dietary requirements and other relevant information entered into the hospital's system and added to the patient's digital record. Doctors and nurses are given proximity swipe cards for secure access to a patient's information.
Despite the high-tech projects going on within the hospital, Rawstron joked that the facility still uses low-tech methods, with its 9-tonne, state-of-the-art MRI machine being installed by having "15 guys using 3 ropes" drag it across the floor.