Oncology Unit expands with technology investment

Oncology centre team with patient: (From left to right) Shannon O’Keeffe;
Casey Medlyn; Kenneth Flintoft (local patient); Beth King and Darielle Gilbert

Grampians Health Stawell has reopened its Day Oncology program with improved system technology for prescribing and monitoring treatment for those attending.

Following significant effort by local teams in Horsham and Stawell, and strong support by Grampians Health’s Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre (BRICC) the unit reopened earlier this month, with Grampians Health committed to ensuring local patients have access to oncology services, and the four health services (which amalgamated on 1 November 2021) investing significantly in state-of-the-art oncology treatment technology, ARIA.

Newly appointed Manager, Carmel O’Kane, explained that Stawell, Horsham and Ballarat collaborated on the project.

“It involved bringing a new computer system, called ARIA, to Stawell and Horsham.

“ARIA has already been used successfully in Ballarat for a while and is designed to streamline cancer treatment and to improve patient safety and care,” Ms O’Kane said.

“We are very keen to be using this technology in Stawell as it brings safer, streamlined, and equitable care to all our patients in the Grampians region who are receiving cancer treatments.

“It will give them peace of mind that they receive the best available care locally, equal to other cancer centres in the region.”

The ARIA program creates a streamlined process for oncologists, pharmacists, nurses and administration teams to work together and provide more efficient care to each individual patient.

“We will be using technology to document a patient’s care, rather than using the paper-based forms which many cancer patients and hospital staff might have been accustomed to using” Ms O’Kane said.

“The benefit for our local patients -who often have to travel for care between Stawell and other service providers-will be in the safe and instantaneous transfer of their unique information and health data,” Ms O’Kane explained.

The Grampians Health oncology e-prescribe project is a collaboration between Grampians Health’s Ballarat, Horsham and Stawell campuses. It is aimed at improving the behind-the-scenes systems required to administer oncology treatments in the Grampians region.