Female HSUWA Member sits at her desk at Health Support Services. She is smiling with two computer screens behind her.

Stephanie is an Applications Specialist in the Hospital Administration Systems Support Team in Health Support Services (HSS). If we consider Health Support Services the ‘nerve centre’ of our public hospital system, you could say the Application Specialists in the HASS Team build and maintain the ‘neurons’ – the software apps that support hospital operations and the workforce.

Stephanie has been a HSUWA Member for over 13 years. Her role is one of the many supporting roles needed by our public health system that are not visible to patients and the community.

WA hospitals utilise a multitude of major software applications to manage patient data and hospital records effectively. These applications support patient safety and recording information and include: 

  • diagnostic results;
  • imaging results like x-rays;
  • referrals for treatment;
  • prescription and dispensing medications;
  • patient hospital visits and outpatient appointments.

Stephanie explained, “One of the main apps I support is EDIS (Emergency Department Information System), which requires 24/7 support. Without this app, the Emergency Department would have to revert to pen, paper and whiteboard.”

After migrating to Australia from Manila in 2007, Stephanie found challenges entering her preferred profession when her Computer Studies degree was not recognised in WA. She started working her way up through jobs in hospitality, as a kitchen hand, and retail. Stephanie remembers, “I couldn’t tell my mum,” due to the perceived status of these jobs.

When Stephanie applied for clerical roles, “People kept saying, ‘You need experience’”, but how could I get experience if people wouldn’t give me an opportunity?

After over a year of hard work outside her chosen field, a clerical opportunity arose through the Department of Justice. This ‘foot in the door’ enabled Stephanie to demonstrate her skills and eventually led her to successfully apply for a role in Medical Records at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

Stephanie explained that she fostered good connections along the way, and her boss and mentor in Medical Records trained her to progress into a higher position, “She saw the potential in me and gave me a chance.”

Working in this role established familiarity with the applications used within the hospital, enabling her to apply and successfully progress to her position in HSS.

Stephanie’s team at HSS maintains software, troubleshoots issues and build solutions for clerical and professional staff across WA hospitals for better patient care. It’s an important job – just over 20 skilled employees are ensuring the management of these applications in Stephanie’s team to support WA’s population of 2.6 million people when they access public health care. 

So, if you’re using one of the apps in your role or a patient getting vital medical care in a hospital, you will now know this is because of the behind-the-scenes professionals like Stephanie!

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