St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney has been second to none in hospital care for much of its 100-year history in the region.
As one of the leading not-for-profit hospitals in the country, St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney has been setting the standard of healthcare in the region for over 100 years. The 270-bed hospital is a part of St Vincent’s Health Australia, within the New South Wales Private division of St Vincent’s Health Australia.
The hospital provides services in all fields of medicine and surgery, with the exception of obstetrics and paediatrics, and is a leader in several areas including cardiac care, cancer, neurosurgery, orthopaedics, urology, head, neck, and reconstructive surgery, laser, and laparoscopic surgery.
The founders of the hospital—the Sisters of Charity—have imparted and influenced the values, mission, and traditions of St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney since its inception. Adjunct Professor Jose Aguilera OAM, the Director of Nursing and Clinical Services, is particularly proud of the exceptional care provided to the local, interstate, and international community the hospital serves.
“We have a hard-earned reputation that is second to none, as we take great care of our patients here, and people recognise that,” he said.
We had the opportunity to speak with Aguilera, a 40-year veteran of the healthcare industry in pursuit of his doctorate in health, on this and the hospital’s upcoming services and improvements.
St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney’s standards of excellence are recognised by several institutions, including the Australian Council for Healthcare Standards (ACHS) and the American Nurses Credentialing Centre (ANCC).
The hospital’s relationship with ACHS goes back 34 years. The association ensures hospitals have systems in place to maintain quality and safety in healthcare, and accreditation is necessary for hospitals to receive adequate compensation from private health insurance companies. The four-year cycle for accreditation, which includes self-assessments and organisational reviews, carries with it 15 standards that all must be met for accreditation.
“The process is complex, and for good reason. Hospitals have to demonstrate—and prove empirically—that throughout the four-year accreditation period the hospital is continually improving in these standards,” Aguilera shared.
The hospital is also currently in pursuit of Magnet re-designation status from ANCC. This international gold standard of hospital excellence is not easy to achieve—only 6 per cent of hospitals in the U.S. are Magnet recognised.
“It’s a very rigorous process, but it’s worth it,” Aguilera said. “As a Magnet-recognised hospital we retain and attract quality staff. SVPHS is the only private Hospital in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere that is Magnet designated.”
The leaders at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney recently completed the campus clinical planning process, which outlines ways the hospital can meet the projected demand for healthcare needs in the region.
To meet these needs of the growing and aging population in New South Wales, St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney is looking to expand its current capacity, as well as renovate the existing building, some of which is 40 years old. Aguilera shared that construction is scheduled to begin this October and will be completed by the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018.
The biggest part of this plan is a focus on extending the hospital services, with additional bed capacity and three new operating theaters. The hospital also aims to provide ambulatory services.
“We need to be providing care beyond these hospital walls,” Aguilera said. “St Vincent’s Private is dedicated to the promotion of wellness, which will be furthered by ambulatory services.”
Robotic technologies, advances in minimally-invasive surgeries, individualised care, telemedicine, and e-health records are all on the table for potential future implementation as well. These strategic moves will help St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney remain on the cutting edge of healthcare technology and service.
Young Adult Mental Health Service
In its revolutionary tradition, St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney was the first not-for-profit to offer a young adult mental health service in Australia. The mission-driven organisation established a service for 16 to 30 year olds who wanted and needed to be treated for mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis.
The Unit known as Uspace was established three years ago and offers a three-week program, as well as day programs.
“This was an area of need in our community,” Aguilera said. “We receive requests from all over the country. And just like our other services in the hospital, we’re committed to researching and applying new models of care for this particular community.”
For the mental health service, St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney works with affiliates like Head Space, the Brain and Mind Research Institute to undertake research into the latest trends and research in mental health. SVPHS is a teaching hospital, and Aguilera is looking forward to translating more of the research outcomes into practice for the benefit of our patients.