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Behind the build with Kristin Jarrett


Building new hospitals on the Gold Coast is no small feat, but what's equally challenging is setting up the essential digital infrastructure for these health systems from scratch. It's a unique challenge driven by innovation and complexity, requiring some savvy individuals to think outside the box to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Senior Project Manager Kristin Jarrett is responsible for keeping the wires connected across multiple capital works projects for Gold Coast Health.

To kick things off, tell us about your career journey…

My career has been deeply rooted in the health digital space for the past 15 years. It all began at an Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) in Darwin in 2009, where I served as the ICT Manager for the city's largest AMS, driving digital initiatives for seven years. I relocated to the Gold Coast eight years ago, continuing my journey in this dynamic field.

I find immense satisfaction working within the project space. Each project brings its own set of unique challenges and complexities, which keeps things interesting. It's rewarding to contribute to the creation of facilities that play a vital role in enabling health care throughout South East Queensland (SEQ).

What does your role entail?

I oversee the planning and implementation of all the digital aspects within our capital works projects. This involves collaborating with design teams to establish the digital infrastructure backbone, room design creation and specifying the devices and applications necessary for workstations.

Additionally, I support clinicians by integrating digital solutions to enhance clinical care delivery. From concept to execution, I ensure that our builds are equipped with the appropriate digital technology to facilitate optimal health care services.

How do you manage your time and energy across all capital works projects?

Managing multiple tasks across various projects can certainly pose its challenges.

This year we're tackling significant major projects as part of the Accelerated Infrastructure Delivery Program (AIDP), including the Robina Emergency Department (ED) Expansion and the Sub-Acute Expansion at Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH). Additionally, we're relocating staff to the new Proxima building and commissioning the Secure Mental Health Rehabilitation Unit (SMHRU) at GCUH.

It's an exhilarating and bustling period for Gold Coast Health. With a significant surge in capital works underway, we're dedicated to increasing bed capacity for our health service over the next four years. Despite the demanding nature of our work, we're fully committed to delivering exceptional outcomes for our community.

I'm fortunate to lead a fantastic small team that supports the implementation phases of ongoing projects like AIDP and Proxima. Additionally, we're actively engaged in planning for SMHRU and the new Coomera Hospital from a digital and ICT perspective.

What’s your immediate focus or challenge now?

Our immediate challenge lies in effectively managing the constant high workload and competing priorities each week. We address these challenges by holding weekly team discussions to ensure proper coordination and prioritisation.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Once the build or project reaches completion, it's incredibly rewarding to witness the culmination of all the hard work and meticulous planning carried out over the previous years. Seeing a remarkable new building emerge for our community brings a sense of fulfillment, knowing it will significantly enhance health care services and positively impact the lives of those we serve.

What are some of the new innovations we can see coming up for infrastructure?

We're currently testing out some exciting new technology in one of our projects, specifically in the Audio Visual (AV) system within our Proxima build. This system includes a digital room booking feature that seamlessly integrates with Outlook.

Imagine this... outside each meeting room, there's a screen displaying upcoming meetings for the day and you can book a room right then and there without having to email the booking system. Plus, there's a handy traffic light system on the screen indicating whether the room is currently in use or available for booking.

It's all about making our workspaces more efficient and user-friendly.

Lastly, how do you keep healthy? 

Mountain biking is my jam when it comes to staying fit. There's nothing like hitting the trails and soaking up nature to unwind. And, when life gets hectic (which it always does), I turn to meditation to keep my mind chill and zen. It's my little trick for staying sane in today’s busy world!

Last updated 05 Jun 2024