ICT complexity to delay opening of Fiona Stanley Hospital
The planned opening of the $2 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital has been delayed by six months due to the complexity of the project, particularly its ICT system, the WA government has announced.
WA Health Minister Kim Hames released a statement yesterday saying the hospital will now open in October 2014, rather than April as planned.
Dr Hames said construction work on the 783-bed hospital was more than 90 per cent complete, but the opening had been postponed “because of the scale and complexity of the project, particularly with the advanced ICT system”.
Delivering the technology has required 48km of communications cabling across five main buildings, covering 150,000 square metres, Dr Hames said.
“Fiona Stanley Hospital is the biggest and most complex public tertiary health facility ever to be built in Western Australia – it will be one of the most technologically advanced hospitals in the nation,” he said.
“It will deliver new levels of patient care and convenience through an extremely complex system that will manage administration, patient information, medical records, communication and patient entertainment.
“For doctors and nurses, that means everything they need to know about a patient can be called up bedside on a single screen – patient records, x-rays, scans, medication management and other vital medical information right at their fingertips.”
The bedside computers will also operate as the patient infotainment system, allowing patients to watch television and movies and access the internet.
“The October timeframe will give us additional time to ensure that every service is tested, trialled and bedded down when Fiona Stanley Hospital opens its doors for patients,” Dr Hames said.
Facilities manager Serco is handling all procurement matters for the hospital on behalf of the WA government, and has been active recently in issuing tenders for electronic medical devices and a prosthetics tracking system.
It has also issued tenders for a medications management system and some specialist software services, but has yet to issue a tender for the electronic medical record. The hospital is being designed with no traditional medical records facility and is aiming to eventually be completely paperless.
Serco has contracted BT Australasia to design and provide the full communications infrastructure for the hospital. BT is also in charge of systems integration across the building management and facility management systems and the hospital's managed services, including unified communications, mobility and teleconferencing technologies.
BT is building a network infrastructure that will use cabled multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) technology on the campus for fast access, augmented by a Wi-Fi mesh network.
BT Australasia's head of healthcare, Lisa Altman, told Pulse+IT last year that the company will install a WiFi mesh network to support a range of services, including real-time locating systems, robots and automatic guided vehicles for linen and meals.
The hospital is also designed to have full internal and external telehealth capabilities, Ms Altman said.
“We've got video and audio conferencing facilities throughout the hospital, so you can do things like live streaming of surgical procedures to a number of lecture theatres within the hospital but also video transmission outside the hospital as well,” she said.
“The CSIRO is doing really interesting stuff in ophthalmology in WA using satellite ... but if you are getting to a dermatological consult you really need to see the fine grain so high definition video is needed.”
Dr Hames said the technology being used at Fiona Stanley was already in operation on a much smaller scale at the $170 million Albany Health Campus, which opened in May.
Posted in Australian eHealth