New Australian publication to accelerate digital hospitals

03 July 2017

Today, Standards Australia published a world first digital hospitals handbook, an initiative led by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) and the National Health CIO Forum (NHCIOF).

SA HB 163:2017, Digital Hospitals Handbook, focuses on delivering more efficient hospital services through the use of technology.

It is a people and outcomes focused document intended for use across a broad audience.

Digital health projects across the globe have faced challenges. Australian experts wanted a consolidated reference to guide health systems as they move to digital. The handbook aims to improve the outcomes of these types of projects by ensuring:


• Clear articulation of the underlying principles for a “digital hospital”
• Alignment with the design, construction and commissioning of healthcare facilities through a benefits estimation/realisation framework
• An ICT systems architecture that enables innovative healthcare services now and into the future

Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO of Standards Australia and Chair of the Industry Growth Centre for Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals, recognised the significance of this publication for Australia.

“We need to apply a contemporary digital lens over the model of care and design of buildings and organisations. The Digital Hospitals Handbook does just that.

“The document effectively aligns with industry policy, addressing the importance of technology for the sector’s future. As the first of its kind in the world, it showcases Australia’s competitiveness and capacity for innovation,” said Dr Evans.

Standards Australia technical committee IT-039, which is responsible for the development of the Digital Hospitals Handbook, is constituted of a balanced representation of stakeholder interests.

The membership includes representatives from government, industry, academic and health organisations.

Chair of the technical committee IT-039, Dr Andrew P Howard, explained the background and impact of the handbook.

“Australian hospitals have been improving their digital maturity for decades. However, early adopters show some projects have cost more, taken longer and been less effective than was otherwise possible.

“SA HB 163 presents pragmatic solutions for stakeholders of all backgrounds. By focusing on people and outcomes our hope is it will be widely leveraged by private and public health systems as they plan their digital transitions,” said Dr Howard.

The Handbook can be purchased through SAI Global.
Communications Department
Standards Australia

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