Standards Australia takes pride in the innovation being delivered by the entire organisation in some of the most sophisticated areas of modern Australia. None more so than in the field of healthcare, as Standards Australia has taken the lead internationally and developed SA HB 163:2017, Digital Hospitals Handbook, in a world-first aimed at guiding hospitals towards their digital future.
This handbook seeks to develop a set of principles and recommendations to inform the design and implementation of digital hospitals, both new and refurbished, to enable the innovative provision of healthcare services.
A realistic digital hospital
The objective of this handbook is to provide guidance on what a digital hospital is and propose a realistic set of principles that provide the basis for the development of a Digital Hospital Program. Additionally, almost half of this handbook outlines a business case from design, to implementation, to go-live, and right through to the final handover.
With 10.6 million admissions to hospitals across Australia in 2015-16, and roughly 40% of these taking place in private hospitals, the sector nationwide is under pressure to find ways to innovate and improve processes.
21st century hospitals
The details and guidance provided in the handbook targets those in the healthcare sector to help them bring their hospital into the 21st century and position their organisation for the future. It is important to note the significance of the changes being proposed and the deep impact to everyone interacting with hospitals across Australia.
As outlined above, the hospitals of Australia are incredibly well-utilised and show no sign of slowing down.
The ability of the health sector to continue to work for Australia lies significantly within the technology sector.
For example, maintaining records on an electronic database and being able to manage patient records across the nation in an electronic and comprehensive manner is one of the more straightforward technological enhancements which can be made. In achieving something like this, the benefit of a digital hospital is quite clear.
The work of the handbook, whilst technical in its language and intended use, is one of the leading documents at an international level aimed at digitising hospitals. The benefits of this handbook are intended to be in the form of improved health services, streamlined processes for hospitals, and untold enhancements as technology continues to improve and radically shape hospitals of the future.
This case study is available in PDF format.