CASE STUDY: Royal Perth Hospital Delivers Superior Care With Automation Solution

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The Royal Perth Hospital looks to Advantech to deliver superior care to its patients. By iHealthcare Team, Advantech Co. Ltd.

For nearly two centuries, Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) has been providing healthcare to West Australians, especially those in the Perth metropolitan area. RPH is the largest and longest-serving hospital in Western Australia.

As a premier teaching hospital and the cornerstone of health service in Western Australia, RPH observes the highest standards of medical care, pursues innovations in research, and commands an experienced IT engineering team with considerable investment in maintaining their IT infrastructure.

Like many hospitals in Australia and the rest of the world, RPH is now riding the tide of digitalisation with the aim of delivering superior patient and physician experiences by improving efficiency, productivity, and quality.

In Australia, approximately 42 percent of all healthcare spending is provided to hospitals. However, with the country’s ageing population, hospitals are experiencing increasing pressure caused by growing financial strain and the need to invest in digitalisation. Most hospitals are currently competing on digitalisation under budget constraints. Nonetheless, because digital hospitals of the future will generate efficiencies, improve safety and clinical outcomes, and provide a high level of patient and clinician satisfaction, the benefits of digitalisation are expected to justify capital investment in infrastructure and IT solutions.

Upgrading Ageing Equipment For The Latest Technologies

In 2015, RPH initiated an upgrade project that identified a need for medical-grade all-in-one panel PCs for conducting bedside physiological monitoring.

In addition to displaying data, the hospital wanted panel PCs capable of additional functions, such as providing alert/alarm notifications when monitored data reached pre-established thresholds, increasing the required processing capability. The panel PCs also had to satisfy the system specifications needed to support the hospital’s Philips medical application solution. These included the ability to run Microsoft Windows 7 OS, connect to printers and Local Area Networks, and satisfy the minimum hard disk space and memory storage demand.

A Clear And Cost-Effective Solution

The winning contractor and Advantech partner, Peacock Bros., was established in 1888 and specialises in healthcare IT hardware and integration, delivering world-class healthcare solutions to Australian hospitals. They advised RPH that Advantech could meet their needs.

Advantech’s POC-W212 is a medical-grade 21.5” ultra-thin, widescreen, all-in-one point-of-care terminal featuring rich I/O. Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor with up to 16 GB RAM, this fanless system design fulfilled all the hospital’s requirements to become the product selected for purchase.

The panel PCs were required to run the Philips IntelliVue XDS Application, which is designed to provide an integrated data platform and visual portal. By accessing medical records and data collated from hospital equipment and devices, Philips IntelliVue XDS Application enables data to be displayed on bedside devices or panel PCs connected to the hospital network via data synchronisation.

The system allows physicians and medical staff to access updated patient information, such as monitored vital signs, test results, and other relevant treatment reports, in various hospital locations, including intensive care units, emergency departments, and radiology rooms.

Because the main purpose of the system was to facilitate the visualisation of patient data, peripherals such as a mouse and keyboard were not required. Instead, the hospital adopted all-in-one PCs with a touchscreen, which addressed space efficiency considerations and minimised wire deployment.

“Advantech’s product is one of the best units on the market for satisfying the demands of RPH,” said Daryl Collins, State Manager of Peacock Bros. “The feedback we have received from those who have used the system is extremely positive. They are satisfied with the high-quality image and excellent computing performance, as well as the screen resolution and brightness — these are very important for them.”

Moreover, Advantech’s POC products are certified to UL60601-1/EN60601, Edition 3, International standards for safety and reliability in clinical environments. Additional system enhancements include a fanless design to prevent the spread of viruses and germs, COM and LAN isolation to prevent electric leakage, as well as an IP54-rated water-resistant enclosure and IP65-rated dust-proof panel for easy cleaning to ensure infection control.

“These products are clear value for money,” Mr Collins added, “When you consider some of the competing healthcare products out there … this (Advantech’s product) is truly fit for purpose and delivers the capabilities and performance required with great cost-effectiveness.”

“The Advantech product is truly fit for purpose and delivers the capabilities and performance required with great cost-effectiveness.” — Daryl Collins, Peacock Bros., WA State Manager

Collins further highlighted that this case demonstrates the importance of data digitalisation and integration because it enables visualised displays of digital data collated from various hospital systems.

By early 2016, 27 Advantech POC-W212 systems had been installed in the RPH Intensive Care Unit on VESA mounts. The terminals were connected to the hospital server and integrated with the Philips IntelliVue XDS Application platform, enabling staff to retrieve medical data and clearly display critical images.

Furthermore, another public hospital located in the south of Perth plans to deploy 10 of Advantech’s POC-W242 systems in the same manner.

Digitalising Healthcare

Keenly aware of the market’s changing environment, Santo Gazzo, GM of Advantech Australia, commented: “One of the challenges of digitalising a hospital is integrating existing paper processes with the increasing array of new digital diagnostic devices. Taking advantage of the new digital healthcare era requires the mass conversion of clinical and operational processes from paper to digital.”

Although that suggests that newly built hospitals would be better able to implement digital processes, Gazzo highlighted that: “We need to consider that a hospital design process can start five or six years prior to the hospital opening date. With the final delivery of a digital hospital, where a rapidly evolving technology is initially designed in, there must be allowance and flexibility to encompass newer technologies capable of supporting better care processes near to the opening day.”

“With the final delivery of a digital hospital, where a rapidly evolving technology is initially designed in, there must be allowance and flexibility to encompass newer technologies capable of supporting better care processes near to the opening day.” — Santo Gazzo, GM of Advantech Australia

By leveraging the newest technologies, advantageous cost structures, and premium quality components, Advantech will continue to provide flexible and reliable solutions that meet market trends and customer needs in the medical sector.

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