- St. Olavs has been successfull
St. Olavs Hospital and Ahus Hospital near Oslo have both successfully introduced integrated hospital networks in newly built facilities, and there are many similarities and some differences.
14. Sep 2009 11:18 16. Nov 2010 14:20
IDC Health Insights recently released a new report, which explores two initiatives undertaken in Norway, each of them involving an early adoption of digital hospital technologies.
Jan Duffy, research director, IDC Health Insights said, "Healthcare in general and hospitals in particular are undergoing radical change. This is needed to support increasing demands in the face of rising costs. New ways of delivering patient care and new ways of delivering the information infrastructure to support this effort involves a major shift to something called the digital hospital."
In the early 1990s, Norway commenced planning the replacement of certain hospitals, in particular those with aging infrastructure and construction that defied efforts to improve efficiency and/or modernize the facilities. The planning process for rebuilding St. Olavs Hospital (St. Olavs) in Trondheim commenced in 1991 and plans to rebuild Akershus University Hospital (Ahus) in Oslo were initiated in 2001. Their journey toward the digital hospital is well underway.
"Although both projects involved full replacement of old facilities, the approaches differed. St. Olavs would be a campus-like facility with 6 clinical centers built around a central plaza, while Ahus was to be a large multipurpose facility. At the time of this report, the new hospital facilities in both cities are fully operational and are considered to be great successes by hospital staff and patients alike," continued Duffy.
"The path toward the digital hospital is difficult – there is no single solution, no single starting point, and no definite endpoint. The future for St. Olavs and Ahus lies in their shared view that the development of a digital hospital is a journey, not a destination. Over time, new technologies, new medical procedures, and new demands will result in changes to the system and improvements to patient care."
St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim, Central Norway
At the start of the 1990s, St. Olavs was experiencing difficulty managing care and treatment requirements. Looking forward to 2020, it could be seen that aging population, the higher incidence of chronic diseases, and rising costs of care, would make the situation much more challenging. The vision was a hospital environment with maximum flexibility and a technical infrastructure that was "future-proofed."
The construction schedule was thus spread over some 10 years. "Efficient" and "flexible" were very high on the list of requirements for the new hospital development. The list of supplied hardware for completing this project is impressive, but equally important and more critical to project success is the integration between previously standalone ICT, maximum transmission unit (MTU), and building systems. The project boasts 120 points of IT integration as well as 67 points of external integrations (versus medical-technical equipment and building systems).
Implementing the ICT was a large, complex project requiring a significant amount of two-way communication among team members and a high degree of vested interest in each other's success. Learning from each other was a significant element of the relationship, which was considered strategic by all partners.
The hospital-wide network is wireless, and provides a secure, scaleable, resilient, and responsive environment with 99.9% uptime capability. The network supports a wide range of devices including IP-based patient terminals, nurse call systems, a guest zone, and integration with all notification and alarm systems.
The staff and patients of St. Olavs consider the hospital development to be a great success. The more significant benefits include increased capacity, improved productivity, reduced costs, and improved access to data has contributed significantly to better patient care.
There are many similarities between the St. Olavs and Ahus Hospital projects. Both were aiming to provide an environment that offered enhanced patient care, a better working environment, and improved efficiency. Both embarked on a journey that would ultimately lead to a leading-edge digital hospital. The solutions had some similarities and involved some of the same suppliers. However, there were also some differences.
The biggest difference was in the time frame. The St. Olavs project began when the technologies were very young and, in some instances, still unproven in a hospital setting. St. Olavs chose to build a multibuilding facility, whereas most of the Ahus facility is housed in a single large building. In terms of IT, St. Olavs chose both a single vendor solution and the outsourced solution. Ahus, on the other hand, chose a multivendor solution, retention of some legacy systems, and an IT environment that is managed internally. Today, both hospitals are fully operational and both are considered to be great successes by hospital staff and patients.
More details are included in the IDC Health Insights report, Best Practices: Norway's Hospital Evolution — A Tale of Two Cities (Doc # HIOH03R9/ Aug 2009), by Jan Duffy and Silvia Piai, available for purchase at http://www.idc-hi.com
This report is available for purchase at www.idc-hi.com. For media enquiries and for information on how to obtain a copy of this report, please contact Cinzia Rinelli
IDC's European Vertical Markets and EMEA Industry Insights
+39 02 28457 367 – firstname.lastname@example.org