A total of $130 million has gone into fitting-out Queensland’s newest health facility, the Gold Coast University Hospital, with high-level ICT infrastructure making it one of the biggest technology projects currently underway in the State’s public sector.
The total budget for the establishment of the new hospital is $1.76 billion.
However the practical completion date for the project has been pushed back three months from December 2012 to February 2013, with the hospital due to begin taking patients by September next year, primarily due to the collapse of construction firm Hastie Group.
Queensland Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg told a recent Estimates Committee hearing, that the Hospital construction team was facing “some issues with regard to the IT fit-out” as well.
Gold Coast Health Chief Executive, Ron Calvert, explained to Intermedium that the sheer size and complexity of the ICT project at hand meant that it was always going to be a challenging task.
“It is essential that Gold Coast University Hospital is a proven, safe environment before the first patient is admitted.
“Changes to communication systems have the highest impact on daily business and underpin emergency response procedures. Therefore sufficient testing and training must be undertaken prior to admitting patients,” he said.
He added that the ICT budget for the project includes “equipment inclusions, application development for new services and transfer of existing systems from the current Gold Coast Hospital”.
The ICT fit-out is further broken down into a number of sub-projects, including:
- Local infrastructure - computer servers and networks, communications systems, and a new mobile duress system
- Enterprise connectivity and biomedical integration – connection of networked devices and external connections for ICT networks and communications systems
- New capabilities – upgrade systems and introduce critical new systems, including an electrical patient queuing system
- Local services – moving systems and services into the new facility and data centre
- Information management
Lend Lease has been appointed managing contractor for the project, with responsibility over selecting ICT subcontractors. The property and infrastructure developer released a request for tenders last year seeking systems integrators to supply data centre solutions, firewalls, messaging interfaces, patient services, real-time location services and unified communications platform delivery.
A spokesperson for Lend Lease said she could not publically identify the selected tenderer.
The company has, however, named Fredon as a one of the key ICT subcontractors working on the hospital’s construction. The supplier of electrical, data and communications technologies services confirmed on its website that it has been contracted for the site-wide delivery of ICT cabling, nurse call, IPTV and PA/Paging and patient tracking systems by Lend Lease.
In the past Fredon has also been awarded a $2.7 million contract with Liverpool Hospital for electrical, security and communication integrations, a $7 million deal for the supply of mechanical systems and infrastructure for the HP Sydney Data Centre, and a $1 million contract with IBM St Leonards for electrical and communications fit outs.
According Calvert the Gold Coast University Hospital is home to “the highest level of ICT infrastructure and connectivity of any hospital under construction or operating in Australia”.
At $130 million, however, the ICT budget for the Hospital is roughly half that of the similarly sized Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) being built by the WA Government south of Perth.
A total of $249 million has been set aside for the ICT fit-out for the FSH.
Both hospitals have similar overall budgets, with the FSH costing $2 billion and containing 783 beds and the Gold Coast University Hospital costing $1.76 billion for 750 beds.
The Fiona Stanley Hospital will be fitted with “state-of-the-art technology” including telehealth services that will link ICT systems within the hospital and “across the wider health care system”, according to the project website.