Western Australia’s Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) will no longer be the first hospital in the country to be entirely paperless, according to the State’s Parliamentary Secretary representing the Minister for Health Alyssa Hayden.
In a question without notice in the Western Australian Legislative Council on 26 November 2013, the Opposition’s Amber-Jade Sanderson asked Hayden if it was still the case that FSH would run with a paperless environment when operational.
Hayden revealed that due to complications, the new hospital will still be required to use paper records.
“Although modified from the early and ambitious information and communication technology vision, the FSH ICT program will still deliver a foundation on which the hospital and the wider system can build to achieve the vision in the future. The adjustment in the scope for delivery for the opening of FSH will result in a higher use of paper than was envisaged; however, FSH will still use less paper in comparison with other similar WA hospitals,” stated Hayden.
When questioned about the cost of this change, Hayden admitted that the additional expenses were “not fully known” but were likely to be partially recovered.
“[The additional costs] will be at least partly offset by savings resulting from not fully implementing the completely paperless environment. These include savings in technology, training and electronic records management.”
On its website, the FSH is now describing itself as a ‘paper-light hospital’.
The $2 billion FSH project has one of the largest ICT budgets of any project undertaken in any Australian jurisdiction.
Beyond the $60 million ICT systems and infrastructure allocation in the 2013-14 Western Australian Budget, FSH received funding of $108.5 million for the 2013-14 financial year. The project began in 2009 with an ICT allocation of almost $250 million.
The WA Government has outsourced construction of the hospital to Serco in a $4.3 billion services deal that includes responsibility for ICT procurement in its role as Facilities Manager. Serco has appointed British Telecommunications (BT) as its main ICT subcontractor and divided the remaining $72.6 million worth of ICT work into three tranches.
FSH will integrate a suite of 48 core systems on top of a significant number of smaller clinical applications.
Construction requires 48 kilometres of communications cabling across the five main buildings covering 150,000 square metres.
WA Health has set up an ICT test lab in a training ward on the site to ensure that FSH’s systems integrate with the Facilities Manager Serco and to assure system operability in a real-life clinical environment.
Nationwide, other major hospital projects include the Victorian Government’s redevelopment of Box Hill Hospital into a “contemporary and technologically advanced healthcare facility”, the ACT Government’s $1 billion redevelopment of health infrastructure and the South Australian Government’s $2.1 billion development of Royal Adelaide Hospital.
FSH will not be opening its doors until October 2014 in a four-staged opening, despite being originally slated to do so six months earlier in April.
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