Australia’s healthcare system is extremely complex and it is best described as a web of services, providers, recipients and organizational structures. Complexity is unavoidable to ensure multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary, culturally diverse and inclusive healthcare services. These services address a diverse group of Australian residents with dispersed demographic demands. The compounding challenge of an ageing population, the increased chronic conditions, diseases and risk factors are underpinned by the socio-economic changes in the past decade, increase in healthcare expenditure and its predicted evolution in the next 10 years.
Australia has made significant investment in the new digital hospitals, well equipped to support safe, reliable and efficient service delivery. Modern healthcare technologies promise to improve hospital workflows and allow the convergence of information across the continuum of healthcare activities. However, these new facilities represent a fraction of what could be done to improve Australia’s overall healthcare capacity.
The experience gained in pioneering Australia’s digital hospitals has fostered learning and raised critical questions, challenging current models with fragmented application and adoption in healthcare service delivery. It has also opened the opportunities to transfer this knowledge in the planning and transformation of existing hospitals. Without an integrated approach across the critical domains of healthcare service, digital healthcare technology will be unlikely to deliver proportionate improvements and benefits. As such, the cross-domain critical success factors together with the choice and effective implementation of operational and information technology are crucial in their applicability and relevance for better processes and better healthcare service delivery.
Encouraging digital transformation of existing hospitals across Australia using available technologies highlights a number of possibilities for aligning and integrating across three critical domains built, clinical and business environments.
At this year’s Digital Hospital Design part of HIC 2015 conference, Australia’s premier digital health, health informatics and e-health conference, we will be discussing with like-minded professionals, the transformation of Australia’s hospitals and how we can approach the challenge at hand. The debate will be focused on the issues around this urgent need to transform our brownfield hospital facilities and bring them into the digital age.
To find out more about the challenges the Australian healthcare market is facing and Schneider Electric’s views, see the Future of Healthcare in Australia