When Chinese display maker BOE partnered with American medical group Dignity Health, their vision was clear: a world-class hospital incorporating cutting-edge digital technologies to deliver the highest quality care. The result is BOE Hefei Digital Hospital, one of China’s first truly ‘smart’ medical centres.
WSP was appointed, alongside architects HKS Inc, to provide building services and smart technology systems consultancy on this 193,000 m² hospital, which specialises in cardiovascular, orthopaedics, neurology and oncology. Our healthcare team in the US and China developed a schematic design to meet the client’s key goals: maximising productivity and efficiency; providing a safe and secure patient environment; and creating the best possible user experience.
The core of the system is a converged network which acts as a central spine for the building management system, hospital operational procedures and all aspects of patient care via the Internet of Things (IoT), allowing for considerable operational efficiency. All buildings are fully WI-FI equipped, while the IT network installation connects the medical services and office administration networks and provides a network for patients and families.
A range of data and systems, from medical records and treatment regimes to lighting and financial services, will be linked with the converged network, enabling synergies and allowing for monitoring by a single operations manager. The data, though stored in one place, is separated virtually and each team has access to its own system. Security is provided via a centralized firewall complemented by a strict internet access policy with internal gateways to limit access.
Since the converged network allows services to interact, the potential for energy and cost savings in this 1,000-bed hospital is high. Building services are linked to the check-in system, for example, so that heating, lighting and air conditioning in individual rooms can switch on automatically when a patient arrives, and off when they leave.
In future, a way-finding system will help patients navigate the complex site, and a check-in procedure linked to the communications system allow staff to contact patients individually. Since all data is contained in the Cloud, remote treatment options are also possible.
This truly smart hospital is a model for others. With its single, centralized network, BOE Hefei Digital has cut costs and enhanced security. Importantly, it is also preparing for the future: a resiliency roadmap produced by our experts, including a large thermal storage concept, confirms the hospital as a leader in future ready design.