hospital facilities in urban areas

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ST CUTHBERT’S HEALTHCARE (2021)
St Cuthbert’s healthcare owns and runs 4 medium-sized, private, not for profit, hospital facilities in
urban areas around Australia; comprising a total of 750 hospital beds. More than 950 medical
specialists are accredited to practice at the hospitals and FTE staff numbers average 800 per year.
Services include routine medical and clinical services, dental, maternity, rehabilitation and mental
health. In addition to hospital admission, they offer home nursing, disability services and social
outreach programs. Their mission is to inspire hope and contribute to health and well-being by
providing compassionate care to everyone, touching all aspects of their life (physical, emotional,
intellectual, social and spiritual).
Patients attend the hospitals for day surgery and treatments and overnight admissions. Patients can
be admitted to the hospital from doctor/specialist referral or by hospital transfer and are allocated
beds upon arrival. Patient flow is an important part of the admission and discharge procedures.
Patients are given estimates of the costs before admittance and payers/patients are billed at
discharge.
“Health consumers have expressed a strong desire to further engage with the health system and be
empowered to have greater control of their wellbeing. They also want improved levels of access and
transparency about what is happening to their loved ones who are receiving care in our system.
Health professionals continue to adopt new digital innovations at a rapid pace, introducing the
community to online and virtual health services that allow for collaboration and treatment closer to
home.” (WA Health Minister Hon Roger Cook, WA Health Digital Strategy 2020-2030)
There is general agreement at St Cuthbert’s Healthcare for the need to invest in technology to collect
and analyse patient information to improve patient outcomes and meet stakeholder requirements.
There are many different clinical information systems used in the hospitals, along with a lack of
connectivity between buildings and other key areas of the business resulting in many standalone
systems, creating potential information silos. There is also a need for greater rationalisation and of
the hospital’s database systems. For example, Our Radiology system is standalone and has been
sourced and supported from the same provider for over 20 years. It is used for diagnostic imaging;
pathology and test results are usually received by email from the patient’s doctor or pathology
provider. In other areas of the business, paper-based observation records are used in all the hospitals
in a standalone capacity and kept with the patient while they are in hospital, and later stored in the
patient’s file, often resulting in lost records.
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Cont.
In a recent survey of patients’ experience of using St Cuthbert’s services, one of the key areas of
concern highlighted a sizable minority of patients and staff expressing frustration in the accuracy of
medical details when using different services (e.g. Radiology department and Out-Patients data
systems showing differences in patient data, also difficulty in retrieving data at the point of need and
of having to rely on ICT services, etc.) The survey data points to evidence that more could be done to
ensure patient data validity and reliability, and to secure and protect data whilst allowing it to be
accessible from authorised personnel. Further examination by St Cuthbert’s ICT directorate point to
failing in data connectivity at the physical and logical levels, and the general needs for an overhaul of
the domain-level system and data/network administration platform which has been in place for
nearly 20 years.
Another key finding from the survey pointed to patients’ expectations to use their own personal
mobile technology to interact with the hospital when making bookings, accepting and paying invoices
securely and liaising with external providers (e.g. pathology, domestic care providers, etc.)
You are required to construct a business case for a technology solution that will help St Cuthbert’s
Healthcare in WA modernise towards meeting patients’ expectations to improve the standard of
healthcare. The technology you select for the business case must align with the hospital’s strategic
objectives.
This involves
Part 1:
1. Conducting an environmental scan of the healthcare sector with an emphasis on issues
affecting hospitals and patients in Australia (market conditions and competitive environment).
2. Considering the hospital’s mission and strategy
3. Identifying and assessing stakeholder concerns
4. Isolating known problem(s) and evaluating opportunities for IT at St. Cuthbert’s
5. Researching an IT solution to solve the problem(s) – to innovate practice and/or improve
processes at the hospital
6. Evaluating different solutions to the problem, shortlisting the options and selecting the “best”
solution using some form of repeatable procurement approach.
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Part 2:
• Expanding on work done in Part 1
• Constructing a detailed business plan for investment in the IT solution chosen.
You are “selling” the IT solution to the hospital’s Board of Directors. The business plan must make a
compelling argument for the Board to support and invest in the technology.
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