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New Prince of Wales Hospital Building a Game Changer

By Siriol Dafydd on October 31, 2018 in News

A group effort, by Prince Charles

The NSW Government is investing $720 million in a new Acute Services Building for the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick. Planning has been underway since 2015 and construction is intended to commence in late 2018, although there is no official date set at this stage.

But unlike much of Sydney’s ever-evolving skyline, this is not construction for construction’s sake. Since the concept design was released last year, Prince of Wales Hospital has sought the input of clinicians, health planners, architects, designers, patients and community members to ensure optimum function and productivity in the new building. Hospital staff members were heavily involved in the design of their respective departments and community feed- back sessions were held in August.

“It’s been well received by the community,” Prince of Wales Hospital General Manager Tobi Wilson told The Beast. “The clinical services plan with this building is particularly progressive.”

One of the key priorities of the new design is to improve the flow of services not only between departments, but across the entire campus, including the university next door.
“It’s still one of the biggest challenges, how we share information and coordinate delivery of care,” Mr Wilson said.

“We’ve been really mindful of how we do that in the new building”. Another key focus across the entire campus is the introduction of new and existing technology. One of the major ways this is being implemented is with virtual care services.

“The centrepiece of what we’re doing is trying to support people back out in the community,” Mr Wilson said.

“We recognise the way technology is changing. There’s a lot of monitoring on apps on people’s phones and we’re building the new hospital to respond to that.”

Supporting patients with remote monitoring allows staff to be proactive around their care. It alleviates the emergency department and other units as patients spend less time in hospital and only come in when necessary.

Patients can conduct much of their recovery and rehab in the com- fort of their homes and this reduces the chances of in-hospital infection and the spreading of diseases.
And let’s face it, nobody wants to share the television remote with the stranger in the next bed, especially when you’re sick.“The more we can keep people out of hospital the better it is for everybody’s care,” Mr Wilson said.

The Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation has been instrumental in supporting the hospital’s new and improved services. By funding innovative technological solutions like Deloitte Assist and Amazon Alexa call systems on site, they hope to streamline patient care with features like a voice activated call system that goes directly to the relevant nurse’s phone – so no more long waits for that extra pot of strawberry jelly, you’ll now have a direct line! Financed by the Foundation’s fundraising, this is the first time such systems have been utilised in any hospital worldwide. Currently used on a trial basis, the data so far suggests that patients will be seen much quicker thanks to this innovative technology.

Leanne Zalapa, founding CEO of the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation, has been heavily involved in the design process. She strongly believes that her first-hand knowledge of the problems nurses face in their day-to-day operations has enabled her to make better choices when it comes to allocating the Foundation’s funds.

“It was important for me to have an understanding of how a hospital works,” Mrs Zalapa said.

“I started training as a nurse when I was seventeen. My life has all been about health.”

Mr Wilson agreed that hands-on experience is essential.

“I was a physio for nine years before moving into management,” he said. “It’s important to have an understanding of what happens on the front line.”

While none of us hope to get sick, if you do at least you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ll get good care from people who know what they’re doing at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick.For more information about the foundation or to get involved in fundraising for the future developments of the Randwick Hospitals’ Campus, visit www.powhf.org.au.

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