How to design a hospital with health IT in mind

Building a new all-digital hospital in Los Angeles county required creating a vision, selecting technologies that supported that vision and staying laser-focused on the goal, according to an article at Healthcare Dive.

The 131-bed Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital opened last July to serve a population of 1.3 million residents in the area, many of whom were low-income and lacked insurance. Of the $158 million budget provided to build the hospital, nearly half--$70 million--was devoted to IT.

The facility boasts smart beds that track patients' movements, a patient interactive system and phones that allow doctors and nurses to communicate and share patient information on a secure internal network even outside the hospital, according to the article.

"We wanted to be cutting edge but not leading edge, and we wanted to be practical, too," Sajid Ahmed, chief information and innovation officer at MLK, told Healthcare Dive.

The hospital's leaders also focused on having a fully-integrated electronic health record system across all departments, and an integrated workflow. 

FierceHealthcare previously reported that the new hospital does not include a trauma center, but does include public health and urgent care psychiatric centers aimed at diverting patients from inpatient care.

When University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center set out to build a better hospital, its planners started with input from patients and their families. The result was the Rising Star Award-winning William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital in Dallas, which opened in December 2014.

In October, Toronto became home to the first digital hospital in North America. The Humber River Hospital has 656 beds and features advanced technology and tools, including robots that serve the entire facility who can move the patient as needed during an X-ray procedure, mix and prepare medications and carry medical supplies.

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