SA hospital sets example in pandemic handling

Thursday, 06 August, 2020

SA hospital sets example in pandemic handling

South Australia has been recognised for its successful management of COVID-19, with the ‘once controversial’ Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) on the case management frontline.

Designed and constructed to deal with extreme events — from pandemics to earthquakes — teams within the hospital have come together in difficult circumstances to deliver world-leading health outcomes during the pandemic.

A video produced by hospital consortium manager Celsus shows RAH’s performance during the pandemic and will be used as a resource for hospitals around the world, to improve their practices and performance in the wake of COVID-19.

Celsus produced the video to highlight how the new RAH has played a crucial role in South Australia’s management of COVID-19 to date. It has already been circulated to more than 30 of Celsus’s global investors and financiers, receiving positive feedback on how South Australia, and the RAH in particular, has dealt with the pandemic.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital COVID-19 response from Hughes PR on Vimeo.

Many of these investors are involved in funding and managing major hospitals around the world, so lessons learned in South Australia will almost certainly be applied globally.

Celsus intends to use the video in future industry presentations locally and internationally to demonstrate why the RAH — from its design and construction through to everyone who works at the hospital — has so far been successfully managing the pandemic.

RAH was designed and built for a pandemic with notable features including:

  • Single patient rooms to reduce the risk of infection and cross-contamination.
  • Facilities in each individual room can be monitored and changed from a central point, including temperature settings.
  • The air-conditioning system can be set to ‘pandemic mode’, which isolates dedicated areas within the hospital to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Treatment facilities are ‘vertically stacked’ to provide quick and direct access from the rescue chopper helipad down to the emergency department, intensive care units, technical suites, blood bank and laboratories.
  • COVID testing clinic facilities were able to be set up in a way that ensured people being tested were kept separate from other patients and hospital staff.
  • Automated guided vehicles ferry medical supplies, food and linen throughout the hospital with minimal human contact.

“I think South Australia has done brilliantly,” Central Adelaide Local Health Network CEO Lesley Dwyer said.

“I often say ‘Where else would you want to be in the world right now?’ You know you’re in the safest country and in the safest state. And what we have been able to do is use the assets that we have such as the building.

“But the true asset is the partnerships that we have and the way that we deliver care. So I describe it as a moment where this building has really come into its own. We’ve learnt to love it.”

Image credit: Celsus

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