Moritz Spellenberg, associate director at international architectural practice, Llewelyn Davies, discusses the range of benefits that increasing ‘digitisation’ of hospitals can bring to both patients and staff, in areas including improved care, less time spent on time-consuming manual processes, better utliisation of space, enhanced clinical flow, greater overall efficiencies, and a more pleasant and comfortable hospital stay.
What is a digital or ‘smart’ hospital? There is no universally agreed definition, but one thing that is clear is that the healthcare sector stands on the cusp of extraordinary change, with digital technology offering real solutions to tackling the healthcare challenges of today and tomorrow. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital adoption, as it was critical for the NHS to accommodate virtual consultations, as well as track vaccines and the spread of the virus. As certain weaknesses in existing systems were highlighted, lessons learned from the pandemic mean that there is now a greater drive than ever to reach a more sophisticated level of digitalisation in healthcare.
For me, a ‘smart hospital’ is one that harnesses digital technologies as an enabler for all areas of healthcare provision – from telemedicine and how patient records are processed, to diagnosis, wearable technology, connected buildings, and more. This requires hospital design to evolve and become a more holistic process to deliver hospitals that are future-ready
Learning from a stand-out initiative in Greece
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