NHS Lanarkshire unveils plans for ‘Scotland’s first digital hospital’

Facility will include kit such as mobile technology and large touchscreen information points

Credit: NHS Lanarkshire

NHS Lanarkshire has unveiled plans to create “Scotland’s first digital hospital”, which will feature a range of high-tech tools designed to improve efficiency and care levels.

The organisation is planning the construction of a new facility to replace Monklands hospital in the Airdrie. A newly released vision for the hospital was, according to NHS Lanarkshire, “designed to ensure that the huge advances in digital technology are central” to the experience of staff and patients.

A design-concept video demonstrates (pictured above) citizens accessing appointment details and logistical information on their smartphone. Buildings equipped with numerous large touchscreen monitors through which visitors can “access care advice and… navigate their way through our hospital”, according to Monklands replacement project design lead Donna McHenry.

“Digital technology and real-time information [will] support an efficient and effective patient journey,” she said. “Digital systems will support patients and clinical staff. This will also enable our clinicians to be mobile and connected wherever they are on site.”

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The hospital is designed to have a large ground-floor space allowing all departments to be close to one another. 

Monklands chief of nursing services Karen Goudie said that the site will also feature an “operational command centre at the heart of the development”, in which staff can monitor live clinical data streams from across the hospital.

“Our ambition for the new Monklands to be Scotland’s first digital hospital will greatly benefit patients, visitors and staff,” she added. “Real-time information [will] make staff instantly aware of patients whose condition is deteriorating, helping to maximise patient safety and patient flow, and to address any capacity issues in the safest way possible. The centre will even monitor online feedback from patients’ families to help improve care.”

Three potential sites have been identified for the new hospital, and the public have been invited to provide feedback on the options. After which, a group of 100 people – comprising 51 members of the public and 49 NHS staff – will undertake a formal scoring exercise to decide which of the three sites will, ultimately, house the new hospital.

NHS Lanarkshire said: “The site-scoring event, planned for March, will be a formal, objective assessment based on an agreed set of benefits criteria. To ensure impartiality, it will be facilitated by an independent engagement organisation.”


Sam Trendall

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