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Social Innovation in Southeast Asia

Better Patient Care with Digital Hospitals

Hitachi’s Digital Control Centre (DCC) uses artificial intelligence and smart sensors to provide real-time data across all hospital operations, dramatically speeding up response times to patients within the hospital, potentially reducing severity of illness, and reducing people’s time in hospital.

The Background:

All healthcare organisations are struggling with higher than ever financial and organisational pressure. Populations are increasing as people are living longer; more complex diseases and related causes of death are emerging; we’re developing new diagnostic tools and varied treatments methods.

Hospitals are seeking to change their operational working so staff can focus more time on their patients.

The Challenge:

The digitisation of patient data has been ongoing for some time in more forward-thinking Trusts like Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust – part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group. These efforts to bring hospital data systems into the digital era exposed more and more issues in the pre-existing systems as time progressed. They started to notice more and more gaps in the digital aspect of their workflow and tried to fill these gaps with pre-existing pieces of technology and software.

Despite patient records being available online, they are spread across a multitude of different operating systems. A single patient’s records are often spread across five or six separate systems, meaning doctors and nurses are forced to access a variety of different systems to gather patient information.

The story is similar for hospital processes. Patients can spend a long time waiting while their clinician chase around looking for free beds or available treatment rooms and equipment.

This patchwork approach is very inefficient and labour-intensive, meaning staff must spend more time on office admin, when they want to be administering care to patients.

It also means that it is virtually impossible to plan patient turnaround and predict bed availability, so waiting times won’t come down.

The Solution:

Hitachi has been working closely with Salford Royal to launch the Digital Control Centre, which will revolutionise the way in which hospital staff access patient data and monitor patient health and patient flow in real time with the help of Artificial Intelligence, sensors and other unique digital solutions.

Not only will the DCC allow them to have a comprehensive overview of each and every patient without having to continually access different data systems, but it will also allow staff to plot a patient’s individual journey for the day, and crucially, for the days or weeks to come. This means that the flow of patients in and out of hospital beds will be infinitely easier to manage. With a far more streamlined process comes a far greater level of care from hospital staff to all patients.

The Future:

The DCC is being trialled at Salford Royal, with a view to rolling it out to the other hospitals with the Group, and then across the UK’s National Health Service, making healthcare more sustainable.

Hitachi will continue to innovate our IT technologies and power good in society.

  • Customer: Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Region: UK
  • Release Date: February 2021
  • Products & Services: Digital Control Centre – an AI solution to improve patient flow through the hospital
  • Solutions By: Hitachi Vantara