Our new RAH: world class and high tech


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By Melissa Keogh

Welcome to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Eight-hundred beds, 2300 car parks, 70 open spaces, 7000 staff and a fleet of robots.

Wait, what?

Among the new RAH’s cutting-edge technology includes Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) that will reduce heavy manual work for staff, giving them more time to focus on patients.

But before Star Wars fans get too excited, the ‘RAHbots’ are simply flat, stainless steel devices on wheels and the Health Department says most hospital visitors won’t get a chance to see them.

The AGVs travel at walking pace behind the scenes via 14 lifts and 27 lift lobbies to carry large trolleys of linen, waste, equipment and patients’ meals.

The RAHbots have the ability to talk to lifts, doors and portable phones.

The Automated Guided Vehicles travel at walking pace to carry linen, waste, instruments and patients’ meals, but do not come into contact with hospital visitors.

The Automated Guided Vehicles travel at walking pace to carry linen, waste, instruments and patients’ meals, but do not come into contact with hospital visitors.

The new era of world class health care began in South Australia this week with the opening of the new RAH, the state’s most anticipated building.

In another show of cutting-edge, world-class technology is the new hospital’s Automated Pharmacy Distribution System.

It uses technology to track patients’ medication, recording when and where the drug was dispensed.

The system also includes two robotic machines which unpack, store and dispense medications and 82 Automated Dispensing Cabinets which “securely store medication in clinical areas”.

The cabinets allow for faster access to prescribed medications ensuring the process is safer and more efficient.

State Health Minister Jack Snelling says the high-tech systems minimise manual processes and mean less chance of human error.

Central Adelaide Local Health Network’s associate director of pharmacy services, Anna McClure, says pharmacy automated systems are safe and efficient ways of improving patients’ treatment.

They also improve security and accountability, Anna says.

“This is something we’ve been working toward for the past 20 years so it’s exciting to see it all come together and we are looking forward to seeing how this new technology will improve patient care at the new RAH,” she says.

The new RAH is SA’s only public hospital to welcome a digital system that keeps track of thousands of medical instruments.

The three-day patient move from the old RAH to the new hospital began on September 4.

The new RAH’s Emergency Department was officially opened at 7am on September 5.

Premier Jay Weatherill labelled the new hospital’s opening as a “landmark occasion for all South Australians”.

Press play on the video below to watch the transformation of the RAH.

This month’s I Choose SA for Industries stories are made possible by sponsor, the University of South Australia.


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