Australia’s largest and most complex hospital, the new Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) has set benchmarks across the healthcare industry. It will become a ‘super-site’ for major emergencies in South Australia, such as heart attacks and stroke, as well as serving as the complex multi-trauma destination for the state. With 800 beds, the new RAH will care for an estimated 85,000 inpatients and 400,000 outpatients annually.

To meet the very high standards required of a facility of this calibre, significant innovations have been embedded throughout the 176,00m2 facility, including disaster response, N+1 provision of engineering services, pandemic treatment, integration of AGVs to assist with housekeeping supplies, and a high standard of seismic and structural design, sustainability and ICT systems. It will also include a retail precinct, child care centre and an Aboriginal Health Unit.

SA Health has implemented one of the first comprehensive end-to-end ICT systems in a single Australian hospital, with patient ID used to assist in way finding, appointment tracking, meal selection, car parking, patient entertainment and education as well as medical records and treatment.
Having been initially engaged by SA Health in 2008, Umow Lai continues to be involved in all the stages of the design and construction, providing engineering and sustainability services advice for mechanical, medical gases, electrical, nurse call, fire protection, fire safety, hydraulics and vertical transportation systems.

The hospital has been delivered as a Private Public Partnership (PPP) and SA Health will continue to provide all core clinical services, staffing, teaching, training and research. The State’s private sector partner SA Health Partnership has financed, designed, constructed the new facility which it will maintain and provide non-clinical support services, such as cleaning and catering, until the end of the contract in 2046.

The next milestone for operational handover is scheduled for June 2017, when SA Health will commence operational transition following Commercial Acceptance.

Hard facts:
Emergency Department: 25 per cent bigger than at the existing RAH with capacity for up to 70 treatment spaces, including 8 high acuity bays equipped with dedicated X Ray units.

Intensive Care Unit (ICU): offers 60 beds with more space for technical equipment and flexibility to accommodate changing technologies.

Outpatient Clinics: The outpatient area incorporates 78 consulting rooms and 54 treatment rooms located together on Level 3. Medical imaging, pathology and pharmacy services will also be situated on Level 3, providing patients with improved access to these services.

Mental Health Unit: The Mental Health Unit has 40 beds provided in single rooms with ensuite bathrooms and parkland or garden views and comprises acute care, psychiatric intensive care and short stay assessment beds.

Technology: Four MRIs and 40 technical suites, including hybrid operating theatres.
Disaster management strategies: Emergency Department equipped to respond to major disasters such as chemical spills; Infectious outbreaks; a mass casualty disaster and extreme weather events.

Umow Lai is continuing to work closely with SA Health in our 10th year of involvement as part of the dedicated new RAH project team. Watch SA Health’s video to take a tour of the hospital.