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First Fully Digital Hospital Opening in Toronto

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 19 Oct 2015
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Image: Patient room at the new Humber River Hospital (Photo courtesy of Humber River Hospital).
Image: Patient room at the new Humber River Hospital (Photo courtesy of Humber River Hospital).
Humber River Hospital (Toronto, CA, USA), the first fully digital hospital in North America, is opening its doors in October 2015.

Built at an investment of CAD 2.13 billion, the 656 bed, 14-story hospital was designed to automate routine processes so that so that staff can focus on care. For example, automated guided vehicles will weave their way through the hospital’s hallways bearing non-narcotic medications and other medical equipment; diagnostic images such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans will be charted immediately so specialists can review them sooner; and patients will check in on self-serve kiosks that will automate patient records and notify the relevant care teams that the patient has arrived.

Bedside touchscreen monitors will enhance patients' experiences by allowing them to order meals, set room temperatures and lighting levels, and control shades on the large windows that look out from each room, and will offer secure access to the hospital information system (HIS) and the patients electronic medical record (EMR). Chart information can also be accessed by patients and their families on large, wall-hung monitors that will double as television, Internet, and movie screens. Hospital staff will also be tagged electronically, and their names will flash up on the bedside screens whenever they enter a patient’s room.

The new hospital, which will consolidate acute care services that Humber River Hospital now delivers at three separate sites, will offer expanded ambulatory services, including cancer care, chronic disease management, cardiology and respiratory clinics, a dialysis unit, medical, surgical, and bariatric clinics, pediatric and women’s health units, specialized geriatric outpatient services, mental health programs, and addictions services. An updated infectious disease control systems will monitor and prevent a broad range of infections.

“Our new hospital was designed with patients and their families in mind, and aligns with our desire to be a hospital that nurtures patient and family-centered care,” said Rueben Devlin, President and CEO of Humber River Hospital. “The latest technology is used as a driver of care enhancements, in a building that will be leading edge not only today, but as we develop even better ways to deliver safe, high quality care as technology and care pathways evolve.”

“I am thrilled that North America’s first fully digital hospital is opening right here in Ontario,” said Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario. “Our investment in the new Humber River Hospital will reinforce our province’s position as an innovation leader and help deliver on our commitment to put the needs of patients first.”

The government of Ontario is planning to invest more than CAD 11 billion in hospital capital grants over 10 years to build adequate infrastructure capacity in the health care sector.

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Humber River Hospital 

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