British Telecommunications (BT) will hire 70 additional workers in Western Australia after securing a major telecommunication services contract for the state-of-the-art Fiona Stanley Hospital to be opened in 2014.
BT has announced that it has been selected by services company Serco to install and manage IT and communications infrastructure in the new 783-bed, 6300-room, 150,000-square metre hospital located in Perth, Western Australia. BT Australasian managing director Paul Miglorini said that although BT has established a strong presence in hospital IT internationally, this is the first big win for the company in Australia.
"We've been working on developing the healthcare sector for BT in Australia for now coming up to three years," he told ZDNet Australia. "The Fiona Stanley contract is the first major contract, so it's very much a milestone contract for us. It's something that we're very excited about."
Lisa Altman, BT Australasia's health practice director, said that BT would be installing a fixed Local Area Network (LAN) service across the Fiona Stanley campus and buildings, and a wireless network designed to reach the recreational and car parking areas of the campus. Given the sensitivity of patient data that will be held across the network, there will be a security layer built into the network provided by BT, she said.
BT will also provide managed services, system integration, unified communications and virtual desktops. Altman said that this would allow doctors and specialists both in and out of the hospital to access patient data securely.
"It will enable them to bring together specialists and other members of the multidisciplinary care team, so they can review patient cases no matter where they are," she said.
Mobility is also an important feature. Altman said that BT would be providing methods to allow doctors to use their own iPads, iPhones and Android devices on the hospital network.
"All clinicians have their own toys, they have their iPads and their Android devices, and they want to be able to use them when they come on campus. We'll be developing secure access for those clinicians; when they come on campus, they can access into the Fiona Stanley systems and be able to access patient records as if they were on a fixed terminal."
With the hospital opening in 2014, well after the planned launch of personally controlled e-health records by the Federal Government, Altman said that all of the work that BT would be doing for the project would comply with National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) standards, but said that it would be up to WA Health to implement the records themselves at the hospital.
The Fiona Stanley Hospital is putting in state-of-the-art audio and video equipment in operating theatres that, in conjunction with the hospital's network, will allow the hospital to broadcast operations outside of the hospital. Altman said that BT was keen to expand telehealth offerings from hospitals to allow more in-home care for patients, particularly in regional and rural areas of Australia.
Miglorini said that with over 200 employees in Australia, BT is now focusing on bringing digital hospitals and telehealth to Australia, as well as expanding its clinical safety offerings through working with groups like NEHTA.