Nurse call system for fast-track built Hong Kong isolation facility
Static Systems says its ‘unrivalled expertise and proven track-record in the region' was instrumental in it winning the contract to provide advanced nurse call communication for the North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Centre (HKICC).
The temporary isolation hospital on Lantau Island was funded by the central government for treating COVID-19 patients in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Built next to another treatment facility at Asia World-Expo, it is capable of providing 136 wards and 816 negative pressure beds, covers a land area of 30,000 m2, and comprises six inpatient buildings, a medical centre, and other facilities. Its design is ‘in line with the standards required for a permanent structure’.
Static Systems said: “To build a hospital of this scale in Hong Kong would normally take four years, but with new building technology and construction ongoing around the clock, the project was completed in just four months.” Static Systems Group recommended its Ultima full IP, Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) nurse call system, ‘recognised worldwide for its resilience and reliability’, for the isolation hospital. Ultima is designed for rapid and easy deployment using industry standard LAN. Each system operates on the principle of distributed intelligence, and can thus run independently of the network at ward level – a feature that helped speed up testing.
The system at the North Lantau hospital includes a patient-to-staff speech facility at each bedside. Static Systems explained: “The benefits of voice communication – with calls responded to via a phone conversation – have come to the fore during the pandemic. Deploying patient-to-staff speech enables initial call assessments to take place prior to bedside visits, negating the need for the nurse to enter the room at all, or allowing any preparation to be undertaken beforehand, with just a single visit required for the minimal amount of time. Infection transmission risk is significantly reduced, and the amount of PPE needed far lower.”
Ultima is a software-controlled, ‘easily scalable solution’ that uses the latest IP protocols – ‘allowing seamless integration with many different technologies to achieve site-focused functionality based around individual hospital culture’. This reportedly allows for greater flexibility should there be a need to expand the system in the future, and, on the HKICC project, allowed the nurse call system of operation to complement the use of negative pressure systems.
HKICC is the Hong Kong’s first hospital with every room equipped with a negative pressure system, and as such, its construction was ‘immensely complex’. The air in the rooms is refreshed 12 times per hour, and 99.97% of viruses can be filtered. Every room has a delivery window that can be locked from both sides. Any items transferred through the window can be disinfected. Doors feature a sensing system that allows patients and medical workers to pass through without touching the handle.
The patient hand units supplied incorporate a silver-based antimicrobial agent to help further strengthen infection control. Static Systems added: “Importantly, the active agent will not degrade over time. Units are also sealed to IPX7, and can be immersed in a disinfectant solution, or cleaned with a sterilising wipe, to eliminate bio-hazards and reduce cross-infection risks.”
Installation and commissioning of the nurse call system were completed during January 2021, followed by intense cleaning ready to accept patients. As the construction plan stipulated just 4-6 weeks from receipt of the purchase order, Static Systems Group in the UK liaised closely with its long-established partner, Static Systems Hong Kong, to arrange pre-order drawings for approval to reduce the lead time at its UK manufacturing plant. This led to a standard front plate being fitted into the Chinese-built medical supply units installed into the hospital’s modular wards, subsequently allowing the project to be completed on time and within budget.
The remote diagnostic features included with the Ultima system enabled minor commissioning issues to be quickly rectified locally by Static Systems’ Hong Kong engineers, with the support of Static Systems’ UK-based technical support team.