Hospital Authority is the statutory body managing all the government hospitals and institutes in Hong Kong, currently over 160 facilities across the territory. The proposed Supporting Services Centre, the first for HA and worldwide, will be located in North Lantau with an area of approximately 13,000 m2, supporting the laundry, catering, personal protective equipment (PPE) and linen storage, smart logistics operation and data centre services for supporting the operations of HA hospitals.
With an expected productivity of 8-10 times higher than the service capacity in same space of existing hospitals, WSP will provide solutions that ensure the centre is Future Ready with latest technologies, enabling smart and highly efficient operation while allowing seamless new technology upgrade for future. For instance, to cope with the upcoming 5G era, we will ensure all facilities are inter-connected and compatible with 5G eco system environment.
Smart Laundry System
It is expected that the facilities will have a laundry production capacity of approximately 27,500,000 kg each year. With such a high production rate and stringent requirement on cleanliness, the laundry system will be a fully automated operation with the use of robotic arms, intelligent conveyor belt system, automated guided vehicle (AGV) and smart laundry management system for unmanned operation.
Occupying three floors of the centre, the entire laundry production process will be independent on each floor but allow flexibility for joint/ configurable operation if required. Our solution also involves the use of image processing technology and AI to identify the location, types and condition of garment/ linen. The system will be connected to back-end central database management system for data transparency so that all hospitals could track the real-time laundry status anytime and anywhere. It will also trigger special treatment process automatically during crisis mode such as a pandemic.
Feeding the Patients
Maintain an efficient supply of meals is essential to patients’ health and recovery. We propose an automated kitchen and catering production process with enhanced productivity and food variety, which will fully comply or even exceed the requirement of ISO22000 food and hygiene standard. In this kitchen, all processes will be connected with end-users (HA hospitals), production (food suppliers) and transportation by 5G, big data and AI-enabled functions for a fully smart operation. With our automated solution, the annual central food production capacity will reach approximately 12,500,000 patient meals with lesser man-power.
Securing Logistical and Operational Efficiency
WSP will also plan for the storage area for PPE and linen to be used in different medical facilities. The robotic systems that include leading edge rack management system, AGV technologies and deep machine learning capability will be vital to support the operation of laundry and kitchen/catering services as well as logistic operation of the Support Service Centre.
For the ancillary system, we will assist the establishment of 5G mobile communication environment that enable seamless integration with telephone systems and other data/voice communication. Apart from setting up various future-ready technology platforms that allow AIoT (AI and IoT), big data, cloud storage and unmanned operation, we will also develop a central database management system as the ‘big data backbone’ and the wireless backbone (e.g. WiFi 6, LoRa and narrowband IoT), for smart logistic operation. We will also develop various ICT and intelligent systems for effective operation by the supporting service centre.