Canada’s First Smart Hospital Debuts

By Chris Miller, Assistant Editor, Facility Market
July 29, 2021

Mackenzie Health

Mackenzie Health's Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital has become Canada’s first smart hospital because of a strategic partnership with healthcare technology company CenTrak. The Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, Mackenzie Health’s second hospital site, opened for full service on June 6 and is now equipped with a real-time location system (RTLS). The hospital and its innovation offshoot, Mackenzie Innovation Institute (Mi2), now has a system that automates data collection at the level of individual patients and providers. The system uses multiple technologies and thousands of sensors placed in asset tags, employee badges and other equipment to optimize hospital operations. 

RTLS technology is like indoor GPS, according to Mackenzie Health’s CTO Felix Zhang. Hospital staff and patients wear badges that receive the locating services from the RTLS system. The locating data is collected on the server and transmitted to different third party systems to automate some of the workflows.  

To give an example of the system in a clinical setting, if a patient calls to ask for a nurse an alarm goes off that alerts the nurse then the nurse comes. The system sensors know that a clinician has arrived, and will silence the alarm so that the nurse won’t have to push the button again. There is an in-room system that functions via a television and a tablet. If a clinician enters the room, the system will pop up the picture and name of the clinician to inform the patient.

The security system for infants is another feature of RTLS technology. “If a baby is leaving the unit without being accompanied by the mom, the system will detect that the mom and baby are separated and it will send an alarm,” Zhang said. “It will close the door and stop the elevator to prevent the infant from getting outside of the hospital.”

There is also the staff addressing system. If a staff member is in danger or needs help, they can press a button and the system will send locating information to others in the same unit and will also send an alert to the security department. These things will happen in real-time. “Safety is a backbone of the RTLS system,” Zhang said. “It’s all about providing the right information at the right time to the right people.

Other features of the new smart hospital include location visibility for mobile medical equipment, hand hygiene monitoring, and temperature monitoring for vaccines, medications, and biological specimens.CenTrak’s technology processes data to provide real-time information that helps staff to take instantaneous action. It also breaks down analytics and custom reports, which give health care providers the improved ability to recognize possibilities for improvement. The technology integrates with the hospital’s electronic health record software, mobile communication instruments used by staff, a patient engagement platform, access control systems, and security cameras among other devices. These features and more combine to make Mackenzie Health’s Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital a model for other hospitals around the world.  

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