The 800-bed Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) is the state’s flagship hospital, providing a comprehensive range of the most complex clinical care to an estimated 85,000 inpatients and 400,000 outpatients each year.
Structurally, the hospital spans the equivalent of three city blocks and is located on a pristine site containing almost four hectares of landscaped parks and internal green space, including over 70 courtyards, terraces and sky gardens.
The Royal Adelaide Hospital
Planned, designed and built around the needs of patients
The emotional and physical needs of patients, their loved ones and carers are at the heart of the RAH, driving its creation from conception right through to construction.
A strong focus on natural light and environment combine with 100 per cent single overnight patient rooms to create the best possible healing environment with greater levels of privacy, comfort and infection control.
The facility has been designed to ensure the most effective flow of patients to the care they need.
A number of entry points into the hospital allow more patients to bypass the Emergency Department (ED) and be admitted directly into the service they need, such as cardiology or mental health.
The design of the RAH also ensures patients flow seamlessly through the hospital once admitted, with related services located in close proximity. On the hospital’s western side, for example, the ED is positioned below critical areas on other floors, such as pathology and blood transfusion, trauma and emergency theatres, the Intensive Care Unit and the helipad.
Each area is connected by ‘hot lifts’, enabling these services to be reached in under two minutes.
Leading the way with clinical technology
The RAH is one of Australia’s most technologically advanced healthcare facilities, integrating the latest innovations across health, education and research to deliver high-quality care.
The state-of-the-art facilities appeal to healthcare professionals, helping to attract some of the best expertise from around the world.
The RAH is home to one of the biggest Automated Pharmacy Distribution Systems in the nation, bringing South Australia to the forefront of automated medication technology.
The system includes more than 80 automated dispensing cabinets in patient wings to support the accurate and timely distribution of medicines.
Telehealth facilities enable staff to consult with colleagues and patients in regional and remote areas across the state and further afield, while digital imaging technology will allow clinical images to be streamed live from operating theatres and procedural rooms for diagnostic and training purposes.
The hospital features the largest automated microbiology system in the southern hemisphere, providing world-class technology to support the timely diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.
The RAH is also the state’s only public hospital to roll out a digital instrument tracking system to manage its vast collection of medical equipment.
Providing a full range of complex clinical care
As South Australia’s flagship hospital, the RAH provides a comprehensive range of complex care across medical, surgical, emergency, acute mental health, outpatient and diagnostic fields.
The RAH is a ‘super-site’ for major emergencies in South Australia, such as heart attacks and stroke, and serves as the complex multi-trauma destination for the state.
There is a 24 hour on-site stroke team, a 24 hour on-call service for acute coronary syndrome and 24 hour diagnostic and imaging services.
The RAH is the statewide centre for critical services such as complex cancers and bone marrow transplants, craniomaxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery and cardiothoracic services with a focus on complex thoracic surgical cases.
In addition to services currently provided, the RAH offers a specialist acute spinal and brain injury rehabilitation service.
Other key statewide services provided include renal transplantation, hyperbaric medicine and complex vascular medicine and surgery.
Equipped to respond to major disaster
The RAH plays a lead role in South Australia’s disaster management strategies, with capacity to support victims of both man-made and natural catastrophes.
The Emergency Department (ED) is equipped to respond to major disasters, such as a chemical spill, with decontamination showers enabling mass decontamination, while having five negative pressure rooms and a quarantine room will be crucial in the event of an infectious outbreak.
The quarantine room is designed to the standards required to support patients with highly infectious diseases such as Ebola and can be segregated from the rest of the ED.
The hospital has been designed with flexibility to convert specific spaces into additional clinical areas in the event of a mass casualty disaster such as a plane crash.
The RAH is also engineered to withstand major earthquakes and extreme weather events and can continue to operate for 48 hours if completely cut off from outside services such as water and power.
Green, sustainable design
The RAH site incorporates a total of 3.8 hectares of landscaped environment, including more than 70 internal themed (i.e. Aboriginal and Spinal Garden) courtyards and sky gardens across the 9 levels. This creates a 1.6 hectare footprint of greenspace within the hospital.
The garden areas will provide opportunities for physical movement and exercise but will also cater to public gatherings and intimate private moments.
4 Star Green Rating
The RAH has been awarded a 4 Star Green Star – Healthcare Design v1 rating, making it the largest and most technically complex Green Star project in Australia. The rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) formally recognises the hospital for its commitment to environmentally sustainable design and building practices.
Launched by the Green Building Council of Australia in 2003, Green Star is Australia's only national, voluntary, rating system that evaluates the environmental design and construction of buildings for communities.
Captured and recycled water is used for toilet flushing, irrigation etc to offset the water used for drinking, cooking and personal bathing. In addition, high efficiency water fittings have been incorporated throughout the facility.
The RAH has been designed to optimise daylight, reducing the demand for artificial light. Extensive energy metering and reporting strategies are in place to identify and manage energy consumption. Onsite generation systems utilise waste heat to provide heating to the building.
Indoor Environment Quality
Within the patient areas, high levels of natural light and external views are on offer, as well as environmentally friendly finishes such as low volatile organise compound (VOC) paints, carpets etc. The acoustic design also minimises noise.