Looking out of their rooms, patients see green, noise-protected courtyards. The four-part building has a lightweight look about it and lets in a lot of light. The backdrop: the Alps of the cantons of Vaud and Valais. Outside the attractions include a sequoia, the Chablais wine region and the eastern shore of Lake Geneva – the Swiss Riviera – with the festival town of Montreux.

This is how patients experience the new Hôpital Riviera-Chablais in Rennaz. The joint project of the cantons of Vaud and Valais is opening its doors in the fall of 2019 after a construction period of three years. And with it, the region is taking primary healthcare to a whole new level for 180,000 people. The hospital has 360 beds and ten operating rooms.

From left to right: Walter Kurzen, R&M Switzerland; Raphaël Petit-Jean, responsible for planning at Bouygues Schweiz AG, Marion Adijman, intern in supervision of works at Steiner AG, Philippe Vuagniaux, infrastructure project lead at FHVI (Fédération des Hôpitaux Vaudois Informatique)

But this new start has a lot more to offer than what you would normally expect of an acute-care clinic. The patients’ rooms have a comfortable, hotel-like ambiance. Most of these are single-bed rooms with a bathroom. This ensures privacy and keeps the risk of infection to a minimum.

Patients have the entire world of communication at their disposal with terminals from Ascom. Every room features this ultraconvenient digital interface.

Helpful patient management

With the aim of avoiding waiting times and bottlenecks, the hospital has taken a new slant on admissions and simplified the whole setup in a revolutionary way. A central reception makes life easier for everyone involved. The people there have an overview, provide information, take care of data and help people get to where they need to be going. A committed team is available to customers every day from 6.45 am to 10 pm.

An online portal has been created for all services concerning inquiries, admissions, patients’ stay in hospital and their recovery. It is based on the latest digital technologies and has a multifunctional purpose. For example, it is the center of all communication on the entire medical process. All the hospital’s applications run on the Internet protocol (All over IP).

The aim of the portal is to bring patients as close as possible to the hospital. They can be taken up in the care system immediately and digitally in a convenient way. The online portal makes it possible to schedule appointments, manage data, contact doctors and the management, and much more. The hospital refers to it as a «privileged communications channel» for the time before, during and after medical care.

The human touch plus All over IP

The idea of being close to patients plays a major role. The technology is to be used for the good of the patients and not to the detriment of the personal touch in-hospital care. The Hôpital Riviera-Chablais emphasizes the human and caring side in all things. One example: Two qualified mediators are available for dialogue between patients, relatives, and internal hospital specialists. A mediating room is available for the immediate discussion and resolution of conflicts.

The name of the game in the ten operating rooms is also: All over IP. Numerous connections in the walls make it possible to access the network. Medical devices work on the basis of digital technology. The staff uses a multimedia system with touchscreens on the walls to operate all applications as well as room technology.

A state-of-the-art data network is the basis of digitalization. The hospital has to be able to fulfill the highest technical requirements. This is why the only solution was to implement a correspondingly high-grade and secure infrastructure. Two redundant data centers host large quantities of data. They control 20 computer rooms which make the local network nodes accessible via 65 cabinets.

Completely reliable

After a complex evaluation of possible suppliers, the general contractor Steiner AG decided to work with R&M. Samuel Maillardet from Steiner AG says: «Various suppliers were evaluated for the network area. R&M was chosen because of its good reputation. Our installation partner Bouygues had recommended the company.»

Raphaël Petit-Jean, the chief planner at Bouygues, says: «With such a large project, I need partners that I can rely on one hundred percent. I have come to know R&M as exactly that kind of partner and thus would not hesitate to recommend the company to others.» Due to the magnitude of the project, the planner was faced with immense coordination tasks. «If even the smallest of problems recur, that can soon turn into a large problem,» says Raphaël Petit-Jean.

Constant support on site

Construction work started in the spring of 2015. Installation was carried out between the middle of 2017 and the end of 2018, taking longer than initially planned. Delays in project planning, changes to the architecture of the FO network and the special design of the data centers had to be taken into consideration.

Those involved in the project confirm: R&M provided the best possible support throughout the entire installation. The R&M experts were always on-site when decisions were to be made concerning unexpected challenges. Delivery took place in sections. This ensured optimal use of the installation capacities. The goods did not have to be stored on-site in the dusty environment of the new construction.

Samuel Maillardet, site supervisor, responsible for electrical engineering, Steiner AG

Samuel Maillardet is satisfied: «All work was simply outstanding. We now have a perfectly installed, future-proof communication network. » Project lead Alexia Tournier concludes: «I would particularly like to thank R&M for their fast reaction to our needs as well as for the high quality of delivery.»

All work was simply outstanding. We now have a perfectly installed, future-proof communication network.

Samuel Maillardet, site supervisor, responsible for electrical engineering, Steiner AG