Reference architecture for automated hospital logistics
A development project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund
The purpose of the project:
To define the reference architecture and the future of open standards for control of automated and intelligent logistics in hospitals.
To solve known problems/challenges:
- Integration – horizontal and vertical – solutions are not connected as a coherent intelligent and integrated system.
- Uncertainty about architecture and choice of standards – new area for the regions’ IT people – in the crossroad between IT and machines
- Lack of use of open standards – management of automated logistics does not apply standards to the same degree or at the same level as in other areas.
- Reference architecture: A reference architecture is a common reference framework (benchmark) for the way IT solutions are built within a specific area. A reference architecture describes the business visions and goals, sets out principles and concepts. It describes how to realize the properties that are needed both at the business level and at the technical level. A reference architecture is a description at a conceptual and logical level. A reference architecture gives both authorities and suppliers common points of view for the development of the area (http://arkitekturguiden.digitaliser.dk/node/405).
- Open standards: The use of open standards provides better and cheaper opportunities for the exchange and reuse of data and for streamlining work processes and developing the quality of the public service. Open standards are defined for system and communication interfaces, which are adapted to the healthcare sectors needs for logistics and flow management. This helps to facilitate tendering processes and it lowers development costs for design, as it provides the ability to reuse data. Authorities can also better ensure supplier independence, as open standards promote interoperability and competition.
- Reference implementation: A reference implementation is generally an implementation of a specification that is to be used as a final interpretation of that specification. Here it is verified that the specification can be implemented and serves as a “standard” against which other implementations can be measured. After the reference architecture has been described and open standards have been drawn up to cover the desired needs, it is the reference implementation that determines which specifications work and creates coherence in a complex IT architecture that exists in the healthcare sector and that integrates complex systems.
- Test installation: Test installation of MVP (Minimal Viable Product) at an existing hospital with automated logistics in order to demonstrate the reference architecture and the open standards in a clinical environment.