SA Health Asset Sustainment Program, Australia

Digital planning tool enhances asset management for remote locations

About one-third of Australia’s population, a little over 8 million people, live in regional, rural, and remote areas. On average, they don’t generally experience the same high standard of health and well-being as those who live in the cities, or the same access to health services and health-related infrastructure.

In South Australia, SA Health is addressing the health deficit in the State’s rural and remote areas with a compliance and sustainment works program over a 10-year period.

A commitment of AUD140 million will be invested in asset renewal and replacement works at 64 hospitals, eight aged care facilities and three health centres to support improved healthcare standards and better healthcare services for patients.

With a program of this magnitude, the allocation of funding into the most appropriate works is paramount to support existing and planned health service delivery. To inform the implementation of this critical body of works, SA Health engaged Aurecon to provide engineering condition assessments, strategic asset management and advisory services.

The results of Aurecon’s work are being used by SA Health to determine which investments will yield the best service outcomes for people in regional and rural South Australia. Aurecon’s investigations covered a range of built environment and building services assets.

Using collaborative methods to conduct asset assessments

The traditional method of determining asset performance is a detailed on-site physical inspection of each individual asset. This process is extremely time-consuming, costly and was not deemed the most efficient approach to inform the high-level program planning that was required on this project.

To align the process with the government’s budget and timeframes, Aurecon, in collaboration with SA Health, applied SA Health’s Traffic Light Report to electronically capture asset data categorised according to 98 classifications across 10 disciplines. This digitally-enabled methodology allowed Aurecon to readily capture a vast amount of asset data from the 75 sites.

Asset data was collected from physical site inspections and surveys with site facility managers, allowing engineers to gain insights into the general state of assets within the portfolio. This provided a meaningful understanding for each asset classification, of its specification, performance, condition, associated risk, remediation required, and estimated cost associated with the remediation.

An interactive and data-driven planning tool

Rows and rows of raw asset data was never going to be an effective means of communicating the condition of an extensive asset portfolio to healthcare managers and planners. Hence, Aurecon developed a bespoke digital and interactive asset management planning tool in consultation with SA Health.

Managers and planners use the information contained in this tool in the form of a digital dashboard to inform, prioritise and budget asset renewal and replacement works for subsequent years of the sustainment program.

With the ability to assess multiple budget scenarios to balance costs, risk and performance of assets in the program, healthcare managers and planners can use the interactive dashboard tool to decide on the exact year that renewal and replacement works will be undertaken, in which classification package, and most importantly, the financial and risk implications of each investment decision.

A defining factor to the success of this tool was the collaborative engagement between Aurecon and SA Health. With detailed stakeholder coordination and interface management, a digital tool has been developed that is practical, easy to use and adds value to SA Health’s asset sustainment program planning.

SA Health is empowered through the use of this tool to make evidence-based asset decisions for its asset sustainment works. The tool allows the value of funding to be maximised through improved operational decision-making which balances cost, risk, opportunity and performance.

Value delivered

Aurecon provided SA Health with the following results:

  • Asset data and implementation program advice to determine funding allocation for the asset sustainment program
  • Understanding of each asset classification, discipline status and risk, allowing informed asset management decisions to prioritise investment programs
  • A digitally-enabled interactive planning tool which facilitates a consistent implementation program of prioritised renewal and replacement works

This project enables SA Health to continue with its vision of enhancing the provision of health and aged care services to people in regional South Australia on a more efficient and cost-effective basis.

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