While sitting at the NIRAS office in Aarhus, Carsten Dollerup enthusiastically explains how data from his Fitness tracker may benefit in cases of hospitalisations. The gadget can track pulse rate, BMI, sleep activity and calories burned, and doctors will be able to use this information in any medical treatment, he says. In fact, the talk about technical equipment and how it may help people is something Carsten has always been interested in.
For this reason, he decided to pursue an education first to become a radio mechanic, and later an electronic engineer specialising in biomedical technology.
Behind the term biomedical technology is all the equipment that healthcare workers use when treating patients. This includes e.g. blood pressure monitors and respirators, but also large MRi scanners as well as radiotherapy equipment. Biomedical technology covers a wide area, it is very specialized and it also affects its corresponding building conditions in one way or another.
Recently, a colleague who works with acoustics at BørneRiget – a new children’s hospital at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen – asked Carsten for advice on what equipment makes loud noises in the new building and what should therefore be taken into account.
Helps making the right compromises
Carsten has more than 25 years of experience in providing advice to hospitals in almost all possible scenarios, departments and layers of the organisation and also among just about every profession. His aim is always to create places of work with a production line that functions efficiently.
However, why does an engineer specialised in biomedical technology work in a consulting engineering company as NIRAS? A company with more than 700 building specialists who, most of the time, work with bricks, constructions and installations – in fact, anything but medico technology?
‘The hospital leaders need advice from a specialist who isn’t in their day-to-day work. As an impartial client advisor I can provide support and consultancy to both management and personnel in order for them to find the best solutions,’ Carsten says.
A link between the clinical, the administrative and the technical silo
As matters stand, the hospitals are divided into three main silos: the clinical, the administrative and the technical silo. However, a discussion between the silos may often reach an impasse, mainly because people do not understand each other. Everyone knows that you cannot always get what you want, but who decides what is right and wrong?
This is where Carsten enters the picture. He has a great understanding of what is happening within the clinic’s walls, what technology is being used and so on. Besides, he is able to see a connection between those things in relation to healthcare and hospitals.
‘Being closely involved in all the different fields, I can help people in understanding the views and focus points of the silos, and thus help them making the right compromises. In this way everyone gets the best possible result within the given framework,’ Carsten says.
Visiting and talking to users
It can be a difficult task for Carsten to help people understand the importance of having a serious approach in the planning stage, e.g. when arranging an operating theatre. Here, all the equipment must be set and specified the most suitable way for the personnel to use it.
Carsten tackles this challenge by visiting and having a word with the hospital staff himself. It motivates him to know that even the smallest things which can be optimized may spare the staff some important minutes.
Currently he works on building programs and design requirements for exciting hospital projects, such as the new proton centre at Radiumhospitalet in Oslo, Bispebjerg Hospital, Akutbyggeri and Danish Centre for Particle Therapy.