The patient-care tower project at Royal Inland Hospital has reached a milestone in its development.
Full-size mock-ups of a number of the rooms in the tower’s design — including a single-patient room, an operating room and a birthing room — have been constructed in a Laval Crescent facility.
This has allowed health-care professionals to collaborate on the design, using their first-hand experience with the hospital workflow to tweak the structures.
“Staff from RIH come up, they have a look at it and they’re able to provide feedback on the design to make sure that patient flows and staff working conditions are ideal when the tower is built,” said Kevin Parnell, communications consultant for capital planning and projects with Interior Health, during a tour of the constructed mock-ups.
This is the second phase of mock-ups done for the rooms that will be in the $417-million tower.
The first phase featured rooms that were drawn on the floor in tape. The final phase will involve building mock-ups inside the actual tower.
When finished, the tower will provide significant upgrades to RIH, including an increased number of private rooms. When the tower opens, 80 per cent of patient rooms will be private, compared to 20 per cent of rooms in the current hospital.
It’s a design choice that might seem intended solely for patient comfort, but there are also medical benefits because private rooms mean private bathrooms.
“From an infection-prevention and control perspective, this really allows us to help contain any outbreaks that we have,” explained Dr. Todd Ring, chief of staff at Royal Inland Hospital.
“So, by patients having their own bathroom, it will really help to prevent infections being spread to other patients, closing down units, impacting the whole hospital.”
The updated private rooms also feature an open alcove that allows staff to keep an eye on patients without disrupting them, as well as larger exterior windows.
The new tower will also feature 11 operating rooms, each significantly larger than the existing rooms in RIH, with all operating equipment raised off the floor to allow the rooms to be cleaned and sterilized more efficiently.
The larger space will help better accommodate the flow of medical staff around the patient, but the design will also allow the hospital to prepare for the future and open doors to enhance the facility’s surgical capabilities.
“Kamloops is one of two tertiary centres for Interior Health,” Ring said. “And so, as part of that, we do have a lot of specialty programs. We also want to kind of look into what sub-specialty programs we can continue to grow and develop.
The patient-care tower is expected to be completed in the summer of 2022.
A second phase of construction, involving the renovation of the emergency room, pediatrics, post-aesthetic recovery, morgue and the lab, is expected to be completed in 2024.