In early 2013, while Saskatoon Health Region worked with Ministry of Health through the review and approval of the hospital's design development report, site preparation at Royal University Hospital (RUH) continued.
In March 2013, construction was underway for a new entrance into RUH's main floor mall. This entrance will eventually replace the existing Cameco Skywalk. The Cameco Skywalk is in the area of the parkade that will be torn down in order to build the new hospital.(Click here for the location information)
The new entrance is the first of two planned for RUH and the new maternal and children's hospital. The second entrance will be built during CHS construction.
Detailed design is approved by Ministry of Health
On April 30, 2013, Ministry of Health announced its approval of Saskatoon Health Region's design development report for Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan. The design plans reflected the ideas of hundreds of children, teenagers, families, staff and physicians from Saskatoon and across the province.
Now, it was time to create the blueprints. The architectural team moved forward to work with mechanical, structural and electrical engineers to draw up blueprints. Meanwhile, the project team began to work to finalize the interior design concepts created through 2012. These concepts had been created based on the extensive provincial engagement of children, teenagers, parents and families.
Through spring and summer 2013, a team of patients and families, employees, physicians, Children's Hospital foundation representatives, and Saskatoon Health Region operational leaders began meeting. Together, they reviewed the latest evolution in interior design concepts from the project's design team, provided feedback and continue to help finalize the look and feel of Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan.
This work continues and is happening in parallel to the development of signage and wayfinding within the new hospital. Through 2013, interior design sessions would also include a focused discussion on wayfinding. The project team had hired a wayfinding consultant in early 2013 to help with this important piece of work.
As the wayfinding and interior design sessions took place and blueprints were created, other technical details were worked on including determining equipment, fixtures and furniture. This include sessions with employees and physicians to decide technical details such as what is the most appropriate lighting to support medical care in patient rooms.
A growing province
As all this work was underway the reality of Saskatchewan's growth began to hit home. The province's population surpassed 1.1 million for the first time in 2013, and with it, Saskatoon Health Region has seen a significant increase in demand for their services. This had Health Region employees and physicians asking the project team to validate the bed numbers planned in 2011 before the shovel hits the ground for hospital construction. In 2011, when creating the initial design for the new hospital using lean (3P) methodology, design teams had used what was then the most recent provincial population projections to help determine bed numbers for the new hospital.
Throughout the fall of 2013, the CHS project team worked with Saskatoon Health Region operational and physician leaders to review the new provincial population projections. By the end of 2013, using the same 3P methodology utilized in 2011 but with new population projection inputs, leaders determined that nine private maternal services inpatient rooms and 15 private children’s services inpatient rooms needed to be added. They also determined the projections did not result in significant changes for the other CHS service lines.
After the recommendations were made, architects then shifted from completing blueprints to creating design concepts to show how additional inpatient beds could potentially be incorporated. These concepts were brought to design teams in early 2014 for review. The goal of design team review was to ensure that any adjustments would continue to support all of the planned design principles and lean efficiencies including all private patient rooms with natural light and retain all planned dedicated family spaces. By the end of these sessions, the teams had identified a preferred concept that supported all of the principles and efficiencies. But it did mean the total area of the hospital would need to grow by approximately 11%. The project team brought forward this information and worked with Ministry of Health through the first part of 2014 to receive approval and funding support.
Site preparation construction continues
In parallel to this work, site preparation construction continued. This saw the completion of the RUH parkade expansion in summer 2013.
Then, in October 2013, significant roadway changes were underway at Royal University Hospital. This included new entry and exit lanes into the parkade and a partial opening of Saskatoon's first helix ramp. By November 2013, the helix fully opened and additional construction work related to the new entrance was in full swing. The entrance construction meant significant noise disruptions in RUH clinical areas such as Coronary Care Unit, adult Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Outpatient Clinic. The project team is extremely grateful for the patience, understanding and cooperation of RUH employees and physicians, and most importantly patients and families, who dealt with these disruptions.
By December 2013, work began to prepare the portions of the RUH parkade for demolition. These sections will be torn down in order to build the new maternal and children's hospital in the same location. In the meantime, construction continued on the new entrance and remaining roadway changes. The project team had also achieved 90% completion of the blueprints as scheduled.