It's a pain, but changes to roadways are a sign of progress for the construction of Saskatchewan's new maternal and children's hospital. Patients, clients and families, along with care providers, should prepare for delays with arriving and leaving the Saskatoon Cancer Centre, Ellis Hall, Dube Centre and Royal University Hospital.
"We are working to complete some important utility connections between the new hospital and Royal University Hospital," explains Craig Ayers, project director for the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital. "We are building an electrical duct bank that will run underground across Hospital Drive, as well we are creating another underground utility corridor between Royal University Hospital and Saskatoon Cancer Centre to the new facility."
The disruptions points will be:
- closed sections of Hospital Drive,
- parkade traffic reduced to single lanes, and
- periodic temporary closure of the parkade exit gate located between RUH and Saskatoon Cancer Centre
- closure of sidewalk along Medical Court, which is adjacent to RUH ground floor cafeteria entrance. Cafeteria entrance remains open.
The disruptions are expected to be in place through until August, but are critical to the hospital's construction progress.
Overall, hospital construction completion hit 58% at the end of May and the site is changing visually daily. Structurally, the basement and main floor are complete, with concrete work and framing occurring on the upper floors of the hospital. The main roofing has finished and work is underway to complete the construction of a new roof-top helipad.
Inside the new hospital, work has started on the interiors in some portions of the facility while the project team is working with important partners to finalize the graphics and other enhancements in some specific areas to keep the project schedule on track. The team has also received the technical documentation for wayfinding and signage for the hospital and is starting the final review. This includes everything from room number signs to directional signs that will guide patients and families throughout the new facility.
"In the coming months, the focus will shift more to construction inside the facility as the exterior takes its final shape," explains Ayers. "Equipment placement drawings have been completed and the final review of equipment requirements is underway with clinical care teams. We are already starting to purchase some larger pieces that need to be built in during the construction process and are thankful for the continuing support of the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation in helping provide the funds to do this. Purchasing equipment and furnishings is a complex process that requires careful planning and sequencing. We are constantly working with Graham construction to make sure that the procurement schedule is aligned with the construction schedule so equipment arrives when the construction crews need it."
On the operational planning side, there have been some exciting process improvement events underway as teams continue to prepare for hospital operations.
"We saw a team of pharmacy and laboratory staff collaborate to trial better ways to transport medications and lab specimens," says Sandy Gibson, director for operational readiness for Jim Pattison Children's Hospital. "During an improvement event, the team combined the portering work for each of their areas, resulting in a decrease in walking distance for the porters, and more time available for the pharmacy technician to process medication orders. This work is foundational for the new hospital as these are the first steps to developing an efficient plan for transporting supplies, given the distance between the lab and pharmacy spaces and what will be the new location of our emergency, pediatric and maternal patients."
This year, 15 operational planning groups have identified 54 milestones that they plan to achieve in this final full year of planning. The goal is to complete this and the work planned for the remaining 6 months before construction completion in early 2019. Once construction is done and the Region receives "the keys", it is anticipated it will take a number of months to test systems and equipment, and carry out staff training and orientation before patients are moved to the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital in late 2019.
Additional highlights in May include:
Operational Readiness Milestones, including IT/eHealth:
- The design and replenishment plan for specialty carts for emergency.
- The configuration, testing and workflow design for the Registration Replacement project.
- The launch of the staff-to-staff communication trial with maternal services at RUH. These are portable devices worn by care teams, allowing them to talk with each other at a click of a button and are critical to safe and efficient care in the new hospital.
Fixtures, Furniture and Equipment:
- Work continues on bundling equipment purchases together to go to market efficiently, finalizing contracts for purchasing of some of the key equipment pieces requiring installation during construction, and moving forward with work for purchasing all other medical equipment, furnishings and other items required to support operations in the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital.
Did you know that the new Jim Pattison Children's Hospital was never intended to be completely paperless? There will always be some paper that needs to be managed within the new facility. For example, patients traveling in from other centres with their clinical documents. However, Jim Pattison Children's Hospital is being built to accommodate both advanced technology (including bedside monitors and workstations) and paper charts; there will be a hybrid health record made up of electronic and paper clinical documentation.
Interiors have started within the new NICU.
View of the new helipad on top of the hospital. There is an elevator connection from here directly into the new adult and new pediatric emergency department.
View of Saskatoon’s river valley from the hospital’s construction crane.
All the floors, including NICU, are now seeing walls built and the floor design taking shape.
The outside of your new maternal and children's hospital. This is the view of the main entrance to both the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital and Royal University Hospital.