The universal care wing and part of acute care are expected to be completed by Jan. 5.
However, the facility won’t be operational until the entire building is complete. Work on the three long-term care wings and one acute care wing is scheduled to be completed on March 5, after which time staff will be oriented and the Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility opened in April.
Until then, construction continues to be focused on the hospital portion of the facility. Cupboards have been installed in the universal care area. Within the 16 clinic rooms – 10 small and six large – a con-von system has been established in each, which allows cupboards to be stocked from the hallway for access inside each room. This allows staff to add everyday-use supplies and empty the garbage and laundry hamper without disrupting a patient and healthcare provider in the room.
“We’ll have a staff member that floats throughout the building, and their responsibility will be to make sure that these cupboards are stocked at all times, and they can do that without disturbing what’s going on,” explained Trent Regier, director of rural health services.
Also on hand will be 25 specialty carts with additional supplies that can be moved from room to room.
Universal care will include health care providers such as physicians, a nurse practitioner, public health nurse, community health workers, addictions services, youth and adult mental health services and home care services.
Within the staging area of the universal care unit, desks and cubicles were set up last week. The open concept will allow health care providers to communicate more easily with each other.
“We’re trying to build a team environment. The whole goal will be a one-stop shop for health care,” Regier said, noting health workers will be able to more easily arrange for patients to see a physician, have X-rays and lab work done or see a dietitian all in the same visit instead of two or three. (Providers) can very quickly have these conversations and provide that care.”
Two clinic rooms are also able to be accessed just off the staging area.
The therapies room is triple the size of the space alloted in the old hospital and allows two patients to be treated at the same time. It includes a full X-Y gantry system to move patients from one area to another.
The lab is also larger – about double the size with room for expansion. The X-ray room is lined with the newest lead technology for safety and has a bigger control room.
In the pharmacy, there is room for the expansion of services as requested by the community. There are two rooms available for mixing drugs and storing those that aren’t available at local pharmacies. They will be used more extensively six months to a year after the new facility opens.
The 24 acute-care rooms have a con-von system that is stocked from the outside as well. In-patient rooms will have an X-Y gantry system and a chair that can fold out into a sleeper bed for a loved one to spend the night. The health region will have access to half of these rooms in January.
The facility is equipped with a card swipe system to provide security. Staff will use their key cards to open or lock doors to certain areas, which also allows the health region to be aware of who is in which part of the building.
“As part of our emergency plan, if we need to evacuate the building we can very quickly phone Swift Current and print a list of who’s where,” Regier said.
Almost all desks and cupboards are on site now, but other furnishings and equipment are being stored at a warehouse in town and another one in Swift Current.
“We ran out of space here, and we still have five to seven semis coming yet,” Regier stated.
Other technological pieces of equipment will be ordered closer to the opening date to ensure they have the most up-to-date versions.
Currently, the universal care area and half of acute care have been hooked up to full power. The remainder of the building is running on temporary power until it can be commissioned.
Once the health region gains access to commissioned areas in January, staff will be educated on the new facility.
“We’ll set up those beds and practice and learn,” Regier said.
Long-term care staff will receive an orientation once the keys to that area are received on March 5. Training will then take place over the next month, and staff and residents will begin moving in by the middle of April.