Mount Sinai’s Women’s and Infants’ redevelopment project within baby steps of completion

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Mount Sinai Hospital’s Lawrence and Frances Bloomberg Centre for Women’s and Infants’ Health is within a few baby steps of moving into its new home. This is the first part of the hospital’s capital redevelopment project that will create, expand and modernize the facility.

In December, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care gave approval for Mount Sinai to award the contract for the fit-out of the hospital’s new six-storey shell. This phase of the project and the construction of the shell will cost $226 million.

More than three floors of the new space will be dedicated to Women’s and Infants’ Health, which will contemporize its technology, equipment and environment, and increase its square footage by 60 per cent.

“Almost a decade ago obstetrical services were transferred from Toronto General Hospital to Mount Sinai,” explains Altaf Stationwala, Senior Vice President, Operations and Redevelopment, Mount Sinai Hospital. “The existing infrastructure and space at Mount Sinai is insufficient to accommodate the expanded clinical services, and tertiary and quaternary nature of the programs. As a result, the Centre for Women’s and Infants’ Health has become the priority focus of our redevelopment project.”

The fit-out phase will include everything necessary to turn the six floors into usable clinical space, i.e. walls, flooring and installation of furniture and specialized equipment. Highlights of the new space and design include:

• A series of single rooms per family in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit from the current ward layout to improve infection control and patient and family-centred care

• An increase to five birthing rooms in Labour and Delivery, up from two. One will be designed to accommodate twins and another designated for moms requiring airborne precautions

• Predominantly private rooms in the Women’s and Infants’ area

• Dedicated clinical research space that is integral to fulfilling Mount Sinai’s academic goals of discovery and improving clinical practice

“The new and larger space will allow us to provide safe, quality care in a more family-centred environment,” says Rheney Castillo, Senior Director, Women’s and Infants’ Health and Nursing, Mount Sinai Hospital. “We know this space will help us improve infection rates, and provide more privacy and comfort for our families.”

In planning the redevelopment, a major focus was minimizing the disruption of the construction by working around the day-to-day operation of the hospital.

“The project’s most impressive success is the minimal impact it has had on patient care and workflow,” says Stationwala. “Staff, physicians and patients have adapted incredibly well to the disruptions – elevator shutdowns, vibrations, moves and changes to entrances.”

Some of the Women’s and Infants’ programs will begin moving into the new space in 2011 and the others will follow. “Our clinical teams are a key part of planning the sequential moves to ensure they happen with minimal disruption,” says Castillo. “Not only are we planning the physical move, but also the orientation to the new facility and training for the new equipment and workflow. Ultimately, we want to ensure it’s as seamless as possible for our patients and their families, as well as staff and physicians.”

The hospital’s next phase of the redevelopment project – which is currently being planned – includes the expansion, consolidation and improvements to the Surgical Program, Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department.