When a city builds its first new hospital in over 80 years, it’s sure to be eagerly anticipated by the public. And it’s to be expected that health professionals look forward to working in a state-of-the-art clinical setting. But when the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care says, “As I see the progress being made, my enthusiasm is really quite palpable. The level of excitement I feel is extraordinary,” you know you’re doing something right.
That was Minister George Smitherman’s reaction during a recent visit to Brampton Civic Hospital, which is slated for completion by July 3, 2007. In less than three years, this one- million plus square foot facility has risen out of what was once a cornfield. Intended to serve approximately a million people in northwest Greater Toronto Area communities, the 608-bed public hospital is uniquely designed to provide high quality medical care in a truly patient and family-centred environment. Area residents will have access to acute and ancillary services, including:
- advanced diagnostic imaging such as open and closed MRI and 64-slice CT
- high-risk obstetrics and regional maternal/newborn care
- regional dialysis care
- expanded cardiac care
- comprehensive cancer care
All of this will be offered in a physical structure aimed at meeting the complex and varied needs of patients, families, staff, physicians, and the public. Throughout the design process, architects, hospital personnel, and user groups have collaborated on many aspects of the design, from ensuring optimum workflow and patient privacy to incorporating aesthetic elements such as green space, natural light, accessibility features, and calming interior décor.
Aside from these considerations, there will be a key change in the way non-clinical services are provided. The Healthcare Infrastructure Company of Canada Incorporated will coordinate food, building maintenance, security, parking, materials management, waste management, housekeeping, linen and laundry, and portering services at Brampton Civic Hospital through a subcontractor – Carillion Services Incorporated.
Debbie Cock, Director of Operational Planning for Osler, believes one of the expected benefits for users will be a centralized point of access when help is needed in any of the above non-clinical areas. Carillion will offer a ‘Call Centre’ concept with a single contact number and a live operator who will respond to calls and assign the required tasks to the appropriate service staff. It will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “This means that if there is a need for a service such as spill clean-up, fresh linen, or security, people should be able to call one central telephone number and have their request processed quickly,” Cock said.
Other services planned for Brampton Civic include:
- a Cleaning Response Team to address ad hoc calls in addition to regular housekeeping personnel
- a Central Security Alarm Station resourced 24/7 as well as regular patrols
- radio frequency locating for infant protection, patient wandering prevention and mobile equipment tracking
- closed circuit television that will provide visual records of all persons and vehicles entering or exiting the hospital and parking areas
- When it comes to food, patients can expect culturally diverse menu choices, and a variety of meal delivery methods such as bedside trays, dining room serveries, or mobile food carts. Carillion also plans to offer special child-friendly foods for paediatric patients and meal kits that will be available to outpatients or emergency department patients.
Another plus is that Carillion will have responsibility for ongoing maintenance of the physical facility at Brampton Civic, which Patrick Doherty, Director of Facility Services at Carillion, believes will improve Osler’s ability to concentrate its attention and resources on patient and family care. “The hospital is very good at clinical care,” he said. “What we bring to the table is service-focused technology to support that. Osler will identify its needs, and Carillion will fill them.”
Before Brampton Civic opens its doors, Carillion and Osler will coordinate a staged orientation process for staff – what Doherty and Cock refer to as controlled mobilization. Each department will be taken through their individual units and there will be mock processes with fictitious patients going through the system step by step. As Cock emphasized, “We want to be sure that the procedures we have down on paper actually work in the real world.”