Hospital upgrade improves safety for patients, staff

Concern for the environment and safety are leading the way to a number of projects currently underway at the Fraser Canyon Hospital.

  • Jan. 27, 2011 10:00 a.m.

Heather Cook

Concern for the environment and safety are leading the way to a number of projects currently underway at the Fraser Canyon Hospital.

Phase one of the $400,000 safety realignment of the patient waiting room and medical records department is well underway with the closure of the current entrance to the hospital, to accommodate the switch, expected by the end of next week.

Patients and visitors to the hospital during the daytime will be asked to use the side doors, off the administration wing adjacent to the Coquihalla River, as a temporary entranceway to the hospital until the project is completed.

Once completed patients will have a “single process” for registering in the hospital and in emergency even after hours, says Catherine Wiebe, the hospital’s site director.

Currently after-hours admissions are taken at the emergency desk with patients entering from the ambulance ramp. Patients, friends and family could then be directed to a small waiting room adjacent to the open acute care ward – a situation that caused concern for the safety of both patients and hospital staff.

By exchanging the current medical records department, housed at the main entrance of the hospital, for a new waiting room safety is expected to improve.

“The currently location of the wait room isn’t secure, When visitors to the hospital are in the wait room they are not visible to staff and they have access to the stairwell and other departments, adds Wiebe.

“The new wait room is contained and makes the hospital secure after hours,” says Wiebe.

The move is expected to be completed by the end of March.

Construction is also underway in the new wing of the Fraser-Hope Lodge after a sprinkler malfunctioned causing substantial water damage to the dining room and kitchen areas. Repairs are expected to be completed in two weeks.

In a push to be more environmentally friendly, last year, the hospital’s aged boilers were replaced. Now energy efficient windows have also been installed throughout the acute care ward, and separate heating controls are being installed in each room.

With these projects, “the target is on going green,” says Wiebe.

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