Natural light, calm ambience, and muted colours embody the newly renovated Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the regional hospital in Trail.
Health Minister Terry Lake officially cut the ribbon when he was in town last week, though staff and patients tacitly moved back into the second floor wing last month.
“We’re grateful for the patience and understanding of our patients, families, and KBRH Pediatrics, while we had our temporary ICU on the fourth floor during the ICU redevelopment, ” says Critical Care Manager Sarah McLeod.
The $1.77-million project took one year to complete, and included replacement of external walls and windows, construction of a new airborne isolation room for patients with infectious illness, installation of glass doors for each patient room and new decentralized nursing stations located closer to patients.
“It has been great to move back to a newly renovated area,” McLeod said. “Bright, light and with the doors on the rooms, quieter and better for patient comfort … windows and layout of the renovated space are better for patients and families.”
Larger windows were a key renovation component, because natural light improves healing and minimizes confusion with critically ill patients.
Retiring the old curtain dividers is another major upgrade vital to improved patient care.
“The glass doors on each room, which replaced curtains we had before, improve confidentiality and decrease the noise heard from the main corridors and department,” explained McLeod.
Additionally, the new doors allow multidisciplinary rounds to be done in the patient rooms. That means ICU physicians, ICU staff and support staff such as pharmacists, dietitians and respiratory therapists can collaborate in one room with the patient present, so he/she is involved in care decisions and care planning.
“The nursing pods closer to the patient rooms improves lines of sight and work flow for nursing,” McLeod added. “There are still some adjustments to being in a new space, but having the nursing work closer to the patients room is working well.”
The unit was in need of an overhaul, the last major upgrades were made in the 1970s.
“We have had overall positive feedback from staff, and everyone is happy with the improvements,” McLeod shared. “Our patients and families have been really positive and complimentary.”
Finished touches, such as choosing wall art, is still underway.
“(We) have suggestions to get photos of the various communities that we serve as part of this display.”
After renovations, airborne isolation room
The ICU improvements were funded $1.23 million by Interior Health, $485,000 from the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District; and $57,000 from the KBRH Health Foundation for the airborne isolation room.
“The airborne isolation room now allows for improved care of patients with illnesses such as TB,” said McLeod. “Although we have fortunately not used it for this yet, but the room is actively being used and is beautiful.”
In addition to its contribution to the isolation room,the hospital foundation provided Interior Health with more than $360,000 towards new ICU equipment through the Critical Care Campaign, completed in the spring of 2015.
“The KBRH Health Foundation has focused a great deal of effort on the critical care services provided at our regional hospital and both the recently completed ICU project and this emergency department redevelopment tie into that work,” said Director of Development Lisa Pasin, during the Health Minister’s visit. “Thanks to the great generosity of our donors, we had tremendous success with our Critical Care Campaign and the foundation is excited about the opportunity to support this major upgrade to the hospital emergency department.”
Minister Lake made a stopover at KBRH on Thursday, and announced the province has committed $9.4 million toward a new emergency wing.