Besides a complete gut and re-design by hospital engineers, building the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) back up has involved more than one hands-on discipline – in fact, many arms of health care helped fit the pieces together.
“A good part of this, (is) the staff and physicians have had input into the renovation all along,” says Jane Cusden, KBRH Interim Health Service Administrator. “Obviously there are some rules and regulations you have to follow, but for instance, the bed heads. They had big input into how that is shaped … with oxygen, air, and all the other things needed to make sure they deliver care to their patients.”
Another critical facet to the new unit involves aesthetics. Patients are at their sickest in the ICU, visitors often spend long hours at the bedside – and the atmosphere plays a role in comfort during those difficult days.
“They also had input into the colours and the flooring of the unit,” Cusden explained. “That included some visitors that were here when we were looking at it and the housekeepers. So it’s been a real joint project between the engineering department and clinical side,” she added. “Choosing colours, you have to be considerate of what colours you are putting in there, we narrowed it down and they had the final choice – people are resting and sleeping a lot in the ICU so we tried to make it not too bland and we tried to keep it fairly mellow.”
ICU renovations are nearing completion
Three projects comprised the $1.77 million renovation that began in February this year, when ICU beds and medical staff were temporarily moved up to the fourth floor.
The transition of care has been smooth, but medical staff are ready to get back to their former digs.
“It has worked, (though) it’s a little bit of a challenge, a smaller space is a challenge, but the staff have adapted amazingly,” said Cusden. “And the processes up there are as good as they would be in the ordinary ICU – but they are looking forward to going back to their new unit soon.”
The first leg of the project, wall and window replacement is now complete.
The other two upgrades, an Airborne Isolation Room and the new ICU, are nearing completion and expected to be fully operational in late February.
“We are well on the way and anticipating all the building works (be completed) the end of January,” Cusden confirmed, referring to the isolation room. “With the other renovation, the ICU, happening in tangent of this, we are also anticipating moving back in there during February,” she clarified. “We have to do re-training of staff because the layout of the unit has changed. We’ve got new doors we have to learn how to use … and various other flows of practice we have to make sure are worked through.”
The Ministry of Health contributed almost $1.3 million through Interior Health for the renovation, including $500,000 for the glass doors, walls and fixture replacement, $285,000 for new windows and $443,000 toward isolation room costs.
The West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District directed $190,000 to wall and window replacement and $295,200 for the isolation room. The KBRH Health Foundation is currently fundraising the remaining $57,000.