Dr. Jeff Hussey examines a mock-up of what the future emergency department spaces at KBRH will look like when the hospital’s phased emergency department redevelopment is complete in early 2020. Submitted photo

Medical staff weighs in on KBRH design

Changes coming to the regional emergency department.

TRAIL – Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) emergency department physician Dr. Jeff Hussey walks through the triage room of the hospital’s new emergency department. He moves past a cardboard sink and along the plastic walls, taking stock of his new work environment.

“This will be great,” says Dr. Hussey.

“Will” be great, because a phased redevelopment of the KBRH emergency department won’t actually be fully completed for a couple of years. Right now, Dr. Hussey is walking through a mock-up of what the future emergency department spaces at KBRH will look like when the hospital’s phased emergency department redevelopment is complete in early 2020. In each of the mocked up rooms set up in an old renal space at KBRH, sheets of notes from physicians and nurses offer suggestions for tweaks and improvements to the existing design.

Interior Health does mock-ups like this one at KBRH for major projects to give physicians and staff a chance to get a real sense of their future work environment – from dimensions to layout to placement of equipment and fixtures. It provides an opportunity for the clinical team to provide feedback that can be incorporated into the final design.

“This is a major investment in the regional hospital in Trail and it’s important to ensure that the new emergency department works for the physicians and staff, who know what they need out of their physical environment, in order to provide the best possible care to the patients they serve,” says Health Minister Adrian Dix. “I’m pleased to see all the input and feedback from the clinical team that is going into the design, and look forward to the next steps of this project.”

Dr. Hussey says the mock-up builds on planning sessions that the emergency department team has participated in throughout the design phase. Working through the design process of a new emergency department has also highlighted best practices that he said the team can implement in its current work, improving patient flow in the existing emergency department.

“Everyone has been involved. When you see where a light switch is actually going to go and where an otoscope is going to go, it really lets us know that we’re nearing the end of the design phase. It’s very exciting,” Dr. Hussey says.

The emergency design development phase, including the input from KBRH clinicians, will be completed in about a month. Interior Health will then go to tender for project construction, with construction anticipated to start in early summer. Included in the upcoming construction tender are transformer and electrical upgrades that are part of this $16.6 million total investment in the regional hospital.

“This redevelopment has been a priority for Interior Health for a number of years, so it’s very exciting to get a true sense of what the new emergency department is going to look like,” says Dr. Doug Cochrane. “I’m pleased that KBRH physicians and staff are so engaged in the project. That will ensure a design that not only meets the needs of our staff but also our patients.”

The following is the funding contributions to the project:

$9.36 million from the Province of B.C. through Interior Health;

$6.24 million from the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District;

$1 million from the KBRH Health Foundation

“The West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District appreciates Interior Health’s initiative to have the clinicians who work on a daily basis in the ER directly inform the design of this essential facility,” says RHD chair Aimee Watson. “This enables a facility design optimized for effective and efficient service delivery. We look forward to the results of the design process and to our residents having access to these much needed upgrades.”

“This is an exciting time for the Foundation as we prepare our emergency department campaign to support these key improvements to our regional hospital,” says Lisa Pasin, Director of Development for the Foundation. “The incredible generosity of our donors – residents, organizations and businesses – continues to play an important role in supporting quality health care services for patients at KBRH.”

Plans for the redevelopment include a single-storey addition to the existing building that will significantly expand the size of existing emergency department to address immediate space and service challenges, and to accommodate projected patient care needs for years to come. The redevelopment will feature updated and expanded trauma bays, exam rooms and procedure rooms and will add an airborne isolation and secure room to the emergency department.

The new emergency department is expected to open for patients in early 2020.

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