Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility on target for summer 2014

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Project managers were able to showcase significant progress at the Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility in Maple Creek during a site tour this past week.

With an estimated 40 per cent of the construction work completed on the $37 million facility, crews are currently busy completing roofing and walls in order to enclose the facility in preparation for a hectic winter work schedule.

"It's starting to move along good here now," noted Graham Construction Superintendent Cy Grenier. "We're not happy with all the weather that we've had, the rain and stuff, but we're pretty well on schedule."

The current focus of construction is iron work and drywall, and work remains on schedule in anticipation of a summer 2014 opening of the facility.

In order to deliver an improved healthcare model to the Southwest, the facility incorporates 48 long-term care beds, a total of 24 acute care hospital beds, and primary health care services by a staff of physicians and Nurse Practitioners.

Capital Project Lead Scott Matthies said there are a series of unique design features and services which are being incorporated into the facility.

"As we experience more and we learn more about how we provide services, we know that there are better ways for us to provide services. So combining all of our services under one roof is key for us. And in looking for a way that we could maximize how we pull value, or pull services to our patients in one location, that was key for us. So that's why we're building an Integrated Healthcare Facility," Matthies explained.

Designed with three specific departments contained within a single facility, their primary health care will be delivered through a unique, Canada-first model.

"The Universal Care Platform is a space where our patients can come and access services from a wide range of providers in one spot. So within our new facility we have 16 treatment spaces. So as a patient you would come into that facility and you'd be escorted into that room. Then your physician would come and meet you in that space. If you needed to see the Nurse Practitioner they'd come see you there. If you needed to see, for example, a diabetic educator, they'd come see you in that space. And those providers would be coordinating their care together to make sure they're working towards the best outcome for you. Our diagnostic services could be brought to you within that space. For example, to take blood, we'd look at providing that service in that one room because we know it's not best value for our patients to be pushing them from one space to another to provide services. So we want to combine that service into one location."

As a highlight feature of their design, each treatment room will have all necessary supplies and equipment available within every room. This allows providers to access supplies without leaving their patients.

"They can do it within that space, pull it out right away, and provide the care instantly to our patients."

Matthies also noted the long term care service will be provided in a less institutional method. Long Term Care consists of a trio of 'homes', and the three 16 patient wings are connected by a Town Hall central area which boasts a kitchenette and room for group activities.

"We're calling them homes. We don't use language like wings anymore, because that's a very institutional model of care. We're moving to a more personalized home model of care," Matthies said. "Our Long Term Care environment is moving from an institutional, long hallway, very sterile environment to a home-like environment."

With the province recently releasing their Long Term Care Review, Matthies said innovative designs like in the Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility help address concern areas raised in the review.

"With what we're trying to achieve here, we're trying to get rid of a couple of things - loneliness, helplessness and boredom. Those are really flags in our longterm care environment, everywhere. Nationally that's an issue," he said.

"What we're really trying to create is an environment that gets rid of those things. It gives our providers, our caregivers, the opportunity to spend more time with their residents to alleviate all of the downstream effects of those issues, so that we can provide more attention, more care, and give our residents the opportunity to both give and receive more love as part of their day to day life."

"What happens so often in an institutional environment is structure is the focus. Agenda, routine is the focus, and then people get lost. You lose the sight of our residents as people - with needs as people."

"So what we're trying to create here is the opportunity to see every single resident as a unique individual who has different needs. Our caregivers do a really good job of that now . . . but our institutional structure prohibits them from doing that to the best of their ability."

Site Project Manager Bobby Hart said he is noticing a growing sense of excitement in Maple Creek as the project continues to progress.

"The nice thing about this is in the end, this is going to be a facility that's going to be the envy of a lot of communities," Hart said. "Compare what they have to what they're getting. It's night and day, especially for long term care. That's going to be a pretty special thing."

He pointed out they are getting complimentary feedback from all levels on how well the job is going, and that they are remaining on budget and on schedule.

Organizations: Cypress Health Region

Geographic location: Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility, Maple Creek, Canada

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