Building a better patient environment

new door in main lobby

Providing the best, safest and most comfortable patient care experience rests not only in the expert hands of our clinicians but also with our planning and facilities staff, who work behind the scenes to keep our infrastructure upgraded, efficient and effective.

In 2015-2016, planning and facilities staff tackled three major projects, most visibly the installation of custom-built, 18-foot-diameter revolving door in the main lobby designed to easily move high volumes of patients and visitors, including those in wheelchairs and walkers, in and out of the hospital. 

Along with its generous expanse, which means more natural light now floods the main lobby, it scores high marks for energy efficiency—it will significantly cut heating and cooling costs and will help to maintain good climate control in our lobby.  The hospital is now set to install manual swing doors complete with a heated vestibule as a secondary lobby entrance to further help with pedestrian traffic and congestion. The benefits will be even more natural light in the lobby and better sight lines for anyone entering or leaving the hospital.

This past year we also tackled a major electrical upgrade with the installation of a new 400 kW backup emergency generator that will provide essential power to five wings of the hospital and ensure that critical fans, heating systems, medical devices and communications remain operational during unexpected power outages.  The efficient new generator increases capacity on the system by 10 per cent and emits much cleaner exhaust gases—good news for our environment.

In 2015-2016 we also overhauled one of our two 625-ton chillers, which equal about 420 household AC units in terms of capacity.  The month-long process vastly extended the service life of the equipment, providing more redundancy for patient care, greater comfort going forward and savings for the hospital.  Precise temperature control is imperative in a health care setting, not only to keep our building comfortable for people but also to maintain the optimal climate for running Operating Rooms, medical equipment and support technology such as computer servers. 

“We’re grateful for the province’s Hospital Infrastructure Renewal Fund, which supported these big projects this year,” says Larry Erwin, Director of Facilities Management. 

“We always want to ensure the hospital environment is safe and comfortable for everyone and that we’re prepared for any utility disruption that could have an impact on patient care.  Completing these projects was a major accomplishment for us, and we take pride in providing the best care environment possible for patients, families and staff.”