New day surgery department opens at QEH

Ryan Ross
Published on February 7, 2014

The latest phase of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s renovations opened this week as the new day surgery department saw its first patients.

Jamie MacDonald, the hospital’s CAO, said the new department opened Monday in a seamless move that involved a lot of work by the staff without any down time.

“They’ve done tremendous, tremendous work down there in a relatively short time period to get everybody moved over and the equipment all up and running and the process started,” she said.

The new day surgery department is expected to cost about $7.9 million once everything is finished. It was the last piece of the first phase of the QEH’s redevelopment that included the cancer centre, the ambulatory care centre and the emergency department.

The new day surgery department features a pre-surgery clinic, space for the actual surgeries to be performed and a recovery room that have been in use since Monday.

Nursing stations have also been built in central hubs that make it easier for nurses to monitor patients.

There is also a new area for women who get caesarean sections that will allow the fathers to spend time with them right away in a private area.

The department is meant to be a modern facility that provides more patient privacy, reduced wait times and better care.

Although patients and staff have started using the new day surgery department, not every part of it is up and running. A new ophthalmology clinic still isn’t open, but will provide two operating rooms to reduce the turnaround time between surgeries.

The department’s waiting rooms will also have TVs that will display information on patients who will be listed as a number so people who are waiting for them can track their progress from beginning to end.

Renovation work on the old day surgery department is expected to be finished by June and it will be integrated into the new space.

Once everything is finished the number of day surgery spaces will increase from 10 to 18.

MacDonald said the former day surgery department was 30-years-old and standards, such as infection control and patient privacy have changed since the hospital was built.

“On top of that the volume of procedures have been expanding,” she said.

The layout of the new department also improves patient flow in a much more efficient layout, MacDonald said.

“It’s a great design.”

Jamie MacDonald, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's CAO, shows off plans for the new day surgery department that started seeing its first patients this week.

©Guardian photo by Heather Taweel