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State-of-the-art emergency department to open next week at Winnipeg's Grace Hospital

New $43.8-million department designed to handle increased patient volume: Pallister


Posted Thursday, May 24, 2018

A new state-of-the-art emergency department will open at Grace Hospital on Tuesday and is expected to treat 35,000 patients this year, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

"The Grace Hospital's new emergency department will be more than five times larger than its old one and is designed to provide the highest quality care to patients, both now and in the future," said Pallister, who attended an event today that celebrated the department's imminent opening. "The opening of this department is integral to our government's short- and long-term goals to continue to provide better care sooner, bring down wait times and build a health-care system that's sustainable for future generations."

The $43.8-million emergency department, which includes a $5-million community contribution, is 38,000 square feet in size. It features, among other things, an open-concept design, a large ambulance bay that can reduce patient off-load times, increased number of assessment and treatment rooms and spaces, as well as a physical connection to the ACCESS Winnipeg West walk-in clinic.

The region included the additional staffing requirements for the new emergency department's capacity and volume in the planning and implementation of Phase 1 of clinical consolidation. Some staff were hired last fall and the rest will be in place when the new emergency department opens next week.

"We know patients are waiting too long for the right care, stay in the emergency department or hospital longer than necessary and often have to travel between sites for care," said Réal Cloutier, interim president and chief executive officer, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. "This facility furthers our effort to concentrate services in the right locations to help reduce wait times and the need to transfer patients, and will build on the improvements already achieved in phase one of the Healing Our Health System Plan."

That plan was first announced in April 2017 following the release of the Provincial Clinical and Preventive Services Planning for Manitoba report, also known as the Peachey report, which noted Winnipeg had the longest emergency wait times in the country despite having the most emergency departments per capita in Canada. The report called for the closure and conversions of some emergency departments. This project has increased capacity at Grace Hospital to address emergency care needs, and upgrades at St. Boniface General Hospital to handle increased patient loads are also underway.

Preliminary reports from the region show a 16 per cent improvement in emergency wait times last year. Further details on health-care transformation are expected next week, the premier said.

"The new emergency department gives our staff the ability to help patients more quickly in much improved space," said Kellie O'Rourke, chief operating officer, Grace Hospital. "Everything we do is focused on creating the best patient experience, so the more connected and better equipped we are, the better we are able to help people seeking care."

This new department will allow the Grace Hospital to fully implement this best practice in emergency care, which is already in use in the United States and Ontario.

"Both the hospital and the community will benefit from this renovation, and we are pleased to have been able to support this project," said Jeff Coleman, chair, Grace Hospital Foundation. "We are thankful to the provincial government, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and our donors for making this project happen. In particular, I wish to thank Ed and Marge Danylchuk for their gift of $3.25 million to the project."

For patients with less urgent health concerns, the new emergency department is physically connected to ACCESS Winnipeg West through a common entrance. ACCESS Winnipeg West has a walk-in connected care clinic operating seven days a week, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., weekends and holidays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Opened in 1992, the Grace Hospital's current emergency department, which measures 7,000-sq.-ft. in size, will close when the new department opens next week. It is the oldest emergency department in Winnipeg.

For more information on Grace Hospital, visit www.gracehospital.ca/.

Grace Hospital Emergency Department

New and Improved

The Grace Hospital’s new emergency department (ED) is 38,000 square feet and is more than five times larger than the current ED. Highlights of the new department’s features include:

Care-zone Concept

The design of the new emergency department enables patients to receive treatment in different areas, with dedicated staff teams based on their care needs. Known as the care-zone concept, it allows health-care providers to deliver care to patients who have less serious concerns and do not require a stretcher or electronic monitoring. For example, a dedicated nurse will provide treatments such as intravenous antibiotics to those in the care zones, freeing up assessment rooms for those who need them.

Upgraded Communication Systems

The ED’s new technology and hands-free communication system improves timely communication department-wide. A direct line of communication between the emergency department and paramedics allows first responders to send detailed patient information to hospital staff before patients arrive, improving immediacy of care and ambulance off-load times.

Out with the Old

The Grace Hospital’s current emergency department will remain open until the moment the new department opens on the morning of May 29. Opened in 1992, the much smaller department is no longer ideal for modern health care, as it required patients to be transported between departments for proper care.