Exclusive: Sneak peek at the Surrey Outpatient Hospital
Civic Surrey was invited to the installation of the new wide MRI machine at the Surrey Outpatient Hospital and was fortunate enough to also receive a short site tour of the building’s interior. Thanks to Angela in Media Relations, Adele with Bouygues Building Canada, and Barry our tour guide, for the opportunity!
The Surrey Outpatient Hospital is a state of the art facility that will relieve congestion at Surrey Memorial. Outpatients are those who do not need to stay overnight at the hospital. SMH currently handles 134,000 outpatient clinic visits and 94,000 outpatient diagnostic procedures per year – most of which will transfer to the new facility. A majority of patients using the facility don’t have a family doctor; following their admittance, they will be encouraged to seek a general practitioner, which is also expected to reduce demand for small injuries at the SMH ER.
The LEED Gold Building was designed by Kasian Architecture, the same firm behind the new City Hall. The design was intended to be a culturally sensitive and welcoming space for all. Wayfinding focused on using colours and art to distinguish each floor, allowing those with poor or no English skills to still orient themselves in the building. Each floor roughly reflects the levels of a tree, mirroring the Hospital’s Green Timbers surroundings – the first floor is brown for a tree trunk, the second is tree branches, the third is leaves, and the fourth is blossoms.
The space was designed to optimize natural light and views. The main corridor of the Hospital fronts onto Green Timbers, providing relaxing views of nature. The outdoor section of the Hospital will include a modern, natural rock plaza, as well as green gardens for patients. There will also be a non-denominational sacred space provided for all faiths.
The main atrium will include retail space for a pharmacy and café, as well as education and meeting space. Most of the parking is underground, with over 600 spaces, although there will also be a small surface lot. The building used recycled pine beetle wood throughout. The facility is ahead of schedule, providing Fraser Health with several months of buffer to test all the machinery and equipment prior to its grand opening in June 2011.
Click on through for more info and the photo tour!
The building will feature several advanced new technologies designed to speed up service, reliability, and improve the hospital experience. The first will be self check in kiosks, similar to those at the Airport, in the central atrium. Patients who have already booked an appointment will be able to swipe their CareCard and check in, facilitating a quicker, smoother process for everyone. Nurses will be alerted in their systems that the patient is onsite. Linked to each CareCard will be patient’s entire health record. The system is already under pilot in Langley and the Surrey Outpatient Hospital will be the first facility in BC to use e-health data and the self check in system extensively.
Similar to the buzzers at Earl’s, the hospital will have waiting buzzers for family or friends to hold on to while waiting for their friend/partner. The buzzer will alert them when the appointment or diagnostic is complete. This will reduce the anticipation, ensuring that those waiting are told immediately when they can see their friend/partner. It will also reduce the pressures on nurses for information.
The hospital will be entirely wireless, though its unknown as to whether the public will have access to the building’s Wi-Fi. Regardless, the wireless system will facilitate quick information exchange and management, as well as provide options for the adoption of future technologies. It is expected that hardware like iPads will be adopted in the future for use in the hospital.
At a cost of $240 million, the Surrey Outpatient Hospital is a major project for Surrey and the entire region. The Hospital, through its design, location, technologies, and operating partnership, is shaping up to be a state of the art facility, destined to have a profound impact on the City Centre, the South Fraser region, and the way we conduct healthcare services in BC. Once opened to the public, I suspect this truly innovative project will be as warmly received as the Vancouver Convention Centre. Other public and private projects in BC will need to keep note – the Surrey Outpatient Hospital has just set a new barometer of success that will be difficult to match.
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