Press Releases

May 5, 2010

Health Sciences Centre Planning $4 Million Upgrade to Emergency Department

Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg is moving forward with $4 million in renovations to upgrade and improve the hospital's Adult Emergency Department.

Health Minister Theresa Oswald said the planned renovations will improve patient safety and make friends and family more comfortable during their time in the department.

"Former patients and family members have told us what they'd like to see changed," said Oswald. "Their concerns, as well as those of staff, continue to be front and centre as we move forward with this project."

Planned changes include an expansion of the triage area, a new link between the Emergency Department and other hospital services; upgraded signage to help patients understand what to expect during their wait in the Department; improved wheelchair accessibility; and the addition of a new private family area to make visits more comfortable for patients and their families facing difficult situations.

"We know the areas where we want to see improvements," COO Adam Topp said. "We continue to work with staff to ensure we address their concerns and needs about creating an environment where they can provide the best possible care to patients."

Laverne Sturtevant, Program Director of Adult Emergency at HSC, said staff has played a key role in identifying ways to address the comfort and security of patients and families, as well as improve the Emergency team's work space.

Sturtevant said a significant change will be an indoor pedestrian walkway connecting the department with the rest of the hospital while ensuring patients still enter the ED through a single access point. Currently the only access to other hospital services, like the cafeteria or gift shop, requires exiting the Emergency Department and re-entering HSC through the 700 William Avenue entrance "That's not at all convenient, especially in the winter or during inclement weather," she said.

Plans also include a pre-triage area, for when the department is experiencing a surge in patients. "This will be located right in front of the triage desk where patients and their families can wait and where the triage nurse can see them," Ms. Sturtevant said, adding it will seat about 20 people to accommodate peak demands.

The renovations are expected to begin later this year and will be completed in late 2011.

The upgrades to HSC's ED build on a series of regional initiatives to improve emergency care across Winnipeg including renovating and rebuilding emergency departments at Seven Oaks, Concordia, St. Boniface and HSC (Adult and Children's Hospital), with construction currently underway on a new ED for Victoria Hospital.

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