Patients and families are invited to join Saskatoon Health Region at a maternal and children’s hospital design open house on Thursday, July 26 from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 3310 Millar Avenue in Saskatoon. Ideas generated will help influence the final look and feel for the hospital.

A rendering of the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.

Following extensive Lean process improvement work that successfully streamlined workflows and space requirements for the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan, the provincial government has approved early design plans and boosted its investment by $15.5 million to $215.5 million.

“The project team did a phenomenal job of helping patients, families, staff and health professionals rethink how best to meet the health needs of our province’s children and expecting mothers,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said at the unveiling of the facility’s schematic design. “What we see today is a better, smarter, Lean design for an innovative hospital that puts patients first while enabling collaborative care in a teaching environment.”

The Lean process helped teams find more efficient ways of providing services, while also improving the design and the hospital experience for patients and their families. The result was savings of $30 million from August 2011 estimates, with the new cost estimate now at $229.9 million. In 2009, the provincial government provided $200 million to the Saskatoon Health Region to plan and build the facility. The Health Region expects to earn $13 million in interest through its investment of those funds. As well, $1.4 million will be funded within the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan’s capital campaign.

The announcement of the government’s additional commitment of $15.5 million ensures the new maternal and children’s hospital will become a reality. Saskatoon mother Kim Camboia, who has worked beside Saskatoon Health Region staff and physicians in numerous design sessions to ensure the early design meets the needs of children and their families, says this is the day the teams have been waiting for.

“I think what we are doing is so phenomenal. We are building a hospital that will exceed expectations by ensuring it functions the way it needs to,” said Camboia. “Families are getting spaces designed with purpose and adjacent to areas that make sense for the types of emotions they may be feeling at certain points in their stay. Our children are going to feel more comfortable, more at home and less like they are in a sterile hospital environment. I can’t tell you how excited I am that we are moving forward.”

The floor plans were created using Lean methodology called 3P (production preparation process) where during two week-long sessions in November and December, teams of patients and families, staff and physicians examined data and considered how to improve processes to create a better experience for patients and families. Using those ideas, the teams created design concepts to support an improved way of delivering care which included two-dimensional floor plans, three-dimensional table top models and life-sized mock-ups of some rooms. That work resulted in an overall design concept for the hospital which architects used to create real floor plans.

“The teams embraced a new way of thinking that is really challenging all that we do, not only in Saskatoon Health Region, but across Saskatchewan’s health care system. We are so proud of the way our staff and physicians are truly listening to patients and families,” explains Maura Davies, President and CEO, Saskatoon Health Region. “We appreciate the guidance of patients and families as well as the dedication of staff, physicians and Lean experts, which is helping us make this hospital and our health regions safer, more efficient and above all more patient- and family-centred.”

The next phase of design is scheduled to conclude in September and focuses on how each room should be set up, where important mechanical and electrical fixtures will be placed, and ensuring the 3P teams’ principles and concepts are respected.

“This is the most intense phase of design,” says Jackie Mann, Saskatoon Health Region’s VP Integrated Health Services and executive sponsor of the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan project. “While we are grateful for the continuing dedication and effort of our patient and families here in Saskatoon, and the additional staff and physicians joining us in this phase, we also know we have to consider the needs of those who might not otherwise be represented at the design table. This is why we conducted design sessions with schools and communities in northern and central Saskatchewan, and will continue to talk to key groups during this next phase. This will help us ensure that, in the end, together, we will get the design of this hospital right.”

For more information on the hospital including floor plans and design videos, visit www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca/chs.