The transfer of patients from old units of Kelowna General Hospital to the new Centennial Building was completed at 11:54 a.m. on Sunday. In total, 59 patients were moved to the new building in just over three hours.
“We couldn’t have been happier with the results, thanks to the help of Health Care Relocations, the company hired to coordinate the move, and the hundreds of volunteers on hand,” said Tracy MacDonald, KGH administrator. “Now we’re just excited to continue to provide the excellent care KGH staff are known for in these beautiful brand new facilities.”
The doors to the old emergency department were closed at 7 a.m. at the same time the first patient walked through the doors of the new emergency department.
A patient move team meeting took place in the cafeteria at 7:30 a.m. There were over 200 volunteers helping with the patient transfer. They all wore colour-coded shirts to indicated which team they were on – whether it was patient transport, clean team, transport nurses, or team leaders.
There were also over 40 nurses from UBC Okanagan who volunteered to help with the move. Each student nurse was assigned to a patient. They met with patients the day before the move, and then were on hand on the 6West medical inpatient unit so their patients had a friendly face waiting for them when they arrived.
“We are so thankful for the help UBC Okanagan offered. It was wonderful to see the smiling faces of the students,” said MacDonald. “In fact, all the people who showed up as early as 5 o’clock in the morning on Sunday to volunteer with this momentous event should be thanked for their help and commitment.”
Once all teams were in place, the patient transfer began at 8:30 a.m. A patient was moved approximately every three minutes for the next three-plus hours. They were wheeled either on stretcher or wheelchair from their old unit in either the Strathcona or Pandosy Buildings, across links built between the old hospital and the Centennial Building.
Before entering the new building, a “clean team” washed every piece of equipment making the move with them, including their beds. Patients were then moved into their new units.
Full operations, including elective procedures and clinics, will begin today. The entrance to the new emergency department is off Royal Avenue. The new main public entrance is on Pandosy Street, between Royal and Rose Avenues.
The Dr. Walter Anderson Building also opened on Sunday, May 27. It houses support services, including a new lab and clinic space, and is connected to the rest of the KGH campus by an enclosed pedestrian skywalk across Pandosy Street.