Enhanced patient care and improved conditions for health-care workers are coming to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) as a new ambulatory care area and expanded pharmacy have been approved by the provincial government.
“Regional hospitals are critical for people in rural areas like the West Kootenay Boundary because they make sure people can get care close to home,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “We realize the urgency of the needed improvements for ambulatory care and a new, bigger pharmacy at KBRH, which is why we approved the business plan within four months of receiving it. This is another example of the capital improvements we are making in communities through the Interior and around British Columbia.”
The total cost of project is $38.8 million, with the provincial government committing $23.3 million. With provincial funding secured, Interior Health has made a request to the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District (WKBRHD) for a $15.5-million contribution to the project. The WKBRHD board will review this request at its next meeting on March 6, 2019.
“Having been a frequent user of Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital over the years, I know how much the ambulatory care and pharmacy area upgrades are needed,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “This new investment in our regional hospital, along with the current emergency department redevelopment that is now underway, is vital for better patient care in this region.”
The new ambulatory care wing will be built above the expanded emergency department. Ambulatory care includes procedures for outpatients, such as endoscopies and cystoscopies, and other minor surgical procedures. No inpatient stays are required.
Improvements will be made to the existing ambulatory care space to accommodate outpatient examination rooms, booking offices and telehealth service. The cast clinic will be upgraded. The medical records office will be relocated to the basement to allow for an expanded oncology unit and relocated physiotherapy department.
The pharmacy will triple in size. Pharmacy services will be enhanced with the inclusion of a patient education room for private consultations. The pharmacy area will be renovated to provide staff with an upgraded work environment, including better-ventilated spaces to prepare sterile hazardous and non-hazardous chemical products.
“While the focus of this project is on our ambulatory care and pharmacy services, the scope of the work and additional space will give us the opportunity to enhance other services, such as oncology," said Doug Cochrane, board chair, Interior Health. "Collectively, these changes will enhance access, flow and privacy for patients and improve the capacity, quality and safety of the services our dedicated staff and physicians provide at KBRH.”
Construction is expected to start in 2020 and be complete in 2023.
- The role of the pharmacy teams include medication distribution, patient education, consultation to ensure patients receive appropriate medications and research.
- The KBRH emergency department redevelopment began in fall 2018 and includes a single-storey addition to the existing building; updated and expanded trauma bays; exam and procedure rooms; and an airborne isolation and secure room, expected to open in 2020.
- Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital opened in 1954 and offers a variety of health-care services including 24-hour emergency and trauma services, level 2 laboratory, acute and obstetrical care, psychiatry and chemotherapy.