Grace Chan

Grace Chan, program manager of the Oncology, Hematology and Blood and Marrow Transplant Program

Last spring and summer, during an innovative process called Integrated Facility Design (IFD), patient families, hospital administrators, front-line health workers and other stakeholders toured full-scale mock-ups of entire floors of the new BC Children’s Hospital.

“I can’t even describe how good it was to see the space in 3D,” says Grace Chan, program manager of the Oncology, Hematology and Blood and Marrow Transplant Program. “With IFD we were able to envision sight lines. We realized that certain areas on the unit, such as the playroom and the medication room, should be half-height – half glass, half wall – so that caregivers can have a better visualization of patients from a distance.

“We also want to change the way patients are admitted so that there is a more seamless transition. Right now patients come to the outpatient clinic to start their treatment and then get admitted to the inpatient unit if necessary. In the new hospital we want to look at ways where we can reduce the number of transitions,” says Grace.

This streamlining of care will be aided by locating all oncology services on one floor rather than across three, as they are currently laid out.

“Having staff physically connected is huge. It will save travelling time, improve communication amongst caregivers and enable them to provide treatment more efficiently,” says Grace. “Everything will equal less waiting time for families.”

The new floor will also boast more patient rooms, each with windows, a bathroom and a sleeping space for parents. Patients and family members will also have access to dedicated lounge areas as well as larger shared facilities, including a kitchen. The new hospital is scheduled to open in 2018.