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Upbeat look for new ward

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Patients will be moving Oct. 20 when St. Anne’s and St. Edward’s wards are consolidated into a 30-bed acute care ward at La Verendrye hospital here.

That includes three intensive care beds which allow patients to be x-rayed without being moved from the bed, and two labour, delivery, recovery and postpartum (LDRP) beds, which permit new moms to stay in the same bed for their entire hospital stay.

It’s the second in the hospital’s four-phase restructuring plan, and carried a $1.2-million price tag—$200,000 less than Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc.’s board of directors budgeted for the project.

“It allows us to better use our acute beds,” noted Riverside CEO Paul Brown, explaining what used to be done on two units was now done on one larger ward.

And he added it will help cut the number of beds from 72 to 60 throughout the hospital, in accordance with the district health council’s plans.

Ten beds will be converted to acute care in the Continuing Care Unit—one floor up—as well, giving the hospital 40 acute care beds. The remaining 20 will be in CCU.

“The delivery of care probably won’t change that much other than the LDRP,” said Arlene Rea, nursing manager on the new ward, noting each step used to be done in a separate room.

“Now you do everything in one room.”

The new ward has two beds for that purpose but Rea admitted if they’re in high demand, people might be moved to another bed.

“According to our statistics, two should be enough,” she added.

An alert system also will be used to ensure no babies can be taken off the ward.

Rea noted areas with significant improvement are the beds (thanks to a $400,000 contribution from the hospital auxiliary) and the intercom system.

As well, all the bathrooms are now wheelchair accessible, including one room which will allow those in wheelchairs to bathe themselves.

The unit offers larger patient rooms decorated in a less-institutional manner. The upgraded heating system will allow for individual room controls as well as a cooling system for the warmer months.

A room specifically designed for patient isolation also has been incorporated into the design.

Meanwhile, the hospital has kicked off the third phase of its renovations, which will see the main entrance moved to the south side of the hospital, the parking lot changed, and a new stores/maintenance building.

That’s estimated to cost another $1.2 million.

Riverside already has completed a $300,000 renovation to its Rehabilitation Department and $63,000 to the cafeteria.

And plans are in the works for the final phase, which will see renovations to emergency, the operating room, laboratory, diagnostic imaging, and day surgery.

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