Technology-Enhanced Care

January 26, 2012
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Courtesy of Plenary Health Care Partnerships. Courtesy of Plenary Health Care Partnerships. Courtesy of Plenary Health Care Partnerships. Courtesy of Plenary Health Care Partnerships. Courtesy of Plenary Health Care Partnerships. Courtesy of Plenary Health Care Partnerships. Courtesy of Plenary Health Care Partnerships.
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The Humber River Regional Hospital (HRRH) redevelopment project, an undertaking of nearly $1.75 billion scheduled to be completed in 2015, brings together a group of firms and organizations dedicated to designing and building a hospital that will improve patient and bedside care. The 1.7-million-square-foot hospital in Toronto, Ontario, is the result of collaboration between the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, HRRH, and Plenary Health Care Partnerships (PHCP). This will be the first hospital in North America to fully automate its operational procedures. In this interview for HEALTHCARE DESIGN with Shandi Matambanadzo Associate Editor, PHCP talks about some of the features in the hospital.


Can you explain a little bit about PHCP and the firms and organizations involved?

PHCP: Plenary Health Care Partnerships includes consortium members Plenary Group, HCP Social Infrastructure, PCL Constructors Canada, and Johnson Controls, as well as partners HDR (Architect), Halsall (Structural Engineer), Smith + Anderson (Mechanical/Electrical Engineer), A.M. Candaras Associates (Civil Engineer), Quinn Design Associates (Landscape Architect), St. Onge (Supply Chain/Logistics), Enermodal Engineering (Energy Modeling), Plan Group (Electrical/ICAT Subcontractor), Modern Niagara Group (Mechanical Subcontractor), RBC Capital Markets (Financial advisor), and Hewlett Packard (Digital Technology).

The private sector consortium was selected by Infrastructure Ontario through the AFP Process. The hospital felt that it was important to have their private sector partner maintain an active role with an equal vested interest for the long term. As a result, in addition to construction of the new facility, key risks associated with the maintenance responsibility of the hospital over the 30-year service period have been transferred to PHCP.


With this being the first fully digital hospital in North America, there are many features that are of interest, can you talk about some of them and their importance to patient care?

PHCP: In order to maximize operational efficiency, patient autonomy, and self-care, the building has been designed to support a comprehensive digital platform. When patients, visitors, and staff first arrive at the new HRRH, it will immediately become apparent that they have entered a truly remarkable and state-of-the art facility. Access to data and information will enable users to become “connected” anywhere/anytime from points such as kiosks situated throughout the hospital or on mobile devices anywhere in the building, leveraging the widespread wireless network. HRRH is committed to providing the most up-to-date capability of PDAs, Smartphones, and other portable devices at the opening of the hospital in order to provide peak functionality for staff to ensure maximum productivity. Up-to-date room information will be identified on flat panel monitors outside rooms, ensuring that patient confidentiality and privacy is maintained. Within the rooms, patients will use Integrated Bedside Terminals (IBTs) to control room lighting, window shades, and temperature—all at arm’s length from their beds. Further capabilities of the IBTs allow patients to communicate verbally and, when needed, visually with their primary clinicians, optimizing efficiencies and enabling timely communication when it matters most.

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