North Island Hospitals Project leaders are praising the work and commitment of evaluation teams as the detailed review of technical submissions from three proponents approaches its second month. Roughly 150 people have been involved in the evaluations at offices in Campbell River, Courtenay and Victoria, including technical and clinical experts and dozens of advisors from the Comox Valley and Campbell River health communities.
Those advisors come from all disciplines at St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox and Campbell River General Hospital including medical, nursing, allied health staff, non-clinical and technical staff as well as others from Island Health.
“The evaluation has gone really well,” says Dr. Jeff Beselt, NIHP Project Medical Director. “We’re extremely pleased with all the hard work the clinical evaluators have put into it. What we’re seeing is people from Comox Valley and Campbell River doing their evaluations together, which is what we were hoping for.
“We’re getting somewhere. It’s always been a bit nebulous and now we’re starting to see some concrete details about what these buildings could look like. It’s very exciting for all of us.”
The three proponents handed in a flood of documents early in October, detailing how each proposes to build the new $334 million, 153-bed Comox Valley Hospital and the $266 million, 95-bed Campbell River Hospital. Since then, the technical evaluators and advisors have been analyzing how well the sub-missions meet numerous qualitative requirements including building design and site efficiency, confidentiality and privacy protection, ease of expansion, views, landscaping and more. Quantitative analysis includes natural lighting, internal travel distances, separation of flows, lines of sight, and standardization of the facilities.
Guiding the evaluation process are NIHP design principles intended to create a healing and wellness environment which meets the needs of patients and their families as well as staff, physicians, volunteers and visitors. The proponents’ proposals must incorporate Evidence Based Design – demonstrating innovations and measurable improvements already proven in existing facilities such as single-patient rooms with private bathrooms located on the headwall, ceiling mounted lifts, HEPA air filtration, increased hand-washing stations, noise reduction measures and better task lighting.
“The clinical and non-clinical staff play an integral part in designing the facilities,” says Tom Sparrow, NIHP Chief Project Officer. “We really seek their advice, their guidance and their input, their knowledge and their expertise. Their advice and input is invaluable to us. At the end of the day, the project team will hand you the keys to your hospital.”
Consultations with user groups date back to 2010 and development of the NIHP business plan. That process expanded to include more than 20 user groups with more than 300 people. It will continue throughout the final design and construction stages of the project.
“This evaluation team is probably one of the best, most prepared evaluation teams I’ve ever seen on any project,” says Sparrow. “They’re very experienced, very well qualified and extremely knowledgeable evaluating these submissions, in comparison to many other projects.”
Clinical Project Manager Christina Lumley agrees. She said the NIHP team is grateful to the all of the Clinical User Group Champions who took time from their busy schedules to review the three proponent proposals.
“It is rare to have this much clinical user input so early in the process and we know that this level of clinical scrutiny will ensure that these facilities will be the best possible for staff and patients,” she said. “For those who did not have the chance to participate, there will be further opportunities after the successful proponent is chosen and we enter into the detailed design phase this spring.”