QEH is aging well
A study has concluded the poor condition of many hospitals poses a severe threat but 33-year-old QEH is in good working order.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital appears to be aging well.
The province’s acute-care hospital and major referral centre officially opened its doors in Charlottetown in April 1982.
At 33 years of age, the building has not been allowed to slip into the state of disrepair hampering numermous hospitals in Canada.
A recent Health Care CAN study has concluded the poor condition of many hospitals in the country poses a severe threat to access to care and to quality of care.
To save costs or meet budget targets, hospitals across the country have been postponing critical repairs, the study noted.
“Allowing the continued deterioration of our health-care facilities will quickly become a health and safety issue,’’ says Rob MacIsaac, president and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences in Ontario.
The QEH, on the other hand, has been pro-active in keeping the large structure in good working order, says Jamie MacDonald, the hospital’s CEO.
“I think it is in good condition,’’ she says.
“I think some of it is top of the line — and I think the areas that we want to work on, we have planned for.’’
While a great deal of money has been spent expanding the facility from roughly 350,000 square feet to 550,000 square feet over the last six years, ongoing upkeep has also received the required investment, says Terry Campbell, director of support services.
“Our approach is, really, we are using our operational dollars just to keep up — try to maintain as best we can, keep up to date, keep ahead of things, try to take the preventative maintenance approach,’’ says Campbell.
Announced in 2006, the QEH redevelopment project marked the first major infrastructure investment in the hospital since it was built.
The project has seen the construction of a new emergency department, expansion to the cancer treatment centre, and construction of a new ambulatory care centre.
But what was already in place has not been ignored.
There have been major renovations to laundry, supply, processing and distribution, and materials management departments, as well as renovations to the existing main lobby and major renovations to day surgery and pre-surgery clinic.
“I think we’re in pretty good shape, to be honest with you,’’ says MacDonald.
“There is always room for improvement, to be sure ... to do it right takes a lengthy amount of time and a lot of input from clinicians and others.’’
“Our approach is, really, we are using our operational dollars just to keep up — try to maintain as best we can, keep up to date, keep ahead of things, try to take the preventative maintenance approach.” Terry Campbell, QEH director of support services
Terry Campbell, director of support services at the QEH, left, and Jamie MacDonald, the hospital’s chief administrative officer, chat near the large air handling unit for the ambulatory care centre.
Ongoing maintenance has kept the QEH’s large boiler room in good, operating order. Terry Campbell, director of support services, says the hospital takes the “preventative maintenance approach.’’