Design unveiled for new ICU ward

Interior Health will soon seek a general contractor for new Intensive Care Unit at East Kootenay Regional Hospital

A view from the corridor of the new Intensive Care Unit at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital

A view from the corridor of the new Intensive Care Unit at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital

Interior Health has unveiled its design for a new ward that will soon be attached to Cranbrook’s hospital.

The new Intensive Care Unit (ICU) will be about 8,500 square feet and contain six patient rooms. The nurses’ station will be in the centre of the ward. Family spaces will line one side of the ward.

“We will integrate some family spaces so that they can meet with physicians in a private and comfortable setting,” Interior Health’s Todd Mastel told the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District (KERHD) board on Friday, Nov. 1.

Large windows in the new ICU will maximize natural light.

“We are really trying to maximize the natural light available as well versus the lack of light we currently have in our ICU.”

Intensive Care is where the sickest patients are treated. Currently, the hospital has a small, cramped four-bed ICU.

The new ICU will be built onto the southern side of the hospital, beside the mobile MRI unit.

“An incredible amount of dedication and effort went into to making this project a reality and it is rewarding for the community to have the opportunity to get a look at what the new intensive care unit will actually look like once complete,” said Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett. “The new ICU will not only increase capacity, but the design will incorporate a number of features that will benefit patients, their families and staff at the hospital.”

Medical staff at the Cranbrook hospital were heavily involved in the design process, even conducting an exercise with styrofoam cutouts of ICU machines to test the spacing.

With the design phase complete, Interior Health expects to go to tender for the general contractor early in 2014.

“After we tender early in the new year, we are hoping to start construction in the spring when the frost comes out of the ground in March,” said Mastel.

The goal is to have the ICU complete by the middle of 2016.

“The excitement on these projects always builds when people have a chance to see what the end result will be,” said Interior Health board chair Norman Embree. “This is an important project that will support the excellent work our critical care team in Cranbrook is doing for patients in the region.”

The estimated total project cost is $20 million. The Province is funding approximately $12 million and the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District is contributing $8 million.

“For some time now the KERHD Board has been working together with Interior Health and MLA Bill Bennett to pursue a new ICU for the East Kootenay Regional Hospital,” said KERHD Board Chair John Kettle.

“We consider this to be another critical piece to ensure quality and professional health care to all areas of our region. This is one of our proudest moments and we thank everyone who made the new ICU a reality.”

The project also includes a significant electrical upgrade at the facility. The new electrical system will provide power to the entire hospital and optimize system performance. The electrical infrastructure will be located in the basement of the new addition.