The creation of three dedicated telehealth consultation rooms is among many new features in the new Clinical Services Building that have provided patients with more seamless access to their outpatient appointments at Royal Inland Hospital.
The new building celebrated its grand opening today at Royal Inland Hospital. Health Minister Terry Lake and fellow MLAs Todd Stone and Jackie Tegart joined Interior Health for the festivities, along with representatives from the Thompson Regional Hospital District, Bird Construction, Royal Inland Hospital Foundation, University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine and the Tk’emlups Indian Band.
“Today, we are not only celebrating a brand new addition to Royal Inland Hospital, but also an investment in health care for all patients served by this hospital, both in Kamloops and in the surrounding communities,” said Lake. “The Province is committed to improving access to timely health care for all British Columbians. The Clinical Services Building is an important piece in this plan.”
The Clinical Services Building officially opened on Aug. 15, 2016. In the month since, patients have benefited from the outpatient services in the bright and spacious new patient-care environment. This includes the three telehealth consultation rooms on the Clinical Services Building’s Level 1, in which patients meet virtually with their out-of-town health-care provider by using a monitor, video camera and microphone over a secure network. Patients in Kamloops can consult with a surgeon in Vancouver. Likewise, a physician in Kamloops can meet with a patient in a nearby community such as 100 Mile House or Clearwater.
“The Clinical Services Building is enhancing health care across the region because of services such as telehealth. Thanks to this new facility, patients are able to meet their health-care needs without having the time and expense of travel outside their home community, which is fantastic news for local families,” said Stone, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson.
Telehealth consultations in the building include specialties such as transplant, pre-surgical screening, thoracic surgery, genetics, wound care, speech and language, home care, and mental health and psychiatry.
“I am excited about what the new Clinical Services Building means for patients in rural areas of British Columbia, such as the people in my home community of Ashcroft,” said Tegart, MLA for Fraser-Nicola. “The new building represents not only an investment in Royal Inland Hospital, but in regional health care as a whole.”
The Clinical Services Building has added approximately 5,200 square metres (55,975 square feet) of state-of-the-art patient care and education space to Royal Inland Hospital. The expanded space includes a lecture theatre and a clinical simulation centre for Interior Health’s continued health professional training and the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s medical programs – an important investment in the future recruitment and retention of physicians and staff to the Kamloops area.
“We are pleased to be a partner in the Clinical Services Building project, and are excited about what it represents for residents not just in Kamloops, but throughout the surrounding region,” said Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar, chair of the Thompson Regional Hospital District. “We are happy to help celebrate this new beginning today, and are eagerly looking forward to what the future holds for health care at Royal Inland Hospital.”
“This is an exciting day for Interior Health. I am so proud of the hard work that has gone into the creation of this wonderful new Clinical Services Building,” said Erwin Malzer, Interior Health board chair. “I want to thank everyone who has been dedicated to seeing this project through to completion, from the administration, staff and physicians here at Royal Inland Hospital, to the project team in Interior Health’s Capital Planning department, to our project partners at Bird Construction. Their work has ensured a bright future for Royal Inland Hospital.”
The new building also accommodates a variety of outpatient services that are regularly accessed by patients, such as laboratory, pre-surgical screening, operating room booking, cardiology, pulmonary function, neurodiagnostic care, a sleep lab and intravenous infusion therapy. The Vascular Improvement program, Transient Ischemic Attack rapid-access clinic, and the Thompson Region Family Obstetrics Clinic have relocated from Royal Inland Hospital’s Alumnae Tower, and there is additional clinical space for future service expansion or relocation. This includes the orthopedics clinic, which is preparing to move to the Clinical Services Building this fall.
All these services are easily accessible from the four-storey, 350-stall parkade that opened July 25, 2016. Patients are also able to reach services within the existing hospital through the pedestrian bridge link. Those entering on foot from Columbia Street may choose between a stairway and a wheelchair-accessible elevator to reach Royal Inland Hospital.
The new building was designed and constructed to target Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. The project came in on time and under budget – an investment of approximately $69.1-million, funded by the Province and the Thompson Regional Hospital District. The surplus funds have been reallocated to planning for a patient care tower, which would be a future stage in Royal Inland Hospital’s redevelopment.