News QCHF Ottawa
Reimagining Hospital Footprint to Support 15 New Bed Bays
Lianne Learmonth

Addressing Hallway Medicine

It’s being seen as a ray of sunshine after nearly two years of progressively more difficult days. With the hospital operating at or above capacity on an ongoing basis, QCH has transformed space inside the hospital (known as B2) to build a comfortable, fully-equipped area for 15 bed bays.

“The team is so excited,” said QCH Clinical Manager Tammy Hirkala. “It’s been a couple of very tough years and this is something that has reignited their excitement.”

Located close to the busy Emergency Department, Diagnostic Imaging Department and Operating Rooms to improve patient flow for fast, efficient, and integrated care, the new patient bed bays are fully equipped with ceiling lifts and a medication room.

This innovative project – which costs more than $3 million – is 100% funded by QCH Foundation donors. It’s an important initiative that is helping to address an ongoing issue in healthcare, hallway medicine. QCH has one of the busiest Emergency Department’s in the city, some patients requiring admission to the hospital have had to wait for hours on a stretcher in the hallway until a bed was available.

“Anyone who has had to be on a stretcher for any longer than a few hours knows all too well that it’s not a private or comfortable place to be, especially when you are not feeling well,” explains Tammy. “To get our patients off the stretcher and into a hospital bed is critical, and even more so is moving them out of the bustling, noisy emergency department – where there is a lot of commotion, bells going off and people coming and going – to get them to a peaceful place where they can rest and get the care they require is the goal.”

Lianne Learmonth, Clinical Director for the Medicine Unit, said the new beds are designed for patients who need to be treated and monitored, but for a shorter period of time, and then be in a position to return home.

“The team definitely feels the pressure when there is someone on a stretcher who is ill and in desperate need of a bed,” she explains. “And this new space is absolutely beautiful with every spare inch used perfectly. It’s inspiring to see what has been accomplished and how important the space is for the hospital and our community.” “