The Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) is on the road again, this time to support an emergency department renovation at Fraser Canyon Hospital (FCH) in Hope.
From October 16 to the end of November, the MMU is acting as a temporary emergency department while the hospital's permanent facility undergoes an upgrade to its medication dispensing system, the installation of an Omnicell system concurrent with other FHA sites.
Watch the MMU transition from trailer to hospital!
The MMU team hosted an open house today with FCH staff and local stakeholders and over the coming days and weeks, will be on-site facilitating orientation to staff, physicians and clinicians who will be working in the unit throughout the deployment. Patient care will begin taking place on October 30.
"Having the Mobile Medical Unit on-site allows our emergency department patients to continue being cared for in a safe and welcoming environment, away from the potential noise and disruption caused by the renovation," said Catherine Wiebe, Operations Director, Fraser Canyon Hospital. "For our staff, it means being able to offer care and support to our patients in an environment that is similar to their everyday unit."
In the months leading up to the renovation, the MMU team worked closely with site operations and clinical leadership to ensure the transition between their own emergency department and the MMU working environment would be as seamless as possible.
Facility logistics, IMITS support, and clinical staff training are just a few of the essential aspects the MMU team worked with FHA leadership, FCH site leads, and BC Clinical Support Services to coordinate in advance of the unit's arrival.
"The MMU's flexible clinical space and logistical expertise makes the MMU program an ideal resource to support a renovation, like the one at Fraser Canyon Hospital," said Peter Hennecke, clinical operations director, MMU.
A shared resource among all of BC's health authorities, the MMU has supported several business continuity needs and renovations. It's spent more than 200 days on the road supporting four renovation missions including serving as a temporary Intensive Care Unit at East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook in 2012; and as an emergency department in Pemberton in 2013, and again in Kitimat in 2013/14.
The unit acts as an extension of all hospital and health centres in BC, clinicians are accredited to work in the space. Importantly, Fraser Canyon Hospital's staff, procedures and protocols remain the same.
The MMU has supported a number of deployments in Fraser Health, some of which include:
- Responding to the Surrey Memorial Hospital flood and provided additional ED space outside of the Jim Pattison Outpatient Centre, supporting 10% of the ED patient volume
- Conducting site readiness plans at every single hospital site in Fraser Health to ensure smooth set up and support in the event of a disaster or emergency.
- Providing clinical space for the province's Cystic Fibrosis and hemophilia programs to screen and assess patients from across Fraser Health closer to their homes rather than having to travel to St. Paul's Hospital.
Since 2011, the Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) has travelled throughout BC, lending its flexible and high-tech clinical space for many purposes: as a temporary location for patients to receive care while their own hospital or clinic undergoes renovation; as additional medical surge treatment space for health facilities including support to mass gathering events; as the home to specialized community outreach clinics; and as a hands-on classroom for disaster and clinical training. The unit and team have supported more than 6,200 patient visits and have trained over 1,100 clinicians and First Responders across the province.