Surrey, BC’s Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre aims to relieve pressures on the healthcare system by consolidating medical services that don’t require an overnight hospital stay into a stand-alone facility
At a time when hospitals throughout Canada are struggling with ever-longer patient wait times, overburdened staff and rising energy costs, British Columbia’s Fraser Health Authority has pioneered a new model of care designed to alleviate those and other pressures on the system. The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC), which opened in June 2011 in Surrey, BC, is a stand-alone facility for types of medical care and treatment that do not require an overnight hospital stay. Equipped with more than 100 exam and treatment rooms, 10 procedural rooms and six operating rooms, this new 180,000-sq.-ft. medical centre provides services including diagnostic imaging, chronic disease therapy, rehabilitation and a full range of day surgeries, and also houses a primary healthcare clinic. In all there are more than 50 specialized health clinics and programs consolidated within this building, which, unlike a 24/7 acute-care hospital, only has to be staffed during regular business hours.
The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre is a P3 (public-private partnership) project between Fraser Health Authority (FHA) and BC Healthcare Solutions (BCHS); in this agreement FHA provides all health and medical services, while BCHS has assumed responsibility for the $239-million facility’s design, construction and financing, and will maintain it for the next 30 years. As the designers of the outpatient care and surgery centre, Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. is part of the BCHS consortium. In addition to designing the JPOCSC, under the terms of the P3 agreement Kasian assumed responsibility for the base building design, medical planning, interior design and coordination of medical medical equipment installation.
Surrey, BC’s second-largest city and a member municipality of Metro Vancouver, is growing so quickly that its population is expected to exceed the City of Vancouver’s within 10 years. The modular design of the JPOCSC will allow for an eventual 30 per cent expansion of the facility to the east. Completed on budget and three months ahead of the construction schedule, the Centre now accommodates 1,200 patients daily, and by 2020 it will be able to serve 1,650 patients per day, or 600,000 patients per year.
To minimize the spread of infectious diseases as well as the distances that patients, visitors and staff have to travel within the building, there are separate circulation routes for patients, staff and materials. Waiting rooms and other public spaces are on the south-facing front of the building; on the north side are separate corridors and windowed offices for staff. Sandwiched in between the public and staff zones are the clinical spaces in which patients and staff interact.
Exposure to Daylight and Views
Although the Jim Pattison Centre’s site is only a few minutes’ drive from downtown Surrey, the building overlooks a large, wooded area. The facility’s layout, glazing and orientation capitalize on the site’s abundant natural light and beautiful surroundings. “The most stressful time for patients in a facility is when they’re waiting for a procedure,” says Kasian principal Wojciech Brus, the JPOCSC’s project architect.
“They may be in a waiting room for half an hour, and this is where the tension builds up.” In this building, the waiting areas have calming, natural views to the Green Timbers Forest and the distant, icy peak of Mount Baker. Creating an appealing working environment for staff is equally important, and the Jim Pattison Centre is unusual in that it has windows even in an operating room, a sub-sterile corridor and its MRI rooms. Traditionally it has been a challenge to have windows in operating rooms and other hospital spaces with extremely stringent infection-control protocols, but in this case installing windows that are flush with the walls (as opposed to having germ-catching protrusions and indentations) and using special low-heat glazing systems that prevent condensation (a contributor to fungal growth), made it possible to bring natural light into an exceptionally
stressful work environment. “The environment for surgeons is fantastic,” Mr. Brus says. “They operate in the daylight, supported by artificial light. That helps performance, and it helps hugely with the retention of staff.”
Pursuing LEED® Gold
The JPOCSC is a LEED®-registered project that has been designed to meet LEED Gold certification standards. Its sustainable features include heat pumps used in tandem with a heat reclamation system; high-efficiency plumbing fixtures; rainwater harvesting for landscaping; and the use throughout the facility of salvaged wood from trees that succumbed to the West Coast’s pine beetle infestation.
At its best, Mr. Brus says, healthcare design isn’t a bricks-and-mortar business: it’s about the creation of environments that promote healing, provide comfort for patients and their families through stressful experiences, and support the vital and demanding work performed by medical professionals. Careful attention was paid in the design of the JPOCSC to the creation of comfortable acoustic environments and efficient layouts. In addition, the use of a different colour palette on each floor aids patients and visitors in navigation and wayfinding.
Although the Jim Pattison Centre is a stand-alone facility, it is by necessity close to an acute-care hospital: there will be times when a routine day surgery turns into something more complex, requiring the patient’s hospitalization. There is a transfer bay at the JPOCSC where an ambulance can pull up and transport a patient to Surrey Memorial Hospital, two blocks away.
What makes the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre truly newsworthy is that it’s a new type of facility that could be replicated in countless other urban centres. If this building works well for Fraser Health Authority in the coming years, it could have considerable influence on the provision of medical services across Canada and well beyond its borders.