Patient Care Reinvented.


1. Q: What is the private sector campaign goal?

A: The private sector share is $225 million – the largest fundraising campaign ever to be undertaken by the HRH Foundation. The private sector funding will cover all the equipment, furnishings and some bricks and mortar.

2. Q: Why have you chosen to build a new facility, why not renovate existing facilities?

A: Hospitals like HRH were designed during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, to serve a world before computers, robotics, superbugs, or the rise of highly diverse, multicultural populations. Humber River is now one of Ontario’s largest acute care hospitals, serving a catchment area of 850,000 residents in Toronto. Sunnybrook Hospital and Scarborough Hospital are also large acute care hospitals. HRRH continues to be a leader and innovator and to exceed standards in areas like patient safety and the management of infectious diseases, but its buildings are old and not large enough to manage the number of patients we see on a yearly basis.

Not only have the buildings reached their physical capacity, they were designed for a different time in healthcare, and do not allow us to take advantage of modern healthcare advances. Following years of careful planning and consultation, the HRH Senior Management Team and its Board of Directors concluded that there was simply no way they could continue to support the current and future healthcare needs of the community with the current facilities – a new building is needed.

The largest cost of healthcare is in operations (staffing, equipment, supplies) and the cost to run and maintain facilities. Efficiencies will be found by providing services for acute care on one modern campus.

3. Q: Why was the Keele/401 site chosen? What impact will this have on the patients who have to travel further?

A: In 2007, the Government of Ontario announced that the new HRH would be built at Keele/401, which is provincially owned land. This new site is located within a 5km radius of all three of the current HRH sites. A study of the HRH catchment area (where our patients come from) shows this to be in the middle of the areas of those we provide care for. Recognizing the tremendous potential of the redevelopment project, the Government more recently announced further plans to revitalize the entire 74-acre Government campus at Downsview, with the new hospital as the cornerstone of a much larger complex that would include the provincial offices of the Coroner and serve as headquarters for a new Forensic Services laboratory.

4. Q: What are the construction timelines?

A: After a competitive RFP process, Plenary Health Care Partnerships, the consortium comprised of architects, engineers, contractors, etc., was announced to the public on September 2nd, 2011 and financial close was on September 23rd, 2011. The ground breaking for the hospital took place on December 2, 2011. The build will take 43.5 months to complete. The new HRH will open in 2015.

5. Q: What will happen to the existing hospitals?

A: Plans for the Church site and Keele site have not yet been confirmed but they will not be acute care hospitals. The Finch site will become an ambulatory care centre to provide urgent emergency care, diagnosis and contain non acute procedures where non-critical patients can be treated. This will drastically ease the strain on the new HRH’s Emergency Department.

6. Q: Will technology replace people in new hospital?

A: Technology will not replace people in the new hospital – it will be used to allow staff’s time to be dedicated to patient care. By utilizing the latest technology and advanced architectural designs, healthcare teams can drastically cut down on the time spent waiting for test results, transferring patient files between departments, and walking between units. This time can now be spent with those who need it most – the patients.

Great care will be taken to ensure that all hospital staff is trained in using the new technology and to ensure that these advancements are helping them to deliver better care – removing many of the time-consuming tasks they do on a daily basis (i.e. weighing patients, delivering medications, etc.).

The facility will be larger than HRH’s current facilities to accommodate more patients, meaning that the overall staff numbers increase with the opening of the new hospital – the new HRH will be larger than Yorkdale Mall!

7. Q: How will the new hospital impact the patient, family and community?

A: The new hospital will have a lasting impact on the community, our patients and family members, in so many ways.

Community – The physical buildings will be civic icons visible from as far south as St. Clair Avenue. Outside, there will be beautiful walking paths, green spaces and gardens.

The new HRH will establish our hospital as a centre for excellence and will act as a magnet for the best talent, innovation and investment the community has seen in the past three decades.

Some other powerful impacts the new HRH will have on the community include:

  • Kick-starting residential and commercial development in and around the site, including on-site retail opportunities;
  • Providing more efficient traffic solutions, with public roads through the campus to ease traffic at the Keele and Wilson intersection; and,
  • Creating more jobs, both at the complex and in surrounding new businesses – including many apprenticeship opportunities for youth in the community.

Family – Family members play a very important role in the healing process. When you have a family member in the hospital, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to visit and attend to them as only you can. The new HRH will have 80% single patient rooms, designed with the family in mind, including a secondary sleeping area and washrooms located at the back of each room for the added comfort of visitors. These are just some of the changes we have made to make the space more comfortable for the patient and family. When your child, parent or spouse is in the hospital, you can be there with them, even overnight if necessary, helping them on the road to recovery.

A large retail area will also be located in the new hospital, for the convenience of patients, visitors and family members.

Patients – The latest in cutting edge technology will be integrated into the new HRH, making patients more comfortable during their stay at the hospital and more in control of their care. The new HRH will be North America’s first fully digital hospital, using state of the art digital, communication and voice technologies. What does this mean for the patient? Comfortable “smart” rooms with a private multimedia screen, fully digital health records, and the ability to order meals from menus prepared by the healthcare team.

8. Q:  What are the innovative elements of the hospital (green aspects, technology, etc.) and are they necessary?

A:  The new HRH is going to be lean, green and digital. We have a unique opportunity to use the latest innovation and advancements in healthcare to treat the people in our community.

Lean – The new HRH will increase efficiency to make the best use of caregiver’s time, which means more time for patients.

  • Portals of Care – revolutionizing hospital design, the new HRH will have seven entrances, plus separate Emergency and Dialysis units, for a total of nine entranceways into the new HRH. Depending on the care needed, patients will enter the hospital through one of the nine portals, much like when you enter the airport at the appropriate counter location. This will eliminate the bottleneck problem at busy hospitals such as HRH, where everyone enters through one entrance and are then directed towards the care they need. You will get the care you need, faster and more conveniently than ever before.
  • Reducing “sneaker time” – when designing the new hospital, HRH partnered with GE Healthcare to ensure a workflow that reduced the time doctors and nurses would have to spend walking between different departments (aka “sneaker time”). For example, data collected by GE shows that a doctor in the Emergency Department (Church Street) walks an average of approximately two kilometers per eight hour shift; nurses walk an average of five kilometers. With the proper design, doctors and nurses will be able to cut down on the time spent walking between patients and departments, and will be able to spend more time caring for and treating patients.

Green – The new HRH will also care for the environment – another example of the innovation you can only find at Humber.

  • The Green Building Council has said that “Hospitals have a brutal effect on the earth”.  Using two times the energy of a typical office building and operating 24/7 with high resource use, they are the most challenging buildings to make sustainable. The new Humber River Hospital will, however, seek to minimize our carbon footprint (negative impact on the environment) in all possible ways, allowing us to care for patients in environmentally friendly ways that are truly unique and ahead of their time.
  • The new hospital will meet international Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. The design of the new HRRH will follow the LEED Green Building Rating System 2009 – a system that outlines what constitutes a green building in design, construction and operation. In order for a building to be LEED certified, an independent review and audit of the building needs to be done, and then a certification level is assigned. These levels range from “certified” to “platinum certified” – the new HRRH hopes to achieve the highest certification possible.
  • The new HRRH will have a “Green Roof” that will regulate building temperature and absorb rainwater, reducing electricity use and associated costs related to heating and cooling the building.

Digital – The latest in cutting edge technology will be integrated into the new HRH, making patients more comfortable during their stay at the hospital and more in control of their care.

  • HRH will be home to a world class research centre, housing the HP and Richard Ivey School of Business Digital Hospital Centre of Excellence for medical technology.
  • The new HRH will be North America’s first fully digital hospital, using state-of-the-art digital communication and voice recognition technologies. What does this mean for the patient?
  • You and your healthcare team will not have to wait as long for MRI and x-ray reports thanks to a 24hr, online image management system.
  • Fully digital health records will be created to include your hospital record as well as those of your family doctor and community health providers.
  • Delivery of prescriptions and supplies will be robotic.
  • Your patient room will be a comfortable “smart” room – this includes a private multimedia screen where you can look at your medical chart, MRIs, x-rays or watch TV, movies and access the internet – your home away from home!
  • Doctors and nurses and other members of the care team will receive urgent notifications via a personal digital device to simultaneously respond to patient emergencies.
  • When you are hungry, you will choose your meals from menus prepared by your health providers – robotic delivery of these fresh meals will take less time than in a restaurant.
  • Smart beds will weigh patients automatically at various times during the day and will alert caregivers if a patient slips or if breathing becomes irregular – this is especially helpful  when caring for elderly patients.
  • Your privacy will never be compromised – patient records can only be accessed through scanning your unique barcode and entering a password.

9. Q:  What programs will set this hospital apart from others?

A:  HRH has some fantastic and world renowned programs already – this will only get better in the new facility:

  • Mental Health – Dr. Awad, Chief of Psychiatry, is world renowned, particularly for his work on removing the stigma attached to mental health.
  • Bariatrics and Laparoscopic Surgery – HRH’s Bariatrics program is a centre of Excellence in Ontario and is the first program outside the United Stated to be fully accredited by the American College of Surgeons
  • Medical Imaging – HRH is consistently at the forefront of new medical imaging technology. Using specialized software, developed specifically for HRH, images can be read in Emergency using electronic sticky notes that can be forwarded for immediate follow-up by radiologists.
  • Dialysis Program – it is world renowned and one of the Top 10 in the Province in terms of size. Also HRRH has the first nocturnal dialysis program in Canada (at home treatment).
  • Dr. Anthony Mascia, a Radiologist at HRH, is a world renowned sports medicine doctor.  

The new Humber River Hospital will be the FIRST hospital in North America to:

  • Employ a managed equipment services model to ensure that our equipment will always be up to date and any updates or upgrades will be readily available.
  • Use a fully integrated communication system – ensuring all members of the healthcare team will be continuously connected, providing a seamless approach to patient care.
  • Be LEED certified – ensuring our hospital is environmentally friendly.
  • Integrate Portals of Care in the design of the hospital – ensuring patients can access the care they need faster than ever before.
  • Pioneer more effective infection control measures through:
  • 80% single-patient rooms;
  • Germ-resistant materials; and,
  • Fast and efficient measures to turn regular patient rooms into isolation rooms in the event of an infectious outbreak.

10. Q:  What will be the impact of the Vaughan hospital on our building and why isn’t a hospital being built there first given they don’t have one?  

A:  The Government of Ontario realized the need for a new hospital in north Toronto to serve the significant population growth. As Vaughan grows, it too will need a hospital.

Both facilities are required to meet the patient demand in the GTA and a decision was made to move forward with the new HRH in 2005. The planning process for a healthcare facility takes a great deal of time. The Vaughan Hospital and York Central Hospital have merged and are in phase two of a five (5) step planning process to establish healthcare services needed to serve their communities.

11. Q:  The previous campaign wasn’t completed so what assurances do we have that this one is “a go”?

A:  With financial close on September 23rd, 2011 our new hospital was guaranteed.  If you visit the site you will see that prep work has already commenced and you can view regular updates on the HRH website – groundbreaking for the building will begin in November.

12. Q:  What happened to the funds raised from the previous campaign?

A:  The funds collected from the “Rising to the Challenge” campaign were used for urgent renovations to the Finch and Church sites if deemed acceptable by the donor.

Although pledges were made, donors were not required to realize their pledges as the project did not come to fruition.  Those donors that did give a gift directed it to their area of interest and were recognized for their generous support.

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