GV Health’s infrastructure executive director Sandy Chamberlin explains the planning that takes place behind the scenes of the redevelopment.
”It’s not just a building, it’s never just a building,” Ms Chamberlin said.
“In fact, the building is one of the easier parts of the redevelopment. The real challenge is understanding how we’re going to work in the new building.”
The team at GV Health is developing a model of service for important jobs like food delivery, the way the cleaning staff operates and the processes involved in laundry services. The team is also developing a model of care which details how staff treat patients and clients in the new environment.
“We’re doing a lot of work behind the scenes as the various buildings go up, refining how we’re going to work in our new facilities,” Ms Chamberlin said.
“With that work comes employee impact statements, change management, recruitment of new staff, change of existing positions and much more.”
This means that, on day one, staff have trialled all the equipment and performed scenario testing. This is the practice of simulating disasters or breakdowns to ensure staff understand how treatment proceeds in the event of an emergency.
“For example, everyone knows that when a patient walks through the door in dialysis for their treatment, everyone knows how the patient flow works and where the equipment is,” Ms Chamberlin said.
“The same goes for the new emergency department (ED) - where resuscitation is, where triage is, where all the equipment is, who works where and who does what.”
With the new dialysis unit on target to be handed over from the builder in October, the models of care and service will be put to the test, meaning that when the unit’s doors open officially all the correct testing, test scenarios and practice treatment runs will have been performed.
“We need to ensure all the fittings, furniture and so on are installed correctly, and that everything is functional, tested and tagged,” Ms Chamberlin said.
The new section of the ED, which is currently under construction, will be integrated into the existing facility, which will then be refurbished.
“What we have to work in is the new part – how does it work?” Ms Chamberlin said.
“Essentially we’ll move what we have now into the new build and make that work. We’re doing work on the model of care for just that bit right now.”
Dialysis, however, is a different scenario, owing to the completely new build.
“The new model of care has taken a lot of work to establish how we’re going to be working in there. We’re doing a lot of work with St Vincent’s in Melbourne, thinking about how our new department might work and integrate back into them as well.”
The work behind the scenes of a project such as the GV Health redevelopment is huge.
“It’s a lot of work for the users, who have been involved in user groups for the design, to understand what works and how it looks, what might have to change,” Ms Chamberlin said.
“It’s additional work to the day job. We’ve got an assigned model-of-care project manager working on dialysis and the ED, looking at changes coming up soon in that space.”
There is also preliminary model of care and service work being done for the in-patient unit tower, looking at the theatre, surgical and ICU medical spaces. This work is not as urgent, however, as the in-patient unit tower won’t be delivered until mid-2021.
Food Services are a vital element of the hospital’s day to day existence, and GV Health’s Food Services team is currently doing site visits and looking at case studies on updating the hospital to a room service model for food service delivery.
“That’s about monitoring better what patients are eating,” Ms Chamberlin said.
“We do a good job with our dietitians and nutrition team now, but we’re looking at taking it one step further. For example, not delivering a three-course meal to someone who can’t eat it, and tailoring meals to people’s needs, ensuring it’s food they want to eat and food that it’s culturally appropriate.”
As for the parking situation at Graham St as the redevelopment continues, Ms Chamberlin said parking near any construction site was difficult.
“Parking causes anxiety throughout construction, but not afterwards − at the end, you get parks back. It’s a good news story!"