How health care will improve once new Penticton hospital tower opens next month - InfoNews

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How health care will improve once new Penticton hospital tower opens next month

Penticton Regional Hospital's $312 million expansion is slated to open to patients on April 29, 2019.
March 04, 2019 - 5:30 PM

PENTICTON - Residents of the South Okanagan are about to experience what an investment of more than $300 million dollars means to the local health care system when the new hospital opens in late April.

Noticeable improvements to regional health care and beyond should be apparent almost overnight after phase one of the $312 million dollar David E. Kampe hospital tower opens its door to patients for the first time on April 29, says Interior Health spokesperson Kevin Parnell.

Probably one of the most important things residents will see is an improvement in wait times for diagnostic imaging.The hospital expansion comes with its own dedicated magnetic resonance imaging suite and wait times for MRIs are expected to improve.

“Interior Health now does a central intake process that allows patients to travel to any MRI site within Interior Health based on the shorter wait for their exam, so increasing numbers at Penticton Regional Hospital will benefit more than just the Penticton area when it comes to wait times for an MRI,” Parnell said in an email last week.

The MRI suite replaces a mobile MRI service that was only available in the area part time. It’s anticipated around 5,000 exams per year will be done in Penticton. The hospital will also have its own SPECT CT scanner, allowing residents to receive this test in Penticton rather than having to go elsewhere.

The tower opening also brings another 15 beds to the hospital, all of which are single patient rooms with their own washroom. Evidence shows single patient rooms decrease hospital stays for most patients, increase infection control and prevention in addition to providing a more comfortable environment.

Work is being done on surgical wait times to prepare for the tower opening, which also contains new, larger operating rooms and a single unit for all surgical services.

South Okanagan residents will also see improved access and enhanced care for emergency room patients, but those improvements won’t be noticeable when the tower opens in late April.

The opening of the patient care tower will trigger a significant renovation to Penticton Regional Hospital’s emergency room that will double its size by the time the renovation is completed in mid- 2021.

“Penticton Regional Hospital currently runs very efficiently with patients receiving timely access to emergency room treatment and diagnostics,” Parnell said.

The opening of the new tower will also see a big improvement to hospital access and parking, both of which has been hampered by two years of construction. A new, six storey parkade should reduce the parking inconveniences of the past at Penticton Regional Hospital to a minimum.


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