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Staff provides sneak peek at Vancouver's new St. Paul's Hospital

Construction is ongoing at the new St. Paul's Hospital site in Vancouver's False Creek Flats neighbourhood. (CTV) Construction is ongoing at the new St. Paul's Hospital site in Vancouver's False Creek Flats neighbourhood. (CTV)

Staff at the new St. Paul's Hospital showed off the future of care Thursday, providing reporters a sneak peek at new operating rooms and technology that will be present when the facility opens its new home in Vancouver's False Creek Flats neighbourhood later this decade.

From the ceiling curl lights and monitors. They look like tentacles, but are the marker of a modern operating room. Having the devices hang from the ceiling, rather than positioned on the floor, means more flexibility for staff in terms of placement of other devices and treatment.

The new hospital will also have a large teaching component, explained Josh Chipperfield, a clinical lead with the new hospital project.

"There's a tremendous amount of virtual health technology and integration going into rooms across the hospital that allows us to then broadcast locally – but even remotely, as well, and globally – for education purposes," Chipperfield said.

The hope is the teaching opportunities, new technology and a location close to the SkyTrain will draw workers to the site when it eventually opens to patients in 2027.

Craig Harris, another clinical lead, pointed out the new location is just minutes away from Main Street-Science World Station and will have ample vehicle and bike parking for workers.

"It's an easy place to get to. It's an easier place to work, and they can deliver cutting-edge care that they can't do in a lot of other spaces," Harris added.

Attracting nurses, doctors, and others to work at the new facility could be an issue if current labour shortages and health-care pressures remain.

Now under construction, the new hospital will have double the number of beds and more surgical spaces. Harris said that – along with spaces designed with care in mind – means patients will experience more efficiency, shorter waits and more privacy when being treated. He added infection control would be much higher.

A better experience is also coming for the tiniest of patients in the newborn intensive care unit, where Harris said babies are currently treated in a room together.

"At the moment, mums aren't even with their babies. Like, they recover in a different area, and they sort of come in almost as an outpatient," Harris said. "(Under) the new model, they'll actually be in the same room as the baby."

A sneak peek at the new rooms shows labouring tubs in maternity rooms to give moms another option for delivery. 

Two of the operating rooms are much larger than the rest, to make way for more complex surgeries and possibly even more technology.

"Hopefully, in the future, we'll have some robotics, in terms of surgery, as well, which is a really exciting, innovative thing," added Chipperfield. Top Stories

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