Calgary Health Foundation

Behind the Scenes at South Health Campus

If you live in the far south of Calgary you've been watching the South Health Campus (SHC) rise up out of farmers' fields for the last few years. Though a few departments have recently opened, very few people have been inside the 44 acre site. A few lucky Calgary Health Trust staff, donors and special guests got to see the inner workings ahead of the opening of emergency department Monday January 14th.

Leading the tours of the facility  were Lori Anderson, Vice President of South Health Campus and Dr. Cheri Nijssen-Jordan, Facility Medical Director at SHC who spoke to the site's four pillars of excellence - Patient and Family Centred Care, Collaborative Practice, Wellness and Innovation - and how they put these pillars into practice.

"We want to create a full spectrum centre of care," said Dr. Nissen-Jordan. "To really make patients better you need to involve the entire community - it's one of the reasons we don't call this a hospital because our plan is to have that integrated community approach to the care we provide."

Guests were given behind the scenes access to the new facility, from wellness centre, to the eSIM program which trains the nurses and doctors for real life situations and finally to the Calgary Health Trust offices located just inside the main doors.

The vision for the SHC is to bring to fruition the future of health care by transforming care and service experiences for patients, transforming work experience for staff and physicians and building a more sustainable, integrated health care system.

Nearly 90 per cent of the rooms will be private which will ensure that there is better infection control and improved patient outcomes as family can stay overnight. The site has also included automated medication dispensing cabinets which allows staff to get what they need by swiping their fingerprint and entering a password. From there, they can select the patient and the drug required, there will always be enough medication inside, as the software program will alert Pharmacy when supplies are running low. 

"A lot of thought has gone into the design and creation of this facility," said Lori, "When the campus is completed we will apply for LEED Silver certification which when achieved will make this one of the first major health care facilities in Canada to be recognized as a leader in environmental and energy design. But we want the work that has been done in the design phase to carry over to the culture around the hospital. We work with new staff to explain our culture so they can let us know when we succeed and what we need to work on."

The initial phase will include 293 beds, a capacity for 200,000 annual outpatient visits and highly-technical core service areas including: emergency department, intensive care, diagnostic imaging, laboratory and operating rooms.