Ward of the 21st Century creates a new standard of care
In 2004, the Ward of
the 21st Century (W21C) was created in the pursuit of knowledge,
innovation and technological advancement - all of which would lead
to the betterment of patient care.
Setting the stage for what would be a new standard of care, the
"high touch, high tech" unit would become the testing ground for a
collaborative approach using technology to take patient care to the
next level. Working with electrical engineers, the W21C was
designed to use wireless technology that would put information in
the hands of the caregivers, patients and their families.
The W21C started in May 2004 when the medical teaching unit (Unit
36) opened at Foothills Medical Centre (FMC) followed by the
opening of the W21C Research and Innovation Centre (W21C Centre) in
November 2009. The W21C and W21C Centre introduced now commonly
used technology and practices, such as negative pressure rooms to
isolate the spread of infection, simulation technology for training
and wireless patient monitoring equipment.
The W21C's vision was and remains to define the future of health
care."We're creating a future of health care and sharing that with
others in the [Calgary Health] Region and in other jurisdictions,"
said Nancy Guebert, then co-director of the unit who now serves as
the Vice President of Rockyview General Hospital.
The primary goal of the W21C has been to create state-of-the-art
clinical and research infrastructure that attracts and enables
multidisciplinary researchers, industry and other stakeholders to
collaborate on innovative approaches to improving patient safety
and quality of care. The W21C's equipment and space infrastructure
facilitate multidisciplinary research and innovation activities
within a nationally and internationally unique W21C 'living
Impressed by the ward's vision and innovation, the Duke and
Duchess of Cambridge toured the W21C during
their royal visit through Calgary in July 2011.