Women's College Hospital unveils hospital of the future

New state-of-the-art ambulatory (outpatient) care facility designed to keep people out of hospital, improve treatment options, enhance quality of life and exemplify cost-efficiency

TORONTO, June 12, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian healthcare reached a milestone today as Women's College Hospital (WCH) (www.womenscollegehospital.ca) unveiled the Hospital of the Future, a new state-of-the-art ambulatory (outpatient) care facility that is revolutionizing the way healthcare is provided to women and diverse communities in Canada.

"Our new facility represents one of the biggest Canadian advancements in ambulatory care," WCH president and CEO Marilyn Emery says. "We are developing innovative models of care that are helping to keep people out of hospital. This is the future of healthcare. We combine treatments, surgery, research and education all in one place to deliver superior - and more efficient - care and to improve our health system as a whole."

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews joined in the unveiling ceremony at today's ribbon-cutting. "As our healthcare system adapts to the needs of this province, Women's College Hospital is at the forefront of innovation and patient-centred care," said Premier Wynne. "I am proud of the support and cutting edge medical services they provide to women, which serves as a model for healthcare providers across Ontario."

"This is an exciting day, not only for Women's College Hospital, but for the entire province," says Minister Matthews. "When complete, this newly redeveloped hospital will assist greatly in our efforts to drive transformation across the sector and will also help deliver better quality care, closer to home."

WCH is Canada's leading academic, ambulatory hospital and a world leader in the health of women. The hospital's 100-year-old legacy is built upon a number of "firsts" - the first Canadian hospital to train women physicians, use mammography and develop a simplified Pap test for detecting cervical cancer. "Today, we provide healthcare without an emergency room and perform vital complex surgeries without inpatient beds," says Emery. "And we do this with the best treatment outcomes and the highest rates of patient satisfaction. This is the goal of ambulatory healthcare. This is the goal of WCH."

"We have earned a distinguished reputation based on our commitment to delivering ongoing health innovation and a dedication to improving healthcare for everyone, regardless of culture, background or economic status. Now, we are embarking on the next chapter of this admirable legacy," she adds.

Phase 1 of the facility, designed by Susan Black, principal and director of Perkins Eastman Black Architects in Toronto, is now officially open to patients. Phase 2 of the $460-million building will be complete in 2015. The building's iconic design is the result of a two-year study with 1,000 women ("A Thousand Voices for Women's Health") from various cultural and social backgrounds and a range of demographic and socio-economic groups.

"We asked them what they wanted from a hospital," says Emery. "Their responses informed our design. They told us they want their hospital of the future to be a place that inspires health, healing and community."

In introducing "This is the Future of Healthcare" - the theme of WCH's current public awareness and education initiatives - Emery also announced the launch of WCH's Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV, pronounced weave). Headed by Dr. Sacha Bhatia and Dr. Danielle Martin, WIHV is turning next-generation creative ideas into practical solutions.

WIHV will deal with the most pressing issues facing Canadian and international health systems. Like a laboratory, WIHV will develop and test new ideas, new programs and new policy approaches in the world of ambulatory care - and then help to scale them up across Ontario and beyond.

WIHV will collaborate simultaneously with all the key players in healthcare - patients, providers, researchers, government and industry. The institute's initial research and innovation streams will focus first on three of healthcare's greatest challenges: quality, equity and value for money.

WIHV will build on these areas with forward-thinking "virtual care" that will improve quality at transitions of care.

Infrastructure Ontario and the provincial Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care are working in partnership with WCH to complete the 400,000-square-foot downtown Toronto redevelopment project on the hospital's current Grenville Street site. The WCH ambulatory (outpatient) facility will remain publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable.

Features of WCH's Hospital of the Future include:

  • Surgery that does not require overnight patient stays. Patients can go home within 18 hours of having surgery, like breast reconstruction after mastectomy for breast cancer patients. This helps to reduce their risk of infection and patients are able to recover safely and comfortably in their own homes, with the highest levels of patient satisfaction, better pain management and the best treatment outcomes. WCH is piloting a mobile app that enables continuous post-surgery followup where surgeons can closely monitor their patients when they are back home, leading to less post-surgery patient anxiety and complications.

  • Complex Care Clinic that provides ongoing support and care, education and disease management - not hospitalization - as the population ages and more and more people live with multiple chronic conditions. Care is delivered in one place with one team to help patients prevent and manage their conditions and improve their quality of life. Chronic conditions are the biggest single challenge of our healthcare system today.

  • Greater access and equity, like the CARES program (Cancer Awareness & Readiness for Education & Screening). CARES educates women in marginalized, hard-to-reach populations about the importance of breast and cervical cancer screening - and then actually takes the screening clinics into their communities.

  • Canada's only research institute solely dedicated to leading innovation in the health of women. About 80 per cent of researchers at Women's College Research Institute are women and 70 per cent of its scientists work directly with patients. As a result, researchers can test and directly incorporate their findings into practice, improving patient care in Canada and abroad.

  • Academic (teaching) hospital with a strong and unique education program. The hospital trains future healthcare professionals to work in integrated and complex settings. Most physician education is done in inpatient hospitals, but the reality today is that most healthcare is provided on an ambulatory (outpatient) basis.

  • Introduction of a new clinic service delivery model. Clinics and services are located in the same area so that patients can see specialists all in one visit and physicians, staff and administrators can better coordinate patient care. This maximizes patient experience and improves efficiency.

About Women's College Hospital:

Women's College Hospital (WCH) (www.womenscollegehospital.ca) is advancing the health of women and improving healthcare options for all by delivering innovative models of ambulatory care. Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, the hospital is Canada's leading academic, ambulatory hospital and a world leader in women's health. With more than 800 physicians, nurses and health professionals, the hospital offers a range of specialized clinics and programs that are bridging the gaps in the health system. Women's College Hospital is helping to keep people out of hospital by being at forefront of cutting-edge research, diagnosis and treatment that will help prevent illness and enable patients to manage their health conditions. This healthcare enables Canadians to live healthier, more independent lives. At the Women's College Research Institute, scientists combine science and patient care to develop innovative solutions to today's greatest health challenges.

ATTENTION EDITORS: More information, high resolution photography and B-roll video is available at

SOURCE: Women's College Hospital

For further information:

Contact: Margo Rapport
H2 Central Marketing & Communications
Phone: 416-895-5672
Email: mrapport@h2central.ca


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