The services that will be offered at the new $1.2 billion St. Paul’s Hospital in the False Creek Flats were announced by Providence Healthcare and will include a non-hospital birthing centre.
The idea is part of a primary healthcare model the hospital is instituting to give more patient-centred care and to cut costs.
“Specialized acute care is the costliest part of this system – so that’s one aspect,” David Byers, Executive Vice President for integration and renewal with Providence Healthcare told Vancity Buzz.
“Primary care and community care aligns more with what patients want – care that’s much more patient centred, much less acute care focused, considers their needs in a different way and provides care that better meets what the patient is after.”
Birthing centre models are used in many other parts of the world for managing low-risk, normal pregnancies. Byers estimates that at least half of the pregnancies St. Paul’s Hospital sees are considered lower risk.
He said there isn’t just a shift in attitudes where birthing is concerned – primary care is more in demand among patients generally speaking.
As for how the birthing centre might look – whether it will only be midwives or include obstetricians and nurses – it’s still too early to tell and consultation will be required before moving forward.
“Certainly we would need to consult with patients and providers and we want to partner with BC Women’s hospital so that we have one integrated, similar model,” said Byers.
“It really will depend on as we do the work around the clinical planning what kind of patient could be managed in a birthing centre model.”
Another new primary healthcare aspect to the hospital will be the addition of short-term residential care for people living with addiction and mental health issues. A patient will be able to come in for treatment and continue their stay in a residential-style bed until there is an appropriate place in the community for them to go to rather than being sent out into the streets.
“It’s so there’s a seamless continuum of care and then the patient continues to be supported as they go out into the community,” said Byers.
Over 40 per cent of St. Paul’s patients are non-emergency and can be treated in other settings, said Providence Healthcare CEO Dianne Doyle in a release.
“This is an exciting and extremely important opportunity to address such issues, to redesign and transform our care continuums in a manner that improves access, emphasizes prevention and healthy living, and always puts patients at the centre of care,” she said.
Healthcare providers, physicians, patients, families and community stakeholders are involved in the development of the services that will be provided at the new hospital and “healthcare campus.”
The 18.5 acre site in the False Creek Flats will house a one million square foot state-of-the-art building with around 700 beds.