This fiscal year, 5,585 babies were born in the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR). The experience will be completely different for families in less than three year’s time once the new children’s hospital opens its doors.
According to officials, the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan is still set to be complete by late 2019.
This week, crews will start to pour the concrete for the third floor, otherwise known as the maternal floor.
A single floor – 7,700 square feet in size – where moms will arrive, labour, deliver and recover with their newborns all in the same room. If a mom requires a caesarean section, it will only require a trip down the hall to an operation room stationed on the same floor.
“Right now, the woman would come in first and she would be seen in the assessment room generally – then she might stay in that area until she is in active labour and then would go to a birth room,” Leanne Smith, director of maternal services for SHR, said.
A C-section would be an additional move.
“From there she would go to the postpartum so it could be three or four times,” Smith added.
Maternal musical chairs between two buildings, multiple elevator rides and medical indicators that would determine if you received a room to yourself.
“Right now, we have about 64 staffed rooms,” Smith remarked.
The new hospital will have 65 private patient rooms on the maternal floor, just one more room compared to Royal University Hospital (RUH) right now, but according to Smith there’s a reason for that after much time and planning.
“The whole model of care is different,” Smith said.
“All the time you take to transfer a person – that kind of ties up two rooms during a transfer because there’s the room the patient is in and the room the mom is going to so you’ve sort of got two rooms locked up at that time if you will.”
A year-and-a-half ago, the team also mapped out its busiest time on record – 88 babies in 96 hours using the new floor plan.
“What we found out is even during that busiest time, we had enough rooms and empty rooms.”
Officials are also assessing how much care can be offered to patients safely at home prior to the baby’s arrival for things like hypertension as opposed to being admitted and requiring a lengthy hospital stay.
Smith also stresses that once in hospital, moms will not be discharged with baby before it’s safe to do so or that those responsibilities will fall to public health.
There is also no word on what the current maternal services space at RUH will be transitioned into once the children’s hospital is up and running.