Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital working on nearly 600-item task list

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Sask. children’s hospital working on nearly 600-item task list
WATCH ABOVE: The Jim Pattison Children's Hospital will welcome its 1st patients on Sept. 29 – Sep 20, 2019

Nine days away from opening in Saskatoon, the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital has a task list with nearly 600 items on it.

Many of the items are small — like moving a desk or adding computer monitors. Others are larger changes resulting from safety concerns with the building.

“I think we have good processes in place and we’ve addressed each of them as they’ve come up,” said Carrie Dornstauder, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA)’s executive director of maternal and childen’s provincial programs.

Most of the items “are in action,” and each is prioritized. she said. Less pressing items can be dealt with after the hospital’s scheduled opening on Sept. 29.

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Earlier this month, officials with the SHA and children’s hospital leadership teams met with the Saskatoon Area Division of Child Psychiatry. The psychiatrists voiced concerns about safety, particularly in cases of patients who might harm themselves.

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Concerns with nurse sightlines have been “dealt with already,” through the use of mobile stations, according to Dr. Ron Siemens, the provincial head of pediatrics.

On any given day, there are typically three children in the emergency department with a psychology problem — whether behaviour, anxiety or suicide-related, Siemens said.

“In our pediatric emergency department, the patients are never by themselves. They’re always with either family with security or with a nurse right in front,” Siemens said.

Psychiatrists were also concerned about high-risk patients accessing cabinets in rooms. Health care staff will either lock the cabinets or wheel them out of the room, officials said.

Heavier furniture was also needed in some family rooms.

In an internal memo on Sept. 13, the SHA’s vice-president of provincial programs and the head of child and adolescent psychiatry addressed the concerns.

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“Given media attention to this issue, it is critical to clarify for parents and families that they should not be afraid to seek treatment for their children at the new Children’s Hospital,” they said.

“Children and families will be provided safe, high-quality care.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

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