Construction begins on revamped day surgery unit at CHEO

A renovation that will enable CHEO surgeons to perform 20 percent more procedures every year couldn’t be more aptly named.  “Project Stitch” is the pet name that doctors came up with for the total revamp of the hospital’s Day Surgery and Post Anesthetic Care Units. This morning CHEO held a special event to celebrate the start of construction for this very important project. Ottawa South MPP John Fraser joined CHEO Foundation President and CEO Kevin Keohane, CHEO President and CEO Alex Munter and other hospital staff to help break down a ceremonial wall, and to talk about government support of Project Stitch and the impact it will have on our communities.

The renovation will combine the day surgery and recovery units, expand the number of recovery beds, build two new minor procedure rooms, and help fund a recently purchased, state-of-the-art MRI unit.

“At CHEO we conduct an average of 7,600 surgical procedures a year, and after the Project Stitch renovation is complete we will be able to increase that number by 1,500 a year,” said Dr. Juan Bass, Chief of Surgery at CHEO. “The biggest impact the project will have is with regards to wait times.  The Project Stitch redevelopment project will lessen the wait time for children and youth needing surgery by 50 percent.”

The newly constructed Day Care Surgery (DCS) and Post Anesthetic Care Units (PACU) will provide increased capacity from the existing structure to help facilitate patient flow through perioperative services. The addition of two new procedure rooms will serve as multifunctional spaces to complete medical services cases and minor surgical cases that are currently completed in the operating room creating increased capacity and access for our patients.

Project Stitch builds on CHEO’s work to reduce wait times, given the increasing demand for pediatric surgeries. In 2012, with over 2,600 children and youth waiting for surgery in any given month, CHEO looked for a way to shorten wait times by more efficiently scheduling and using its operating rooms.

Using the process improvement method called Lean, the team was able to reduce wait lists by 25% over 3 years and utilize 12% more of operating room time.  However, despite having the most efficient pediatric surgical program in the province, CHEO still has the highest percentage of surgeries that exceed provincial wait-time targets among pediatric centres in Canada. The Project Stitch redesign is one more step in reducing the amount of time kids need to wait for surgery.

Project Stitch includes a $10 million renovation and the purchase and installation of a new $3.6 million 3T MRI.

The funding breakdown is:
Ministry of Health – $8.6 million
Community (CHEO Foundation) – $5.0 million
Thanks to the amazing work of a volunteer fundraising committee and incredible community support the CHEO Foundation has raised $4.5 million and expect to raise the remaining $500,000 in the coming months. With the goal within reach construction on this much needed renovation is now underway.

Project Stitch is scheduled to be completed by Winter of 2018.

For more information contact:
Len Hanes
Director of Communications
CHEO Foundation
613 737-2784