From cardboard to concrete: Mock-ups help refine hospital design

Cardboard mockups to plan for medical and surgical spaces for the planned Paul Myers Tower on the LGH campus

Designing a new, acute-care facility is no small task. To help ensure it is done right, the Lions Gate Hospital (LGH) Redevelopment project team asked people who will use the new space the most to immerse themselves in the plans — literally.

Clinical staff and a group of patient representatives recently helped refine the design of medical and surgical spaces for the planned Paul Myers Tower on the LGH campus after walking through cardboard mock-ups of various rooms in the facility, complete with a few pieces of equipment and drawings on the walls that laid out where other instruments would go.

“This experience of walking through mock-ups really brings everything to life," says Dr. Scott Comeau, Geriatrician and Physician Lead for Seniors-Friendly Design. “It's great to have people from across patient care provide feedback so the space can be tailored to all team members who will be working in the space."

Site preparations are underway as construction of the tower will begin in early October 2021. The mock-ups are being hosted just a few blocks from the new tower. From the size of clinical spaces to the location of wall sockets, everything is up for discussion and refinement.

"The value-add with attending mock-ups is being able to be in the space and test the improvements as well as the limitations," says Kristy Kennedy, Manager, Acute & Sub Acute Medicine. “It is important that the new space accommodates the needs of providers and supports us to provide safe, high-quality care to our patients."

Additional sessions have been held with LGH Foundation volunteers and the Community Engagement Advisory Network (CEAN), which is made up of members of the public who support patient and public involvement in health service planning and decision-making at Vancouver Coastal Health.

“Including the patient's perspective in the design process is very important, because sometimes providers do not fully understand factors that impact the patient care experience from that angle," says Dylan Martus, a CEAN (Community Engagement Advisory Network) member.

In the near future, clinicians and CEAN members will see how their feedback has been incorporated into the design when they walk through a second, more realistic mock-up. ​

The Paul Myers Tower is anticipated to open its doors to patients in the fall of 2024.  The existing Lions Gate Hospital building will begin undergoing renovations in fall 2024.