Montreal

Behind closed doors: Secrets of the new MUHC

Check out some behind the scenes

Montreal's new superhospital was specially designed to help protect patients, staff and visitors

Designing a hospital from the ground up means you can tailor the space directly to your needs. The new MUHC contains a number of improvements designed for efficiency and to protect patients, staff and visitors from risk. 

Check out these five secrets you might not know about the new MUHC. 

1. The pneumatic tube system

Behind the walls of the new Glen site runs an extensive network of tubes that will be used to deliver samples, medication, and emergency supplies from places like the hospital pharmacy directly to the central caregiver stations in the patient room pods. 

The capsules can travel up to 20 km/hour. 

The pneumatic tube system will send over 5,000 transactions per day throughout the hospital. Similar in size to a 2L plastic bottle and traceable with an RFID tag, these capsules will carry blood, medication, samples, and emergency medical supplies to over 80 stations around the hospital at a speed of over 20km/h. 0:24

2. The scrub machine

Staff will get their scrubs directly from an automated machine located throughout the hospital. After they swipe their ID card, scrubs in the correct size will be dropped into an opening. They can return dirty scrubs to any of the machines in the hospital as well.

Ronald Scott of ScrubEx gives a demo of the new scrub dispensing machines that are installed all over the new hospital. 1:21

3. The colour codes

Each building at the Glen was given its own colour to distinguish it from the rest of the site. 

  • Dark blue: Royal Victoria Hospital
  • Turquoise: Montreal Children's Hospital
  • Orange: Montreal Chest Institute
  • Red: Research Institute
  • Green: Cedars Cancer Centre
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      The colours are used on every sign in order to help direct  patients and staff through the hospital.

      4. The elevators

      Unlike its predecessors, the new MUHC has clearly defined spaces for staff, patients, the public and waste. That means as a visitor, you'll never get in an elevator with a stretcher, because all patient transfer elevators are in a hallway inaccessible to the general public. 

      To cut down on potential contamination, the site also has separate elevators and loading docks for clean and soiled materials. So your clean sheets will never share a space with outgoing trash. 

      There are also direct elevators to transport patients directly from the emergency room to the trauma centre. 

      Soiled material has its own elevator at the new MUHC. (Melinda Dalton/CBC)

      5. The robot medication dispenser

      The pharmacy department's new robotic system was designed to reduce dispensing errors to virtually zero. After it receives an order, it picks the medication, labels it and then double checks it for accuracy. It also affixes a bar code to the medication that nurses can scan directly in a patient's room before the medication is given, automatically updating the patient file. 

      The ROBOT-Rx is an automated system that can dispense medication to patients safely and efficiently, while also keeping tabs on the inventory to ensure it is well stocked. 0:21

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