Written by Catherine Wiebe, Director, Clinical Operations Hope, Fraser Canyon Hospital

The unit and team returned from a nine-week deployment in Hope where they supported an emergency department upgrade at Fraser Canyon Hospital.

The Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) is home for the holidays. The unit and team returned from a nine-week deployment supporting Fraser Canyon Hospital in Hope while the site’s permanent emergency department underwent an upgrade to its medication dispensing system, workspace upgrade and the installation of an Omnicell system concurrent with other Fraser Health sites.

Throughout the deployment, which began on October 16, the unit served as the hospital’s temporary emergency department, facilitating patient care in its flexible clinical space. This allowed the emergency department to continue serving patient care within their community with limited disruption during the hospital’s construction. In total, 1,251 patient visits were recorded.

“Having the Mobile Medical Unit here during our renovation was invaluable – our team was able to continue to provide the level of care our community has come to expect from our hospital in an environment that is safe, quiet and appropriate,” said Catherine Wiebe, operations director, Fraser Canyon Hospital. “I extend my sincere appreciation to all of the partners and stakeholders, including the MMU team, who helped make this mission a success and helped us safely transition back to our existing space.”

A nine-week deployment had some challenges: weatherization, business continuity plans, facilities and security support were some of the key pieces collaboratively addressed by stakeholders as the deployment progressed. The MMU team had a strong presence on and off site, providing clinical and facility support to ensure a smooth transition into the unit with multiple avenues of support. Much like the lead up to the deployment, the phase out transition required weeks of planning with key stakeholders to ensure care remained constant as staff and patients transitioned back to the existing emergency department. The MMU’s team was on-site to pack up the unit and infrastructure including ramp cover, tent, ramp and clinical equipment. IMITS, site facilities and an electrical vendor also supported the decommissioning of the unit and transition of the MMU and its accompanying supply trailer off site early on December 12.

“Every deployment is unique and a new opportunity to integrate feedback into our future missions,” said Peter Hennecke, clinical operations director, MMU.

“We were proud to support this important project at Fraser Canyon Hospital and continue to work with our health authority partners to plan our next deployments into 2018 and beyond.”

As a shared resource among all of B.C.’s health authorities, the MMU, as a program of Provincial Health Services Authority, continues to collaborate and support health facilities throughout the province. Since 2011, the Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) has travelled throughout B.C., lending its flexible and high-tech clinical space for many purposes: as a temporary location for patients to receive care while their own hospital or clinic undergoes renovation; as additional medical surge treatment space for health facilities including support to mass gathering events; as the home to specialized community outreach clinics; and as a hands-on classroom for disaster and clinical training. The unit and team have supported more than 7,100 patient visits and have trained over 1,200 clinicians and First Responders across the province. For more information, visit bcmmu.ca.

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