Embracing the vision: meet the dedicated staff bringing life to the new Paul Myers Tower


​​Lions Gate Hospital is building a new six-floor acute tower projected to open to patients in early 2025. The Paul Myers Tower, named after Paul Myers, a North Shore businessman and philanthropist who is supporting the hospital expansion through a $25 million donation. To learn more about this exciting project, we spoke with Primavera Douglas, a coordinator in the Medical Device Reprocessing Department at the Lions Gate Hospital and a long-standing Vancouver Coastal Health employee.

What is the Medical Device Reprocessing Department (MDRD) and how is it important to the function of the hospital?

The Medical Device Reprocessing Department is where we clean and sanitize all surgical and patient care equipment used in the hospital. MDR is a critical component of our operations because we are responsible for the safe and effective reprocessing of medical devices and equipment used in patient care and that touch almost every patient that visits. In the department we maintain a high standard of infection prevention and control to keep our staff, medical staff and patients safe.

What does the new tower mean to you?

The new tower has a special place in my heart because I have been involved in planning for the new MDRD department since 2017.  I have worked at Lions Gate Hospital for the past six years and have worked at various Vancouver Coastal Health hospitals for 35 years. It's been a privilege to help shape the future of health care and to be involved in the design process. I can see the project rapidly coming to fruition and our whole MDR team is extremely excited.

What can you tell us about the design of the new department?

The new department includes specific guidelines set by CSA standards (safety standards in Canada for medical equipment) and is designed to maximize efficiency and minimize cross-contamination risks. We have four core areas of the department including decontamination, preparation and packing, sterilization and storage and distribution.

MDR staff worked collaboratively with our educator and resource coordinator, Harpreet Gill to determine the best for our current assembly and sterile storage room in the new Acute Care floor plan, and our evening coordinator, Vandana Jain and I are working side by side to get us ready for the upcoming upgrade of our Total Documentation Instrument tracking system in the fall.  The instrument tracking system is important because the hospital relies on our MDRD professionals to deliver sterile trays, instrumentation and supplies to the Operating Room. A huge thanks to our MDRD Manager Jessica Foster, who is the clinical lead for MDRD and Peri-Op for the new tower and is doing an excellent job in spearheading this huge transformation. The energy and enthusiasm among our team for this hospital are infectious - it's is amazing to be part of this truly inspiring project.

What other changes will patients and employees see?

Patients will see staff wearing Vocera pinned to our clothing. Vocera Smartbadges allow for instant, hands-free and wireless communication between the operating room and MDR staff. Our T-DOC system which tracks the status of surgical instruments will be enhanced with new features and functionality including new sterilizers, washers, incubators and automated control systems.

The new department will also have an improved layout to enable a more streamlined process for handling our medical devices to provide a better connected workflow for our teams. We will also have height adjustable tables to provide a more comfortable working environment.

How will patient safety and infection control be improved from this project?

The Medicial Device Reprocessing Department in the new tower will enhance patient safety, help operating rooms run as efficiently as possible, and streamline our workflows. Additionally, T-DOC will support our goal to make our department paperless. It's going to be great to see how the new system and equipment will make the environment safer for patients and more comfortable for our employees.