Many, if not all, public hospitals face capacity pressures, particularly in advance of the next flu season. Faced with this reality and the increased pressure on the health-care sector to end what some have coined “hallway medicine”, hospitals are responding to annual surge capacity challenges innovatively, creating new options for patients needing acute care and those needing alternative level of care (ALC) beds.

When considering opening new sites for ALC beds or for flu patients, you need to consider a wide range of issues, including:

  • Property and liability insurance – Have you added the new site to your existing policy or obtained new policies?
  • Occupational health and safety policies – Do you need to adapt your primary site’s policies for the new space or draft new policies?
  • Clinical policies – Do you need to adapt any of your primary site’s policies for the new space?
  • Physician credentialing – Do existing privileges cover physician care at the new site?
  • Codes – What Code capacity will your surge site have? Have you liaised with emergency services and drafted appropriate policies?
  • Staffing and labour considerations – Do collective agreements impact staffing requirements?
  • Construction – The new Construction Act came into force on July 1, 2018. The Act has ushered in many changes, including: lien timelines, holdback and trust obligations; surety bonds; new payment requirements; and, a new system of dispute resolution. Does your proposed surge site comply with the new Act?