Langley residents will soon find out what capital investments Fraser Health will be making at Langley Memorial Hospital.
Several years in the making, the LMH master plan is complete and “will act as a road map for investments,” promised Fraser Health CEO Michael Marchbank earlier this month.
He was speaking in front of a packed room at at the Coast Hotel conference centre in Langley City during the Fraser Health board meeting, which was open to the public.
Following the meeting, the board toured LMH.
Langley’s hospital has not seen a major expansion since its opening in 1965. The only addition to the structure took place recently with a second-storey added to the hospital’s maternity ward.
The population in Langley has exploded since 1965 and is expected to double in 30 years, with 12,500 of those people expected to be senior citizens, said FHA.
The new LMH executive director Jason Cook and Langley physician, Dr. Mitchell Fagan offered the board a look into what is being done differently at LMH.
According to Fraser Health’s quarterly Quality Care report cards on all hospitals, LMH ranks among the best.
It is the only one which has not had a C. Diff outbreak in two years. It is also the only hospital in the region with elective surgery waits no longer than 52 weeks.
It is also one of only two hospitals with nurse practitoners (eight). Langley also hosts a large number of UBC medical residents.
Admissions to LMH are slightly higher than the average, but ER visits are slightly lower than average. Langley’s overall population is more obese, and has higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders than most other communities in the region, said Cook.
Of late, LMH was lacking in emergency doctors, but a recruitment process has resulted in 14 full-time ER physicians, said Fagan who has been a physician in Langley for 20 years.
“We are also working on getting more family physicians for Langley residents,” he said.
Unlike hospitals, such as Royal Columbian, that use their hallways to treat patients, LMH has a ‘no hallway beds’ rule.
“We don’t believe hallway beds is appropriate care for patients,” said Cook. While discharge rates have improved dramatically, re-admission rates are still a concern.
“We’ve hired a co-ordinator in complex care to help with this,” said Cook.
LMH has 203 acute care beds, 114 doctors, eight nurse practitoners and 20 medical residents.