New air conditioning will refresh patient rooms at the MGH

Just in time for summer, the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) has announced some refreshing news: new air conditioning units will be installed in 70 patient rooms.

Upgrades will take place mainly on the upper floors of the MGH, and are expected to be complete by August 2019. As per the recommendation of the project’s stakeholders, new air conditioning units will be installed alongside existing ones, revamping the ventilation system already in place. Patients stationed between floors 11 and 18 can expect a more refreshing resting atmosphere and reliable cooling during the city’s heat waves.

“It’s fantastic,” says Thomas McCutcheon, member of the MGH Patients’ Committee. As a former patient of the MGH, McCutcheon knows firsthand the importance of a comfortable stay. At the Board of Directors meeting on June 14, he personally thanked the MGH administration as well as all those who’ve taken initiative to pick up on the file that was started last summer by the MGH Patient Committee regarding the installment of new air conditioning.

“In the name of the patients and the Patients Committee, I’d like to thank you. Keep up the good work,” he says.

The renovation process has already begun with the distribution of electrical cabling in the building’s corridor ceilings. Next, the top glass window panes inside 70 patient rooms will be removed and replaced with washable fiberglass wood panels. This special form of plywood is easy to clean and complies with the strict cleanliness standards of Infection Control. Once the panels are anchored, the new air conditioning units are ready to be installed.

“Health and safety is primordial,” says Project manager Giuseppe Margiotta. For this reason, Margiotta contacts the floor nurse managers every day to coordinate the logistics in temporarily relocating patients for the few hours that work is being performed in their rooms. Once the work in a room is done, housekeeping prepares the room so that it is ready for the patient’s return.

Previously, air flow at the MGH was constricted to the corridors since the hospital was built without the intention of ventilating the rooms themselves. These new air conditioning units will not only cool patient rooms directly, but contribute to a more comfortable working environment for staff and visitors. By countering humidity and equalizing temperature, air conditioning contributes to better sleep, hydration, focus, and recovery.