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Preparing for the worst: a case study

hospital curtains pandemic infection control

With winter approaching and a second wave of Covid-19 looking increasingly imminent, healthcare facilities across Ontario are moving fast on their outstanding pandemic response plans – centred around bolstering infection control and increasing patient capacity.

Of course, we all hope that our hospitals won’t be overwhelmed this winter and as the weeks pass, governments around the world are moving to toughen up restrictions in hopes of flattening the coming wave. But hope is not enough for hospitals, care homes and other facilities, which will need to ensure they have every possible resource in place to cope with what the winter ahead may bring.

Belroc was instrumental in helping many facilities respond to the first wave of Covid-19 and we anticipate that this expertise, coupled with our comprehensive infection control portfolio, will be hugely valuable to our customers as we head into the winter months. We’ve already shown that we can prepare effectively for, and respond quickly to rapidly changing situations – as proven by our work with Providence Care, a teaching hospital in the Kingston University Hospitals group, where we commenced an emergency install within six hours of the initial enquiry.

A patient capacity crisis

In mid-March 2020, regulations for patient capacity and space were changing across Ontario hospitals. As an existing customer Providence Care reached out to Belroc because they were in crisis due to a lack of patient capacity.

After a series of telephone discussions and a site visit by project manager Travis McCamley to explore the facility space, we reached the conclusion that the facility was suitable for an extension of the existing curtain and track system, as opposed to needing a standalone solution in the form of our WatchPods.

Given the urgency of the request, it was important to choose the correct solution so the Operations Team, headed up by Travis and Erika, created drawings of the space and provided the client with a visual of the best option to fit it precisely.

By providing the same track that the facility was currently using, we were confident that the installation would provide seamless ease of use and continuity of care. Having predicted an uplift in demand due to the pandemic, Belroc had enough supply of the material onsite in our warehouse to facilitate an immediate install. We also worked with the facility and our curtain manufacturer to provide a quick ship anti-microbial fabric option to complete the project as quickly as possible.

A ‘live’ installation

Providence Care is a fully functional institution and was operating in the early stages of a pandemic so there was intense pressure to make this installation as swift and seamless as possible. Project co-ordinator Caitlin Palmer and installation technician Brandon McCamley worked with the facility to schedule installation at times that would not disrupt the flow of patient care.

We were able to complete the immediate work overnight on the first day, and due to the facility’s proximity to the Belroc office, it was easy to attend during business hours to complete the job. We held project meetings weekly to ensure the work was on track, and conducted some post-project feedback calls several weeks later to ensure the client was completely satisfied.

Reflecting on the experience, Dave Smith, Providence Care’s Environmental Services Manager said: “We’ve dealt with Belroc in the past with KGH, that’s why we reached out this time. I cannot say anything negative. Initially we called Owen because that is who I knew and he put me onto Travis. Travis was here in a flash, discussed needs, developed a plan and rolled it out, making adjustments for us as we went.

“Belroc was here and delivered. We did not see an area that we could have been improved – they delivered quicker than promised and gave honest information. We submitted our PO and installation was seamless. We are 100% satisfied.”

This project put Providence Care in a better position to cope with the demands of Covid-19 earlier in the year and the facility is already prepared for a second wave. As a result, Belroc has expanded its remit to sister facilities at Kingston General Hospital in May and latterly at Hotel Dieu Hospital. Throughout the process we have taken every opportunity to listen to our clients and learn more about the challenges they face, so that our pandemic response offering is constantly evolving, and we are better equipped to support the healthcare sector’s work going forward in this continually unfolding crisis.

For further information or to discuss your organisation’s pandemic response preparedness, contact Dan Lawrenson –