New Outpatient and Radiology Departments At the Montreal Chest Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)

News

A new Outpatient Clinic and Radiology Department were inaugurated today at the Montreal Chest Institute(MCI) of the MUHC, located at 3650 St. Urbain Street, following months of planning and renovations. This outpatient facility is the major ambulatory facility for the Respiratory Division of the MUHC with more than 30,000 annual patient visits.

"This new clinic will make all the difference in the world," said Dr. Richard Menzies, Director of the TB clinic and former medical director at the Chest Institute, and one of the strong supporters of the renovations. "Our patient load has increased dramatically over the past few years, as have the number and range of services, and health professionals involved in this facility."

The old clinic was located next door at 3666 St. Urbain in a building reflecting the architectural concepts of the 50s. Patient confidentiality could not be maintained, the ambient temperature regularly exceeded 30° Celsius in the summer time and infection control could not be properly enforced. There was no wheelchair nor ambulance access.

"The serious deficiencies of the old facilities had to be addressed and could not be put off until the relocation to the Glen Yards site," added Susan Curry, President of the MCI Foundation. The MCI Foundation raised the money for the project.

Now, situated on the ground floor of the main building (3650 St. Urbain), the clinic is easily accessible to wheelchair patients, and to stretchers. The facility has 12 well-equipped examining rooms, five teaching rooms, emergency triage and treatment areas, and comfortable waiting areas. This provides improved quality of patient care and enhances patient comfort. This facility improves the ability to provide high quality care by a multidisciplinary team of professionals comprising 12 nurses, 35 physicians which include respirologists, gastroenterologists, family physicians, and infectious disease and public health specialists, as well as social workers, nutritionists, and physiotherapists.

The MCI Radiology Department also inaugurated its new digital chest imaging system installed directly into the reorganized and renovated space. "We had been working with a 23-year old chest radiology unit in the old building and we also had some equipment in this building therefore duplicating space and personnel for film archiving, film viewing and reception. And the radiologists had to move back and forth between the buildings, making them less accessible for consultations, " said Patricia Smith, Manager of Medical Imaging Services. "The installation of the new digital x-ray machine means the MCI becomes a leader in the direct digital imaging field and need only support the PACS (picture archiving and communications system) and computerized order entry system in just the one building," she added.

The Montreal Chest Institute Outpatient Clinic provides a number of integrated, multi-disciplinary programs for care of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD or emphysema), cystic fibrosis, asthma, neuromuscular diseases requiring home ventilation, and tuberculosis, including screening of refugees and immigrants newly-arrived in Quebec. The patients have access to highly specialized nurses in each of the clinical program.

Other key developments include:

  • In 1999, the MCI was one of thirteen North American institutions selected by the Centre for Disease Control of Atlanta for a ten-year series of multicentre research studies in the diagnosis of tuberculosis. This award of 2.7 million dollars to the MUHC has resulted in the addition to the outpatient clinic of a pediatrician from the Montreal Children's Hospital, a disease consultant from the Montreal General Hospital, and their patients.
  • The same year, the Interuniversity Clinic in Occupational and Environmental Health was centralized at the MCI. This partnership is between McGill and University of Montreal faculties of medicine, the Department of Public Health of the city of Montreal and the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal.
  • In Year 2000 a unique model of a smoking cessation clinic was implemented for the MUHC population.
  • Last year, the clinic became a referral center for respiratory CSST investigation.
  • More and more patients are referred to our pulmonary rehabilitation program.

"After ten years of fund-raising and then planning, staff morale is high, and they are proud to work here. Patients appreciate the new facilities, and are happy to come here. This new facility is the realization of a long-held dream for many of us," said Dr Menzies.

The total cost of the renovations to the Outpatient Clinic, and the installation of the new Radiology Department was 2.2 million dollars entirely paid for by the MCI Foundation.