The ribbon has been cut to officially open the new Humboldt District Health Complex (HDHC) but it's not yet open for business.
Now that the opening ceremonies and public tours of the facility are done, next on the agenda for the Humboldt District Hospital (HDH) is moving in.
April 12 is D-Day for the most important part of the move, and is the day the public should keep fixed in their minds.
At 8 a.m. on April 12, the emergency department will open at the new Humboldt District Health Complex.
The emergency department at the old site will remain open until the last patient who came in on the previous shift has been looked after.
"Both places will be fully staffed at that time," said Yvonne Berscheid, site manager for the HDH.
In co-ordination with the move of hospital services, the City of Humboldt will be uncovering the signs directing traffic to the new hospital at 8 a.m. on April 12.
Once the last patient leaves the emergency room at the old site, whatever is in that area will be packed up and moved over to the new site.
"In one or two hours, it should be all over," Berscheid said.
But the emergency room will be the only services offered at the new site at that time, she stressed.
"Come if it is an emergency," she said. "But only if it is an emergency."
They need, she added, to get settled into the new site that day.
The move of the emergency department will be followed by the move of inpatients.
The patients will be taken over and settled into beds that have already been moved over, cleaned and set up.
"One unit will be set up to receive patients," Berscheid said.
The hospital began their census reduction plan, with the hope of having half of their beds empty, in late March. This is because beds needed to go to the new hospital to be cleaned, set up and ready for patients for April 12.
After the patients move, the beds they vacated in the old hospital will be moved over, cleaned and set up in the new patient rooms.
By the end of the day, all inpatient services will be at the new site, Berscheid noted, including front desk services.
"It has to be so synchronized," Berscheid said of the parts of the relocation process that occur between April 11-13. "You can't split the departments for too long."
The front desk will still be open at the old hospital until 6 p.m. on April 12, because the lab and other services will still be open there.
The lab, Berscheid said, will only be doing emergency tests on April 12-13. No routine bloodwork will be scheduled on those days.
"People who get regular bloodwork done will get a paper asking them to come on alternate days," she explained.
On April 13, the lab, therapies department, ultrasound and other services will move over to the new hospital.
X-ray services will be available throughout the move, Berscheid said. People can come to the old hospital for X-rays until April 12. Starting on April 12, they can go to the new hospital for this service.
"We will have one (X-Ray) room in each place for a while," Berscheid said in explanation.
Though the 12-13th will be the most important days for the public to note, the move into the new building will actually begin sooner.
Shelves are being pre-stocked with necessary supplies, and computer systems are being installed ahead of time so when departments like the emergency room move over, they don't have to worry about unpacking boxes before they are able to provide service.
Staff training on the new facility also took place ahead of time, so they know exactly where everything is and can access it quickly and easily.
The operating rooms will be one of the few areas completely closed during the move. No surgeries will take place in Humboldt between April 4-13.
Because elective surgeries are the only procedures done in Humboldt, they could do this, Berscheid explained.
The closure will allow staff time to train to use the new operating rooms.
It will also ensure that the focus on staff is kept on the most important part of the move - moving patients.
The Saskatoon Health Region is doing what they can to remind people about the move and when it's occurring. Along with other advertising, a countdown sign will be put up on the front lawn of the old hospital, showing how many days left until the moves. On April 12, the sign will change to state that hospital services have been relocated to the new hospital.
Once the hospital services have all been relocated, the next part of the move into the new facility will begin. On April 18-19, Community Services presently offered out of a building on Main Street in Humboldt, will be relocating to their new offices and clinical spaces in the new facility.
"It will take a full two weeks to move," Berscheid said, as they will be moving and training staff at the same time.
They are not going to rush the move, but neither are they going to lag.
Patient and staff safety will remain their top priorities at all times, Berscheid indicated.
In the planning process, they developed contingency plans for the different scenarios that can happen, Berscheid added, so they believe they are prepared for this challenging process.
One thing that Berscheid fears may be confusing for people accessing services at the HDHC in its early days of operation is which door they should use.
During the day, non-emergency patients need to use the doors underneath the large awning. The registration desk is right inside that front door.
After hours or for emergencies, people can use the emergency department doors, which are located to the south of the main doors.
Watch for signage to know where to go, Berscheid advised.
Those patients with mobility issues that are accustomed to using the emergency room entrance in the old hospital because it was the only accessible entrance for them are reminded that they can now use the main doors of the new hospital to get to where they need to go. They do not have to come in through the emergency department, as the entire building is accessible.
To access services like therapies, it is easier in the new building to use the front entrance as opposed to the ambulance bay, Berscheid noted.
"People will very quickly get accustomed to where they need to go and how to get to the services they are looking for," she said. "There is good signage on and in the building, and staff willing to direct them."