Plans for new family resource centre highlight importance of patient- and family-centered care

When a child is hospitalized, it can stir up countless emotions in parents, siblings and young patients alike. Part of The Montreal Children’s Hospital’s (MCH) commitment to patient and family-centered care involves providing information and resources to help families better understand their child’s medical condition and participate in their care.
As the MCH of the McGill University Centre strives to build one of the most modern pediatric medical institutions in North America, exciting plans are being developed to better fulfil this need through the creation of a more accessible and multi-functional family resource centre at the Glen Campus.
Staff librarian Lynn Kiraly-Batist, MLIS, has worked in the current Family Resource Library located on the 5th floor of the C-wing since 2002, and has been a key participant in the drafting of the most recent plans for the new space, along with Dr. Harvey Guyda, Associate Executive Director of the hospital. Both agree that the addition of a larger, more accessible space for patients and families is both beneficial and important in the current age.
“There is a lot of literature that shows that offering educational resources and support makes a big difference in the health outcomes of children,” says Ms. Kiraly-Batist. The new space will allow her to continue managing the consumer health oriented library as she currently does, but will be roughly three times the size measuring approximately 1,000 square feet. “This will allow for more access to the most current educational materials for parents and patients, and will allow me to house a greater number of some of the most widely distributed resources,” she says.
While the current facility is adjacent to the Department of Child Life, the location of the new space will be much more central. “The centre will be located on the first floor of the A block of the new hospital,” explains Dr. Guyda, “and will be near the main entrance, adjacent to the atrium and right near the ambulatory clinics.” This will prove to be a much more convenient and identifiable location for families.
Having consulted with many users of the current library, Ms. Kiraly-Batist identified a great need for a space within which parents could meet and organize lectures, support groups and teaching sessions with other parents and health professionals. The new plans have therefore included the addition of a closed family conference room, so that parents can easily connect with and support one another and learn specialized skills, which could be taught here in the form of workshops. “We hope to give parents a sense of empowerment through health information, and with that, we hope they gain a sense of control,” she says.
A business centre will also be created, offering access to eight to 10 private workstations that will include desktop computers, Wi-Fi access, free printing, as well as faxing and copying services. This will allow parents to catch up on their personal business during spare time, or browse through online educational materials along with the help of a health professional or librarian.
“The goal is to ensure that all of the resources within this room are first class,” says Dr. Guyda. Along with the help of Ms. Kiraly-Batist and parents and families alike, this vision of setting a “gold standard” in patient and family-centered care is well under way.
  • Size: the new space will be roughly 1000 square feet
  • Location: right near the main entrance of the A block
  • Additions: a family conference room, a business centre complete with internet access, printing and faxing services and Wi-Fi, as well as a more complete consumer health library
  • Perks: skylights, soothing and relaxing design, and proximity to elevators, main entrance, Child Life department and ambulatory clinics