Clinical units at St. Paul’s Hospital and Mount Saint Joseph Hospital are looking less cluttered and running more efficiently thanks to the recently completed Wallaroo Project.

A total of 131 chart wallaroos were removed, 52 computer wallaroos were replaced, and 15 computer wallaroos were completely removed. (Not to be confused with the kangaroo-like marsupials native to Australia, the wallaroos we’re talking about are wall-mounted fold-down workstations.)

The work was led by the now-disbanded Pandemic Response Team under the leadership of Patty Yoon and Courtney Humphrey.
“We saw an opportunity to address a system-wide issue and created a project,” says Patty, who is now Corporate Director, Health Systems Redesign at PHC. “The Patient Care Managers constantly had to address issues and challenges related to the wallaroos – many were out-of-date, broken, ineffectual and unsafe. As well, the pandemic shone a light on the fact that the wooden wallaroos didn’t meet infection control standards and had other safety issues.”

Before (left) and after (right) the upgrade.

The recent upgrade has not only greatly reduced wall clutter, but the new wallaroo units are more streamlined, easier to clean, and better for workflow since staff no longer need to go searching for a station that works.

“The new wallaroos are so much better. They are so sleek, new and clean and take up much less space than before,” says Carrie Bancroft, CNL, St. Paul’s Hospital 5A.

“The original computer wallaroos were no longer meeting the needs of the inpatient units and were also a source of injury to patients and staff members.  The new wallaroos are not only beautiful in comparison, but also enable interdisciplinary staff members to be on the units to review patient charts and documents, thereby increasing the opportunity for team communication. I will forever be grateful to Patty for stepping up to take this improvement project on, as a small change like this can have a profound and long-lasting impact,” says Holly van Heukelom, former PCM, St. Paul’s Hospital Acute Medicine, who is now Senior Manager, Ideas: Forward at PHC.​​

​As the old adage goes: “Many hands make light work.” That was certainly the case with the Wallaroo Project. The Pandemic Response Team collaborated with Patient Care Managers, Clinical Nurse Leaders, Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC), Facilities Maintenance and Operations (FMO), Informatics, and NTT Data Canada to complete the multi-stage project.

“It was awesome to work and learn with a team that you may not normally get to work with or see in action,” says Patty. “You get to see their world, level of expertise and problem-solving in action. This project required flexibility to address things as they came up and the collective team was so great at doing this. Working together towards a shared goal and seeing the outcome was very rewarding.”