Healthcare Design That Keeps Patients and Care Givers in Mind
Submitted By: Anthony Cavallaro
Boston, MA- With healthcare facilities, designers must consider the needs of both the patients and the healthcare providers who will live and work within the surroundings. Yet despite seeming diverging requirements, both can coexist easily. Healthcare designers can couple the level of aesthetic comfort offered throughout the environment while integrating design strategies that lead to enhanced efficiency and productivity for staff members. The below case studies offer a few examples of how this integrated effort can be achieved.
Embracing the spa trend in a healthcare environment, the serene space found in the 8,000-square-foot Gorton Specialty and Cancer Center at the Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Mass., was built in response to the increasing demand for outpatient cancer treatment. Combining the Hospital’s Outpatient Infusion and Outpatient Ambulatory Departments relieved their growth needs while enabling the hospital to share the necessary support functions and care for their patients in a very efficient way.
Lahey Clinic Medical Center
At Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, Mass., a 12-bay, 4,350-square-foot Outpatient Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) was designed to care for patients who require management of medical problems that are expected to be self-limiting and require a short stay (generally less than 24 hours). The guiding principle for entry into the CDU is that, based on symptoms that can be corroborated with test results, the patient is expected to be discharged either to home or to where they came from within 23.5 hours. Given this, the overarching goal of the CDU is to improve the quality of medical care and patient outcomes. Specifically, the CDU provides an appropriate clinical setting outside of the Emergency Department for patients requiring monitoring, diagnosis and treatment of specified acute medical conditions. This project improves ED flow/efficiency, and increases inpatient unit capacity by effectively managing appropriate patients who are expected to require short hospital stays, in a physical location separate from the inpatient setting.
Cape Cod Healthcare
To meet a growing need for multiple imaging technologies, this 15,600-square-foot Medical Office Building for Cape Cod Healthcare expanded an outpatient Women’s Imaging Department and created a new In-patient Imaging Department. The Women’s Imaging Suite, consisting of three Ultrasound Rooms, two Mammography Rooms, X-Ray, and Bone Densitometry, was designed to increase patient comfort and privacy while also economizing work flow. Patients waiting for re-screening are separate from new patients and dressing rooms are directly adjacent to treatment rooms. Treatment rooms are centrally located near technician work rooms to increase efficiency and shorten appointments. The In-patient Imaging Department consists of a new MRI Suite as well as an ultrasound and X-Ray suite. This configuration allows a patient to get all imaging completed in one area of the hospital, reducing patient travel and stress. In addition, the finishes were selected to create a comfortable, residential feeling, and the use of glass in the corridors brings natural light into the space.
Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center
The Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center (located in Brockton, Mass.) has been designed to offer the highest quality of radiation oncology care. The center includes the latest in Linear Accelerator, CT Simulation and HDR equipment in a light, warm and friendly aesthetic to promote a sense of welcome and well-being. At 10,000 square feet, the center has also been designed to easily expand from a single linear accelerator vault, offering an option for an additional vault in the future.
New England Urology
A sleek, up-scale surgical suite, this fast-track Outpatient Surgical Center at New England Urology in Beverly, Mass., comprises two operating rooms with seven pre-/post-operative bays and supporting spaces within 4,100 square feet. The highly efficient panopticon layout affords the central nurse’s station oversight of the waiting room, changing area, pre-/post-operative bays and restricted sterile core.
Revera Nursing and Rehab
To better serve Revera Nursing and Rehab’s short-term care rehabilitation patients in Medford, Mass., and to accommodate outpatient restorative services, the scope of the 6,500-square-foot Nursing Care Center project included renovations to the existing ground floor and first floor nursing unit. Reconfiguring the existing entrance and lobby afforded a new entry and waiting area for outpatient services, and provides a comfortable, cozy lobby for short-term and long-term residents. The Restorative Services functions were expanded to provide an ADL suite and state-of-the-art physical therapy equipment. The first floor Nursing Unit was also renovated to better serve short-term care rehabilitation residents. A combination of resident room upgrades and common area improvements helps create a hotel/home-life experience for residents. An ADL resident bedroom was added to assist residents planning to return home, the Dayroom was conveniently relocated centrally, and the Central Dining Room was enlarged to incorporate the “Pub Room.” Staff productivity has improved with the increased size of the Nurse’s Station.
Despite the type of healthcare facility or care required, opportunities exist to meet the needs of both patients and healthcare providers. Designers can incorporate lean and flexible strategies, while combining sharp technological advanced tools with aesthetically pleasing surroundings, to create an environment in which positive healthcare outcomes thrive – for everyone involved.
Visit: JACA Architects
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