Medical Construction & Design

SEP-OCT 2014

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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mcdmag.com September/October 2014 | Medical Construction & Design 39 Bringing the latest technology to the patient's evaluation and treatment is an- other key component of new EDs. Exam rooms incorporate a range of technolo- gies from wall-mounted computers to documentation stations. Dedicated imaging rooms are located on the ED fl oors to facilitate evaluation and reduce transfer times. As a teaching facility, Me- morial Hermann is incorporating audio and video technology into each trauma room, providing real-time research that connects back to clinicians, researchers and educators to accelerate assess- ment and treatment for the patient. De-stress the environment In Stamford Hospital's new 48,000- square-foot emergency department and trauma center, under construction as part of a $450-million, 640,000-square- foot new hospital building on its existing campus, the design incorporates the hospital's Planetree philosophy with its patient and family focus. The planning team conducted acous- tic studies to assess layouts and materi- als that would reduce noise, resulting in all private exam rooms with integral blinds, high NRC ceiling tiles and rubber fl ooring throughout. Full mock-ups of treatment and trauma rooms and nurses' stations allowed staff the opportunity to review and refi ne the design to improve effi ciencies and the overall quality of the environment. This included details such as seating for family members, clerestory windows and wood-style casework. Reception and waiting areas are key to creating a sense of calm and effi ciency for incoming patients and families. At Ocean Medical Center, family members fi nd light and airy lounges, serene gardens, guided imagery and fi ne art to reduce stress and anxiety. Hospitality quality furnishings and a palette of soft colors and natural materi- als add to the sense of tranquility. Stamford Hospital will feature sepa- rate waiting areas for the pediatric and adult EDs. In both spaces natural mate- rials, light, views to gardens and aquari- ums create a calm, non-institutional environment. The adult waiting has two distinct areas — one "quiet" area closer to the information desk and the other "active," more open area with a TV. Different populations, different needs Community demographics also help shape emergency departments in large and small ways. A growing elderly population in Ocean County, New Jersey led the design team to focus on reduc- ing confusion-inducing distractions with less noise and glare, clear wayfi nding systems and accommodating older pa- tients with wider corridors and rounded corners on counters. Stamford Hospital will be the fi rst in the region with a dedicated pediat- ric treatment area designed to ease what can be a scary experience for the youngest patients. The layout creates a direct pathway from the entry to the pediatric ED. The plan for Memorial Hermann has a separate pediatric ED, which includes higher acuity treatment rooms, and a direct connection to the Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital for compre- hensive care. Pediatric units at Stamford and Memorial Hermann feature special design elements in the waiting, exam and treatment rooms that provide posi- tive distractions for children. The challenge for architects on all projects was to develop an optimum design for the universal population and, at the same time, create specialized units within the ED that will serve the special needs of the targeted popula- tion, whether it is pediatrics, behavioral health, the elderly or other needs. Community emergencies EDs serve the entire community, most of- ten one patient at a time, but in the case of mass emergencies or disasters, new plans must have the fl exibility to treat an infl ux of multiple patients. At Memo- rial Hermann, preparedness planning included designing additional infrastruc- ture and strategically locating it in sev- eral exam and treatment rooms. Disaster equipment is located on the ground fl oor for immediate mobilization. The planning extends to the outside with room for decontamination tents, as well as decontamination showers imme- diately accessible from the ambulance drop off. A number of trauma rooms at Stamford Hospital are equipped with connections for additional gases and space for beds in the case of a commu- nity emergency. Randy Segler, CEO of Comanche County Memorial Hospital, articulated the driving concerns behind the evolv- ing ED saying, "We are here to serve our community. The expansion of the emer- gency department is about more than space. We want a facility that incorpo- rates the latest care concepts, provides a positive patient experience and gives us the fl exibility to grow and adapt as emer- gency needs and treatments change." ■ Bhargav Goswami, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP, is a principal and senior medical planner in WHR Architects' Houston, Texas offi ce. Mark Vaughan, AIA, ACHA, is a senior principal, senior medical planner and studio leader; he leads WHR's Dallas, Texas offi ce. Editor's Note: Roseann Pisklak, RID, IIDA, AAHID, LEED AP, and Kelly Thomas, LEED AP, contributed to this article. Pisklak is a principal and senior interior designer in WHR Architects' Houston, Texas offi ce. Thomas is an associate and medical planner in WHR Architects' Houston offi ce. Rendering of a pediatric exam room in Stamford Hospital's new hospital. Educational, fun distractions are made available for young patients.

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