Medical Construction & Design

SEP-OCT 2017

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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50 Medical Construction & Design | SEPTEMBER /OCTOBER 2017 | MCDM AG.COM Incorporating homelike, supportive spaces The homelike environment and family feel of the interactions, particularly in the family kitchen where families can prepare and host meals for or with their loved ones, are as helpful for staff as they are for families. Other respite areas include an outdoor meditation garden, spa, family library, play area for small children, teen media lounge and music and art therapy spaces. A great room with a fi replace, comfortable furnishings and lots of natural light engages people immediately as they enter the facility. When going deeper into the facility, the areas become more private and intimate for family members. The shared/public spaces are large open spaces with high ceilings for some and no connecting hallways. In the back of the building there are hallways, a variety of smaller, more intimate rooms for families to use when they want time alone or for conversation and several open seating areas, one large and near the staff station; others small and tucked in here and there. The patient rooms were designed to optimize privacy; the patient cannot be seen from the hallway. Overall, Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care is about creating a sense of home and comfort for all involved in the process. Much of the design underscores creating opportunities for stepping away from the intensity of tragic moments. While thoughtful design serves functional purposes, the overall aesthetic is also very important. Comfort is paramount. Hence the design's emphasis on home-style elements versus the usual sterile institutional ones. The warm, light-fi lled interiors, the wood fi nishes, the artwork, the spiritual spaces and the park-like surroundings all add to the sense of comfort both within and without the building. This presented some design challenges; for example, needing to fi nd the most durable fi xtures and fi nishes while striving to deploy them in a way that feels homey and non-institutional. The center is also a community center. It will serve as an educational resource for the region, with a program developed and administered by Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Section of Palliative Care, working in collaboration with Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire and other hospice and community partners, to train end-of-life caregivers across New England. The facility's goal is to help people live well even when life is short. This means helping them do the things that are important to them, and helping them feel connections to the people, places and things that matter. Even when life is very short, living with meaning, purpose and joy is possible. Collaborative eff orts create a space that reduces barriers for patients, family and staff . Ellen A. Bassett is a palliative care physician at Dartmouth-H itchcock Medical Center. Charles Rizza, AIA, is an associate partner at E4H Environments for Health. When creating facilities dedicated to palliative care, include patient rooms with private bathrooms. Rooms should have space that allows family members to spend the night with their loved one, or for as long as needed. An outdoor patio/balcony accessible (even to bedridden patients) from the patient room provides ample access to nature.

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