Firm's role on the project: Planning, Programming, Architecture, Design, Interiors
To design a state of the art regional medical referral center configured for optimal patient care that features easily accessible services and a healing environment that inspires hope and confidence, promotes operational efficiency, and permits cost effective facility adaptation to changing technology and care delivery. Central Washington Hospital’s new six-story patient tower is one of the most evidence-based hospitals in HDR’s portfolio, and a true “smart” hospital, exuding the latest in healthcare technology.
The design team was challenged to integrate the latest research findings, EMR technologies, evidence-based design strategies, and Lean operational efficiencies into the patient tower design and budget. Constructing 174 patient rooms exactly as the design team and hospital staff envisioned was another challenge. During concept and schematic design, mock up rooms were built to test space, size, headwall, and operational needs. Construction level mock-up lights were made operational, equipment set in place, and nurse calls simulated to create perfect testing grounds for minor changes. The contractor used them to test constructability and sequencing, the owner for staff training, and the foundation for fundraising purposes.
Evidence-based design principles that were utilized were standardized and same-handed patient rooms incorporated to decrease errors and increase caregiver efficiency. All patient rooms are universally sized to be adapted to meet a higher level of care. Family alcoves include sleeper sofas, and an expansive window offers an unimpeded connection to the outdoors.
Lean studies were performed during programming through construction as the staff transitioned into the new facility and began new care delivery models. A workflow analysis using handheld PDA devices to track staff travel time was proposed as part of a comprehensive process improvement study of travel patterns for nurses and doctors on the patient units of the existing hospital.. This same study is currently being repeated (one year post occupancy) in the new bed tower. All data gathered is being compared to national benchmark databases to evaluate how effective the design will be in ultimately achieving a superior patient-centered model. Building user focus groups were also conducted after occupancy to gather feedback from occupants on how well the design of the building supports their work processes. The feedback from the focus groups was used to develop a post-occupancy evaluation survey to solicit opinions from the users about how well the built environment is meeting their needs.