Firm's role on the project: Rebranding, Rehoming
To create a best-in-class patient centered medical home model, while overcoming the challenges of rebranding and relocating the organization into a new location and renovated space.
Family Healthcare of Hagerstown, a federally qualified healthcare center (FQHC), was formerly known as the Walnut Street Community Health Center and had outgrown their leased space within a multi-tenant building. The board made the decision to renovate an existing building in order to create a state-of-the art outpatient healthcare center where patients can access multiple services at a single location. This move to a new, highly visible site in a larger building was necessary to serve their growing patient population and implement a patient-centered medical home model.
Driven by the deadline of the their expiring lease, the timing of the available property, and the schedule of time needed to explore potential project partners, the decision was made to use an integrated project delivery method. The budget also had to absorb the purchase of the building, design, construction, furniture, fixtures and equipment, in addition to the cost of the move from their existing facilities into the new building. The organization purchased a property with the hope that much of the existing infrastructure and exterior skin could be reused to support their new build-out. As the planning and design work began in coordination with selective demolition work, it became evident this goal would not be achieved, due to prior vandalism of wiring and a compromised exterior that had suffered water damage. Additionally, building codes were not met by some existing features, requiring the team to work with authorities to find solutions. The team responded to the existing building’s challenges by assessing the costs of repairs and replacements, and bringing that knowledge into the project scope. The owner insisted the design team recognize and respect the center’s patients and their families and wanted the final design aesthetic to achieve a balance between a clean, modern and professional image without being too extravagant in spite of budget constraints and the unique challenges.
The design organized clinics around an integrated care team solution offering an on-stage / off-stage approach to the functional operation. Each clinic pod (two per floor) has a common core of integrated exam rooms (between behavioral health, consultative and medical/clinic), accessible from the main lobby. The “front” of each pod has an integrated care team space and provider work space. Support functions are located toward the back in a common core area shared between two pods. Patients and their families are received on the main floor where registration, financial, social consultative services, and laboratory/testing services are located along with a retail pharmacy. Patients can register in person or at a kiosk and are then moved to the clinic or dental pods located on the second, third or fourth floors. Each floor and pod is color-themed to assist with wayfinding. Administration and staff support spaces are located on the fourth floor, which includes a large staff room and break area that can also be utilized for patient and family group therapy and educational sessions.
This project was developed with several metrics for measuring success, including growth in revenue and patient panels, increased patient and staff satisfaction scores and rate of retention, and ERDMAN’s ability to deliver the project at or below budget. The resulting clinic is an integrated patient-centered medical home model that provides behavioral health, family practice, and dental services. These services are organized in a vertical solution to fit the available floor plates of this existing building. The project team will measure outcomes based on the stated goals and objectives as part of an evaluation to follow at one year, three years, and five years after occupancy (occupancy was July 2015). The new facility balances the need to serve their growing patient population affordably with a patient-centered medical home model in a respectful and attractive space.