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Martha Jefferson Hospital Charlottesville, VA

September 2011
EDAC Advocate Firm Project
Kahler Slater


Firm's role on the project:  Planning, Programming, Architecture, Design, Interiors 


EBD Goal

To design nurse servers and charting stations in patient rooms that would allow the caregivers to stay close to the patient’s bedside. By reducing the travel distance required to gather supplies and equipment and walk to the nurse station to chart, nurses would have more time to provide direct patient care.


To help the users understand exactly how the new nurse server and charting station would function in the patient rooms, a full-scale mock-up of a patient room was constructed at each phase of design.


The viewing window, the counter height and width, the phone and outlet height and locations, and lighting were some of the design features studied for the charting station. The custom casework design of the pass-through nurse server was examined to best accommodate the medication, equipment, supplies, and linens.
Both end-users and designers were able to experience exactly how the nurse server and charting station would look and function and they were able to see the implication of their changes after each design phase. Users brought actual supplies and equipment that would be stocked and they were able to make decisions based on how they fit and how they would access them instead of having to anticipate it. By testing the design in the mock-up, they reduced the number of changes that needed to occur during construction and had a better understanding of operational and functional changes that would be needed in response to the new built environment.
In addition to the full scale mock ups, a variety of flooring materials were trialed in the existing facility to help users make decisions about what materials to use in the new hospital. Carpets and sheet vinyl were installed in corridors to allow staff the opportunity to push gurneys on both materials, help them make decisions about where to use each material and experience how they might look and feel. Maintenance staff was able to create spills and test how cleanable and maintainable each material is before deciding where to use each material throughout the hospital.