Firm's role on the project: Planning, Programming, Architecture, Design, Interiors
To clearly define a hypothesis that provided focus to research efforts and clear direction for the design of new Specialty Outpatient Clinics (SOCs) at the new Medical Centre of the National University Health System, Singapore.
The project goal of embedding medical education and research within clinical outpatient setting generated a host of research opportunities. These included observing the current undergraduate and post-graduate educational experiences, student, physician and nurse interviews, and rapid prototype modeling of the consult room (exam room) design. Initial observations yielded many possible areas of improvement: nurse workflow, storage, hand washing, room size, faculty-student interaction, family involvement, patient privacy, length of exam, etc. While all these impacted design, a hypothesis that would prioritize the most important improvement strategies was needed.
Though a discovery process it became clear that the main driver of the project was the redesign of the medical education curriculum for the new ambulatory setting. Therefore, Kahler Slater developed a hypothesis to focus on improved teaching and learning outcomes as well as enhanced patient care: Teaching hubs adjacent to the consult rooms in the SOCs will improve the patient experience, enhance the learning experience and increase mentoring opportunities.
This hypothesis directed Kahler Slater’s research activities on both physical and operational factors relating to learning and patient care in the SOCs. This resulted in the design of an innovative space - the teaching hub – which has become a key design feature in the project.