Firms Role on the Project: To being connectivity, flexiblity and a sense of place to make the building a catalyst for a change ready wellness project.
The ProMedica Health and Wellness Center exemplifies how research, Lean processes, and thoughtful design can help a health system prepare for the future in the everchanging healthcare environment. The goals for the project were to: 1) develop a building that supports a collaborative care model for primary and specialty practices; 2) identify space savings and construction cost savings through shared resources; 3) create opportunities to increase exam room utilization and flexibility for future growth; 4) increase collaboration between providers; and 5) enhance the patient and staff experience.
The 230,000 square-foot ProMedica Health and Wellness Center brings together 11 system physician practices into a one-stop center for patients, enhancing clinical collaboration and creating a holistic approach to healthcare. Connectivity, flexibility, and sense of place make this building the catalyst for a change-ready wellness network. The exterior landscape extends from the street to interior courtyards, providing fourseason connections to nature and daylight. Architectural form, material, and light resonate with the contextual and cultural influences of the region for a distinctive vocabulary expressing both the client’s brand and a unique personality of place—well-connected to the community, nature, and the processes within.
Improving the patient and staff experience was paramount. In combining 11 physician practices under one roof, the team was challenged to provide an efficient use of space, leveraging common building support elements and creating a standard platform for primary and specialty clinics.
The biggest challenge to flexibility in the existing clinics was the decentralization of services without standardization. This caused both variability in workflow and challenges in load leveling. The team responded by integrating workplace strategies to promote productivity, collaboration, and wellness: Clinics are now organized into standard modules that are interconnected. The standardization of rooms and the connectivity between clinic modules allow for flexibility within the clinic space, making schedule load leveling seamless. A pair of three-story courtyards, both open to the elements, flood the visitor gallery with natural light and provide access to nature, a theme repeated throughout the patient journey through the building. As visitors enter the building, the south courtyard is part of the three-story atrium where checkin, registration, and a café are located. In every clinic module, all the internal corridors align with exterior windows, and on their return journey, patients are able to see the courtyard light coming through the translucent clinic entry doors. This provides a consistent design language of connectivity to the outside world, as well as an intuitive wayfinding strategy for the building.
Research was conducted in the existing clinics, followed by a post-occupancy study of the new building. In addition to conducting onsite observations and interviews, researchers used parametric modeling tools for off-site spatial analysis. Reported data (archival/interviews), observed data (shadows/ behavior maps), and spatial data (proximity analysis) were analyzed together to identify patterns to develop the HKS Idea Fellowship Report “Re-thinking the Clinic: Optimizing the Outpatient Environment.” This report provides a better understanding of the physical environment’s impact on productivity and throughput, as well as the relationship between facility design, human experience, and organizational efficiency in the outpatient setting. By consolidating separate clinics into one multi-specialty building, total square footage was reduced by 6% compared with existing spaces, saving the system approximately $641,000 in construction costs. The clinics allow for staff and service flexing through a centralized spine. Workflow optimization, along with the co-location of work areas and support spaces, reduced the overall walking distance of medical assistants by 36% and regulated walking distance between clinical teams by 91%. The clinic modules are standardized and connected, allowing for flexibility and future growth. ProMedica has the opportunity to increase overall utilization from 47% to 80% within the same physical space simply by leveraging the current schedule and future staff additions. The team noted an increase in same-day and scheduled referrals, and the use of ancillary departments such as Imaging, Lab, and Pharmacy. The building now serves as a one-stop shop for patients’ health and wellness needs. Moreover, the patient and staff experience was improved by providing access to natural light and views to nature through the internal courtyards, light-filled staff corridors, onsite amenities (including a gym, a café, and a planned roof garden), staff lounges, and conference/education spaces available in each module.