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UW Health East Campus Ambulatory Hub Madison, WI

July 2021
EDAC Advocate Firm Project
Semi-Private and Communal Infusion Areas, HKS, 2020



To drive a paradigm shift that promotes health and vitality of community over treatment of illness – creating sustainable wellness.



The University of Wisconsin Health Hospitals and Clinics East Campus Ambulatory Hub will serve as the eastern gateway to UW Health’s programs of distinction for Oncology and Women’s Pelvic Wellness. Located on a twenty-seven-acre site, the 447,000 square foot, seven-story ambulatory center includes anchor clinical programs for Oncologyand Advanced Women’s Services along with multi -specialty clinics.
The ambulatory center serves as an outpati ent prototype for future locati ons that will be designed to enable better access, improve patient and staff experiences, facilitate coordinated care, and expand the use of digital health to ensure that patients receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time.



For oncology pati ents facing a potentially life-threatening illness, the way in which they experience the healthcare environment can greatly affect their overall experience with a healthcare system. Due to the complex treatments required to treat cancer, oncology pati ents oft en experience sensory sensitivities, and these sensitivities can greatly impact oncology patients’ quality of life both during and long after treatments. Additionally, cancer is an emotionally-charged experience that touches not only patients, but also their care partners. Receiving a diagnosis and undergoing treatment can be both physically and emoti onally demanding, resulting in the need for psychosocial support throughout the treatment process.



The design of the new ambulatory center sought to address these unique challenges by creating a personalized sensory experience for patients and their care partners from the moment of arrival by offering patients choice and control throughout their care experience. Within the infusion area, the space affords patients a choice of where they receive treatment. Treatment areas are broken into private, semi-private and communal areas, each offering a diff erent level of personalization and psychosocial engagement.

Within each of these areas, interior elements were strategically selected to address sensory sensitivities associated with sight, sound, smell, and touch.

Natural light is infused throughout the department. Furniture solutions were utilized to create ultimate flexibility, allowing for ease of modification throughout the day and over time.

To inform the design, a comprehensive literature review was conducted to understand sensory sensitivities associated with cancer treatment. Parametric analysis was used to understand the impact of different layouts on patient and staff visibility and walking distance. Mock-ups were conducted with both staff and patient and family advocates to test and refine the design. 



UW Health, in collaborati on with HKS, plans on conducting a comprehensive, facility-wide Functional Performance Evaluation 6 – 12 months after occupancy to assess the effectiveness of design strategies and establish new benchmarks within the organization. Given there is limited evidence to date linking the impact of design in oncology environments to patient and staff outcomes, findings from this occupancy evaluation will provide valuable insights for the design of future outpatient oncology environments.

Infusion P360 QR Code, HKS, 2020