× You are not currently logged in. To receive all the benefits our site has to offer, we encourage you to log in now.

Bronson Methodist Hospital

Kalamazoo, MI

The redevelopment of Bronson Methodist Hospital, which began in 1993, created a state-of-the-art, easily accessible healthcare campus that brings together inpatient care, outpatient care, and physician offices in a patient-focused healing environment.


Completed in 2000, this $181-million project, designed by Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott, includes a medical office pavilion, an outpatient pavilion, and an inpatient pavilion that come together around a central garden atrium.


Since opening its out- and inpatient pavilions in April and November 2000:

  • Nursing turnover rates are down to 4.7%.
  • Occupancy rate has risen to 87%.
  • Overall patient satisfaction increased to 96.7%.
  • Private patient rooms have resulted in a) decreased patient transfers because of the elimination of conflicts among patients that necessitated moves and b) an increase in patient sleep quality.
  • Private rooms, location of sinks, and air inflow design have also resulted an 11% decline in overall nosocomial infection rates.
  • Market share has increased.
  • Employee satisfaction has improved.
  • Built environment survey found that private rooms made for a better patient experience and that it enables higher quality of patient care.


Significant growth after opening this all-private room facility led Bronson to use evidence-based design principles to develop a freestanding inpatient pavilion in 2007 for its birthing center and neonatal intensive care unit.



  • Van Enk, R.,A. (2006). Modern hospital design for infection control. Healthcare Design, 6(5), 10-14

    "Newer design models incorporate the patient's perspective and are based on medical-outcome evidence, patient satisfaction, and patient safety. One of the most important shifts in hospital design in the past few years has been to design patient-care spaces for infection control."

  • Mallak, L. A., Olson, S.D., Ulshafer, S.M, & Sardone, F.  Bronson Has Designs on Culture Change. Healthcare Design, 2(9), 26-29

    "To gain a more systematic view of the organization, Bronson and Dr. Mallak conducted a study more comprehensive than simply focusing on culture and the built environment; it also included variables related to job satisfaction, quality and performance. Scales based on the Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) were also included in the study, to obtain perceptions of performance such as patient satisfaction and patient outcomes."

  • Goodman, M., & Marberry, S. (2010). Happy Anniversary Pebble Project. Healthcare Design, 10(6), 26–26,28.

    “It is hard to believe, but this year marks the 10th anniversary of The Center for Health Design's (CHD) Pebble Project. Launched in 2000 as a research collaboration between CHD and a few like-minded healthcare providers, the idea for the Pebble Project came during a joint meeting of CHD's Board of Directors and Research Council in 1999.”


  • Nelson, V. H. (2008). Blending old and new to achieve the extraordinary. Healthcare Design, 8(4), 12–15. “Rather than build a new facility, it was determined that renovating an existing 143,000-square-foot inpatient tower (North Pavilion) would result in significant time and cost savings and suit the hospital's master plan for long-term growth.”

  • Mallak, L., Lyth, D., Olsen, S., Ulshafer, S., & Sardone, F. (2003a). Culture, the built environment and healthcare organizational performance. Managing Service Quality, 13(1), 27–38.

    Abstract: Healthcare organization performance is a function of many variables. This study measured relationships among culture, the built environment, and outcome variables in a healthcare provider organization. A culture survey composed of existing scales and custom scales was used as the principal measurement instrument. Results supported culture strength’s links with higher performance levels and identified the built environment’s role as a moderating variable that can lead to improved processes and outcomes. Job satisfaction and patient satisfaction were found to be significantly and positively correlated with culture strength and with ratings of the built environment.

  • Mallak, L., Lyth, D., Olsen, S., Ulshafer, S., & Sardone, F. (2003b). Diagnosing culture in health-care organizations using critical incidents. International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 16(4), 180–190.

    Abstract: The critical incident technique (CIT) provides a means to produce rich cultural information from organizational members in an effort to describe the organization’s culture. Very few published studies have used CIT to diagnose culture. In combination with other methods, CIT can be an integral element of a larger study of an organization’s culture. In this study, CIT was used in a US acute care hospital that had recently occupied a new $181 million replacement hospital having an emphasis on patient-centered care and a healing environment. Individual CIT “stories” supplied rich detail about the hospital’s culture, providing opportunities to communicate how people behave with respect to the culture. Consequently, CIT results provide specific information on what people do that supports the culture and what they do that works against the culture.