Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center Patient Tower Boise Idaho

The Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center Patient Tower is a 9-story, 400,000-square-foot acute care facility. The project was conceived, designed, and constructed to reflect the growing national trend toward healthcare facilities that improve patient healing and provide privacy, comfort, and safety. It is also designed for the well-being of staff and patient families. From the start of planning and design, hospital administrators and staff agreed that the hospital needed to be both healing...

Indoor Air Quality

Environmental Protection Agency reports that Americans spend, on average, 90 of the day indoors. During that time, Americans breathe outdoor air that has been brought inside (already contaminated with numerous chemicals, formaldehyde, and ozone), which subsequently is combined with more chemicals and pollutants that are emitted from building materials and furniture, occupants' clothing and personal care products, and chemicals and ozone emitted from office equipment and cleaning...

Opportunities for Nurses

It is usual for a client (owner) project manager to work closely with the design firm project manager for the duration of a project no matter how large or small the project. The planning and design process is composed of several phases. The planners designers work with the owner as a team to develop the plans for the facility in a logical progression of detail, with regular breakpoints for review and approval before proceeding to the next level of refinement. The project phases typically...

Steve LaHood BS

Steve LaHood is vice president and director of Signage and Wayfinding and product development at HDR Architecture. He has provided leadership for the Signage and Wayfinding group and its integration into a variety of architectural project types. LaHood also serves as designer and project manager for HDR's collaborations in product designs for Milliken's Soul and Sense carpets, Architex International's Remed and Remed II collections, Peter Pepper, and the award-winning SYNC by Nurture...

Design Standardization

One of the trademarks of Lean processing is standardization. The more that processes and designs are standardized, the easier and more efficiently staff will find it to adapt and function in that environment. For example, in a standardized patient room, staff always know where to find equipment and supplies. Staff can also address the patient in the same manner and make observations assessments in the same order. Checking and administering medications occur in the same way, and documentation of...

Improved Patient and Staff Satisfaction and Well Being

Numerous studies have demonstrated that building occupants who are in sustainably designed and operated buildings are more satisfied. These effects have been shown to be related to such issues as improved indoor air quality, a connection to the natural environment, access to sunlight and views, and overall improved perception of the work environment (Heerwagen, 2000). According to Heerwagen (2000), an environmental psychologist, medical models of health integrate behavioral, social,...

Healthcare Design

Every industry leaves an indelible footprint on the environment in terms of what it extracts from the earth and what it releases in the form of waste. For the healthcare industry, the issue of environmental impact is especially paramount. The profession is committed to doing no harm, yet many issues related to the design and operation of healthcare facilities contradict this principle tenet. For example, healthcare facilities are among the largest U.S. consumers of energy, thus contributing to...

New Generations of Staff

Facility planning for the future must consider employees of the future. As the generation of matures (those born prior to 1946) and boomers (those born 1946 to 1964) begin to retire, new generations of employees emerge with new sets of work habits and new sets of expectations. Employees of the X generation (those born 1965 to 1980) tend to work smarter than their predecessors, having been more exposed to technology, but less willing to work long hours. These workers demand a work environment...

Case Study Metro Health Hospital Wyoming Michigan

In July 2002, during the planning for a replacement hospital, Metro Health Hospital administrators decided that just building a single green facility was not enough. They decided to pursue the creation of an entire complex to reflect the principles of sustainability. Thus, they began the development of Metro Health Village, a 170-acre campus located approximately 12 miles south of Grand Rapids, Michigan (see photos 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3). Even though the Health Village is currently home to only the...

Marcia Vanden Brink BFA

Marcia Vanden Brink is director of product development for HDR Architecture and an interior designer certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). She has been responsible for the interior design, space planning, and coordination with multidisciplinary design teams for various projects. In addition to traditional healthcare projects, she has developed an expertise in the design of facilities for women and children. Vanden Brink has served as a designer and project...

Same Handed Rooms Standardization

Same-handed rooms feature an identical, repeated layout, meaning the patient bed, technology, caregiver space, family space, bathroom, and handwashing sink are in the same location in every room. Based on standardization principles used in manufacturing and the airline industry, same-handed rooms encourage intuitive processes in patient care. The opposite of same-handed rooms are mirrored rooms. With mirrored rooms, the headwall of the patient in one room is shared with the headwall of the...

Spaghetti Diagrams

Spaghetti Diagram

An easy way to help staff understand flow within a department is to create a spaghetti diagram. The purpose of this tool is to identify and visualize inefficient layouts, unnecessary travel distances, and wasted time and movement for staff. The goal is to find the sweet spot for operational efficiency. To begin the process, create a diagram of the department or floor plan. Each time a staff member makes a trip, draw a different colored line. Typically, a single day of observation is recorded on...

Barbara Pille Rn Bs Mba Fache

Barbara Pille is a senior healthcare consultant with HDR Architecture. Her career includes serving as the chief nurse executive with Quality Living Inc. and Clarkson Hospital, as well as a management engineer with the University of Nebraska Medical Center. A 25-year veteran in the healthcare industry, Pille specializes in helping healthcare facilities in areas of product and service development, process improvement, project management, and team building. She is a fellow of the American College...