September 13, 2013

Project: Good Samaritan Regional Health in Mount Vernon, Illinois

In health care design it’s important to remember shortening the distance between the bed and patient bathroom or providing more space for the caregiver to work can have a major impact on patient outcomes and satisfaction, says Derek Selke, Director of Architecture, BSA LifeStructures.  

Since 1975, the Indianapolis-based firm has created facilities that enhance the work of health care professionals, promote healing and inspire trust and confidence. One of their top projects currently is the Good Samaritan Regional Health Center in Mount Vernon, Illinois, designed to meet Energy Star and Green Guide for health care standards.

Throughout the design phase the community and users were invited to tour mock-ups of the hospital. Based on feedback from those sessions, the team increased the caregiver area around the patient, and reduced the distance from the bed to the toilet (the distance where some 90% of patient falls occur). To address visitor satisfaction, the team added nursing unit family retreats with kitchens and television to put the focus on family comfort and satisfaction.

Patient satisfaction is becoming more important under healthcare reform and part of that involves limiting noise in the patient room and improving cleanliness, adds Selke. BSA LifeStructures is designing healthcare facilities to lower corridor-to-patient room sound transmission and identifying surfaces and materials that are easy to clean to help keep the patient room tidy and limit nosocomial infections.

To encourage a stress free environment for all patients, multiple healing gardens on the campus provide patients a view to nature, and allow space for reflection. And inside, works of art abound, including a stained glass wall in the hospitals 100-seat chapel, and an entry bell tower that features hand crafted bells donated by community members.

But it¹s the Emergency Department that just may be the most innovative and unique feature here, with its flexible space that can be used for pediatrics, overflow or observation. Pods within the department allow the staff to prioritize patients into ailment-specific areas. The room can also be adjusted to allow care for severe injuries and critical care.

And to address the need to provide measurable outcomes to clients, the firm developed and trademarked LifeStructure Metrics, a tool that guides research, reporting, and information flow between facilities and organizations. The future of Evidence-Based Design starts here.

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