Recently, Nationwide Children’s Hospital unveiled publically for the first time the clinical interiors of its new main hospital – the centerpiece of its six-part master facilities plan. On target to open in June 2012, Nationwide Children’s is undergoing the most expansive pediatric healthcare construction project ever undertaken. When complete, the hospital will add one million square feet of clinical and research space to the existing two million square feet; add an additional 2,400 hospital and research jobs; and generate a projected $1.3 billion in new regional economic activity. Once the new facility is open, and renovations have been made to the existing hospital, it will house 460 patient beds.
“Much is changing with Nationwide Children’s campus, but the hospital is still very much grounded in our founding mission,” said Abigail Wexner, Chair of Nationwide Children’s Hospital Board of Directors. “When the new hospital opens in 2012, we will build upon what has always been our key driver – to provide unrivalled pediatric care, and to not only those who seek our care, but beyond our four walls, helping the children of our community reach their optimal health.”
The six key areas of growth in the 2012 plan include a 12-story, 750,000 square foot new main hospital; a six-acre front lawn and green space that will complement Livingston Park; a LEED-certified silver central energy plant; expanded parking with the Livingston Avenue garage (more than 1,500 parking spaces) and the two-story underground parking garage located beneath the front lawn and connected via tunnel to the new tower (more than 400 spaces); a clinical research building that houses the Surgery Center, the Center for Digestive Disorders, GI procedures and clinical psychology as well as two floors dedicated to research; and an expanded West campus that includes a 225,000 square foot research facility known as Research III.
“Nationwide Children’s Hospital is expanding to meet the need of the patients and families we serve right here in our community and across the entire country,” said Steve Allen, MD, chief executive officer of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Currently, we see more than 900,000 patients every year. That number will exceed one million patient visits by 2012. Our master facilities plan will allow us to lead the country in providing the best possible health outcomes for the children and families we serve.”
The new main hospital features a healing environment full of comforts and positive distractions for patients, families and staff including multimedia centers in the patient room, educational exhibits and niches with fun animal facts in hallways, views of the outside with large windows and custom furniture for family and patient comfort.
Overall design concepts and elements in the new main hospital center on nature – bringing the outside inside – promoting natural healing. Whimsical forest-friendly animals are incorporated, and a softened look utilizing a warm, glowing color palette is reflected throughout.
Research has shown that exposure to sunlight improves sleep, reduces depression, enhances patient mood, speeds recovery, improves staff productivity and can even reduce lighting expenses. Therefore, every room has a large window allowing natural daylight into the room that will help patients recover by reducing anxiety and associated complications.
Patient rooms and corridors are equipped with sound-absorbing materials to reduce ambient noise. Studies have shown that this supports better sleep and less stress for patients, families and caregivers, while creating a safer environment for the delivery of care. Every patient room in the hospital will be private, reducing the chance of infection and potential errors, enhancing sleep and supporting family inclusion. Also, patients and their families will have control of lighting and thermal comfort systems in their rooms.
The standardization in rooms and unit layout will reduce variability in configurations, increase safety through standardization of clinical support amenities as well as patient movement in the room, ease orientation to units, reduce frustration and stress and enhance facility flexibility for future utilization.
Patient rooms will …
Critical/intensive care rooms have …
Emergency Department and Trauma Suites
Nurse stations are …
The Mock Rooms
In a facility near its downtown campus, the hospital has been testing everything from color palettes and furniture design, to patient room layout and Emergency Department (ED) trauma suite functionality in new hospital mock rooms. The mock space has been a cost-saving measure. Hundreds of staff including nurses and doctors and more importantly, patient families, toured the rooms and gave their feedback. Based on their valuable input, numerous changes were made and incorporated in the mock rooms, saving the hospital time and money it would have taken to make those adjustments in the new hospital.
For example, a mock trauma was staged in the ED trauma suite to test the functionality of the entire emergency team making sure equipment placement and room layout was optimized. Also, patients and families involved in the hospital’s teen and parent advisory councils were very vocal about details, such as the amount of storage and the bathtub design in the private patient rooms.
Examples of key learnings from the mock rooms include:
The current mock rooms are slated to be taken down in May 2011 to make room for build-out and parking of the Research III building, which is currently under construction. In early 2011, eight rooms will be constructed in the new main hospital. This will support furniture and clinical fit-up, confirmation of configurations, technology and applications, and allow for early staff orientation and preparation. These eight mock rooms in the new main hospital will include a typical acute care inpatient room, critical care room, ED exam room, medication room, family lounge/consultation room, multi-disciplinary work station (also known as a nurse station), standard utility room and telecommunications server room.