Transforming Hospital Design

Several aspects of the Packard expansion project have been improved by the first-hand participation of physicians, nurses, multidisciplinary care teams and parents. Their input and feedback has led to a number of important changes—before construction even begins.

Two sets of full-scale hospital mockups—operating rooms, recovery rooms, patient rooms, and more—were constructed to exact architectural specifications and include every fixture from sinks, beds, overhead booms and monitors right down to electrical outlets, oxygen and gas hookups, light switches and hand sanitizer dispensers. Realistic, scripted scenarios allowed staff to test the new designs and workflow.

“They didn’t send the space shuttle off without building models, testing and modifying,” says Michael Edwards, MD, chief of pediatric neurosurgery. “We may not be as complex as the space shuttle, but the process is still important to ensuring safety and effectiveness.”

Building mock-ups also helps the construction teams, who analyze how the headwalls come together and how to position pipes, electrical wiring and data infrastructure. “There was not one room in which we didn’t make significant changes,” says Jennifer Romer, RN, lead senior project manager. “By modifying the design now, before building, we saved millions of dollars.”

Transforming Hospital Design

The mock-ups and scenarios allowed input from multiple perspectives, with staff and patient suggestions resulting in many improvements for streamlined patient care. For example, in the new hybrid operating rooms, which connect MRI scanner rooms directly to the surgical rooms, the teams found that they needed a bed to fit both the angiogram and MRI scanner so that patients would not have to be moved. Since no such table existed, their feedback resulted in groundbreaking medical equipment that will likely be used in the future design of hospitals everywhere.


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