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New hospital design all about the patients

October 5, 2010

Architect Lucas Konger describes how patient rooms at the new Parkview Whitley Hospital will be set up for staff, patient and family use. Below, is a bird’s-eye view of a future garden area that will be accessed through the cafeteria. Post & Mail photos/Ruth Stanley

The skeleton of the new Parkview Whitley Hospital is in place and the whole project, which is due to open next fall, is on schedule, according to Lucas Konger, architect for the project.
“Schedule-wise, it’s going very well. We’ve had some fantastic weather,” which will help crews get the facility enclosed before cold weather sets in, Konger said.
The $40 million project includes an adjoining medical office building, as well as the three-story hospital.
The hospital itself will be smaller than the current facility by bout 30,000 square feet, but Konger said the design is much more efficient and allows for the construction of a smaller facility.
“The ultimate goal is to serve the patients in the community with a very efficient and effective design and provide them with the best care they can get,” Konger said.
With that in mind, three design concepts were utilized in planning the new hospital that will make the facility operate most efficiently for both in- and outpatient use.

On stage,
off stage
The on stage area, which is the first hallway visitors come to, is located immediately after the lobby area and provides easy access to outpatient services, such as diagnostic and blood draw services.
“The whole idea of the first floor is to be in and out efficiently,” Konger said.
Beyond the first hallway is a second hallway, the offstage area, that will provide a way for patients and hospital staff to move about the different areas of the hospital.
“The offstage area helps separate the busy workings of the hospital from the front face of the hospital,” Konger said.

Patient rooms
One of the biggest differences between the current hospital and the new one will be seen in the patient rooms.
The 30 private rooms are divided into three zones — administration, patient side and family area.
Immediately inside the door is the administration area, which is where doctors, nurses and aides will administer patient care; the center is the patient area, with the bed and a private restroom; and the farthest area from the door is a place for family to spend time with the patient and not feel they are in the way of patient-care activities.
“This design lets the patient have the best of both worlds,” Konger said.
Nurses stations are also situated so that nurses can have visual contact with as many rooms as possible.
Construction is also using materials to make the rooms as quiet as possible, and all but one room will have a nice outside view.
The second floor will also house the labor and delivery area, CCU, the pharmacy and med-surgery.

Healing
atmosphere
In designing the new hospital, Konger and his team worked to include environmental factors that assist patient healing.
The views to nature, that are visible from most patient rooms, music and fireplaces, on both the first and second floors, help provide that healing environment.
“Hospitals are here to cure people, not keep them longer,” Konger said.
Even the cafeteria area, which will be much easier to find, has a view of a courtyard area and outside access in warm weather.
“This hospital will serve the community for a long, long time,” Konger said.

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