In April we welcomed patients to Building Hope – a new space designed to make being in the hospital easier.
“Wow! You built what we said,”
exclaimed Emma Notkin, a former
cancer patient and one of hundreds
of people – patients, family members,
care providers and staff – whose
input shaped the design of our new Emergency Department and Critical Care and Cancer Units.
Together, they envisioned what
it would take to create a wonderful
healing place for patients that could
help staff provide the safest possible
care and the best possible results.
One that could help families maintain
some of the rhythms of daily life during
the weeks or months of their child’s
“The need to expand gave us the
opportunity to create a model of care
that revolves around the patient and
family whether they are here for an
hour or a year,” says Seattle Children’s
Mandy Hansen, who facilitated
discussions about workflow, layout
We focused on bringing care to the
bedside and making sure staff have
the supplies they need when and where
they need them. We emphasized
creating quiet and privacy for patients
and families, and offering them more
control over their environment.
The generosity of our caring community
helped us create a facility focused on the
needs of patients, families and caregivers.
And now it’s here: a hopeful space,
filled with light and art. A place of
healing and compassion that lets our
caregivers provide the care our patients
need with fewer steps. A space with
safety hardwired into the design.
It’s not the building’s beauty or
the fact that we completed it on time
and under budget that establishes
the success of our new building,
notes Todd Johnson, vice president
of Facilities. It’s what we do there.
“If our patients are able to go home
sooner, that will be a great achievement.
If families are more satisfied with
their experience, that will be a great
achievement. If our staff find it an
easier, better place to work, that will
be a great achievement. At the end
of the day, that’s what matters.”
The Nation’s First AYA Cancer Unit
Research shows that teens and young adults with cancer have
better outcomes when treated at children’s hospitals. Our new building features the nation’s first
Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Unit where patients benefit from the support of their peers, age-appropriate
amenities and psychosocial support programs that improve their treatment experience.
Space for Privacy and Reflection
on each floor provide families and staff with a
calm space away from the bedside for personal
reflection or private conversations. The generosity
of our caring community helped us create a
facility focused on the needs of patients,
families and caregivers.
Telling Their Story Once
Another innovation is called “the Dance,” which brings together the key
members of the medical team at the beginning of a patient’s visit so they all hear the family’s story
at the same time and get the information they need to develop a treatment plan.
New Model of Care
The design of our new
Emergency Department (ED) reflects a more
patient-focused model of care. The first person
families see when they walk in is a nurse, like
Cheryl Drake, RN (left). “Instead of teaching
our clerical people to recognize a sick kid, we
taught nurses to get the ball rolling,” says ED
physician Dr. Suzan Mazor. “In our new space,
it’s door to clinical eye in one second.”
Space Families Need
The spacious single-patient rooms in the new Forest
zone ensure privacy and comfort. The rooms are designed with distinct
areas for caregivers, for patients, and for parents. Amenities include
private bathrooms for families and room for two parents to stay overnight.
Standardized for Safety
The standardized layout of patient rooms in the
Forest zone hardwires safety. Caregivers always know where to find the
supplies they need. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) rooms have a notable
difference: ceiling booms instead of headwalls. These accommodate the
range of medical equipment ICU patients require and offer flexibility to
organize the room as needed.
Entertainment and Information
A 42-inch TV in each room features Get Well Town, an interactive media system that provides entertainment
and information tailored to each patient’s age, care and condition.
A Comforting Place
Building Hope became the Forest zone when we
began welcoming patients. Colorful art helps provide a comfortable,
healing environment and helps people find their way around our hospital.
Like the art in our other three zones, it includes plants and animals that
thrive in the Pacific Northwest.
cabinets let staff deliver medication,
linens and other things to the room
without stepping inside. Limiting the
times someone enters the room
promotes quiet and privacy for the
patient and family, and reduces the
risk of transmitting infection.
Maintaining Visual Contact
The new building’s design lets caregivers do as much of their work as possible within sight of their patients. During rounds,
the entire care team gathers on the porch just outside the patient’s room to discuss their progress and care for the day. Parents can participate without
stepping too far away from their child.
Published in Connection magazine, September 2013