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 hospitalization.
“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 and design.
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
Quiet rooms 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 hard wires 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 head walls. 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.
Pass-through 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