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 formercancer patient and one of hundredsof people – patients, family members,care providers and staff – whoseinput shaped the design of our new Emergency Department and Critical Care and Cancer Units.
Together, they envisioned whatit would take to create a wonderfulhealing place for patients that couldhelp staff provide the safest possiblecare and the best possible results.One that could help families maintainsome of the rhythms of daily life duringthe weeks or months of their child’shospitalization.
“The need to expand gave us theopportunity to create a model of carethat revolves around the patient andfamily whether they are here for anhour or a year,” says Seattle Children’sMandy Hansen, who facilitateddiscussions about workflow, layoutand design.
We focused on bringing care to thebedside and making sure staff havethe supplies they need when and wherethey need them. We emphasizedcreating quiet and privacy for patientsand families, and offering them morecontrol over their environment.
The generosity of our caring communityhelped us create a facility focused on theneeds of patients, families and caregivers.
And now it’s here: a hopeful space,filled with light and art. A place ofhealing and compassion that lets ourcaregivers provide the care our patientsneed with fewer steps. A space withsafety hardwired into the design.
It’s not the building’s beauty orthe fact that we completed it on timeand under budget that establishesthe success of our new building,notes Todd Johnson, vice presidentof Facilities. It’s what we do there.
“If our patients are able to go homesooner, that will be a great achievement.If families are more satisfied withtheir experience, that will be a greatachievement. If our staff find it aneasier, better place to work, that willbe a great achievement. At the endof the day, that’s what matters.”
The Nation’s First AYA Cancer Unit
Research shows that teens and young adults with cancer havebetter outcomes when treated at children’s hospitals. Our new building features the nation’s firstAdolescent and Young Adult Cancer Unit where patients benefit from the support of their peers, age-appropriateamenities and psychosocial support programs that improve their treatment experience.
Space for Privacy and Reflection
Quiet roomson each floor provide families and staff with acalm space away from the bedside for personalreflection or private conversations. The generosityof our caring community helped us create afacility focused on the needs of patients,families and caregivers.
Telling Their Story Once
Another innovation is called “the Dance,” which brings together the keymembers of the medical team at the beginning of a patient’s visit so they all hear the family’s storyat the same time and get the information they need to develop a treatment plan.
New Model of Care
The design of our newEmergency Department (ED) reflects a morepatient-focused model of care. The first personfamilies see when they walk in is a nurse, likeCheryl Drake, RN (left). “Instead of teachingour clerical people to recognize a sick kid, wetaught nurses to get the ball rolling,” says EDphysician 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 Forestzone ensure privacy and comfort. The rooms are designed with distinctareas for caregivers, for patients, and for parents. Amenities includeprivate bathrooms for families and room for two parents to stay overnight.
Standardized for Safety
The standardized layout of patient rooms in theForest zone hardwires safety. Caregivers always know where to find thesupplies they need. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) rooms have a notabledifference: ceiling booms instead of headwalls. These accommodate therange of medical equipment ICU patients require and offer flexibility toorganize the room as needed.
Entertainment and Information
A 42-inch TV in each room features Get Well Town, an interactive media system that provides entertainmentand information tailored to each patient’s age, care and condition.
A Comforting Place
Building Hope became the Forest zone when webegan 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 thatthrive in the Pacific Northwest.
Pass-throughcabinets let staff deliver medication,linens and other things to the roomwithout stepping inside. Limiting thetimes someone enters the roompromotes quiet and privacy for thepatient and family, and reduces therisk 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 withoutstepping too far away from their child.
Published in Connection magazine, September 2013