Healthcare Design - January/February 2016 - 44
establishing something unique (either for independent providers or those attached to a system).
Consistency across sites is key, too, says Mike
McKay, vice president and senior architect at Erdman, noting that clients are requesting a prototype
for layout and design that can essentially be ap44
it's very contemporary. There's not one
Waiting rooms in urgent care
clinics are often small but
element of wood, be it real or artificial, in
efficient spaces designed to
the space. It's hospitable, but the space
prevent coughing, sneezing,
isn't hospitality. That's not what this is
and feverish patients from
about," Kissil says.
feeling like they're on top of
And what patients encounter once
one another, as seen in this
they're inside is just as important.
At Gundersen, a shared registracompleted in October 2015 for
tion desk for the ED and urgent care is
a client in Los Alamitos, Calif.
used with two triage rooms to ensure
patients land in the right spot. Waiting
rooms as well as smaller sub-waiting and consult
rooms were included to provide more privacy; a
financial counseling room and checkout room serve
patients on their way out. "When [patients] are on
their way in, we just want to know what's wrong
with them and get them back, because they could
be really sick," Hill says.
But eliminating wait times altogether is usually the goal. That was the case for Warren Clinic,
which was designed with a decentralized waiting model: Patients and visitors are provided with
chairs adjacent to exam rooms to move quickly into
the room once it's vacated. For Golden Gate Urgent
Care, SmithGroupJJR took a different approach to
combat urgent care's usual tight waiting quarters
by instead expanding a central waiting space, with
a reception desk at one end for a sense of privacy
and a checkout area with a privacy panel.
"I think of an urgent care 20 years ago as pretty
austere and not a place you want to spend much
time, but you go because you don't want to spend
a lot of time. The environments that are being
developed today are a lot nicer and make the
experience from a patient standpoint a lot better,"
says Matt Manning, senior designer and manager
at ESa. And those environments are usually built
around brand. The branding of urgent care generally takes one of two routes: either supporting and
communicating an overarching parent system or