ASID Icon - July/August 2010 - (Page 26)
DESIGN FOR LIFE/
By Samantha McAskill, FASID and Ingrid Fraley
Designing in the Care
HOLY CROSS HOSPITAL SETS A NEW STANDARD FOR SENIOR EMERGENCY CARE/ NESTLED IN THE residential neighborhood of
Silver Spring, Md., Holy Cross Hospital has been serving this suburban Washington, D.C., community since 1963. Recognized for its innovation and leadership, Holy Cross incorporates the latest healthcare technologies and surgery techniques, and continues to promote the concept of person-centered care. This imperative, placing patient comfort at a high priority, is apparent from the moment one ﬁrst steps into the hospital. The arrival sequence to the main entry of the hospital is skillfully designed, eliminating the cold and sterile interiors of the past. Common spaces now embrace hospitality concepts and create inviting spaces for patients, families and visitors. Retail spaces, options in dining venues and intimate seating areas with strong connections to the outdoors are part of the new vernacular throughout the hospital. From this welcoming environment, one then passes to the emergency waiting room, which is clean and orderly, but predictable in its design, with rows of chairs and a triage station controlling the admitting process. Older adults (those 65 and older) join the line and are assigned an acuity level number of one to ﬁve, depending upon their complaint and medical condition. A number one designation quickly moves the patient to emergency care.
MEETING UNIQUE NEEDS
mobile computer station, reducing the need to move patients around. Restrooms are conveniently located for patient access, and corridors are kept free of clutter and carts. The expansion of a central supply room near the nurses’ station helps to decentralize the delivery of supplies. One of the best features is the dimming control of the overhead light ﬁxtures, which aids in inducing rest and relaxation at a time of stress and anxiety—even the television can be tuned to the “relaxation channel.” The concept for this seniors emergency care unit can be attributed to hospital CEO Kevin Sexton. After a negative personal experience with his mother’s admittance to a crowded and chaotic emergency department in a New Jersey health system, Sexton championed the idea at Holy Cross to change the level of service as well as the environment in order to provide a more positive experience for all elderly patients. The population over age 65 in Montgomery County, which Holy Cross serves, is projected to increase by 70 percent over the next decade.
BUILDING A NEW SYSTEM
Emergency call buttons are large and within easy reach
This is where the magic begins, upon the patient’s entry into the “seniors emergency care unit.” Gone are the typical cubicle curtains, shiny VCT ﬂooring and glaring overhead lighting. In their place, full-height walls deﬁne each bed space and ensure acoustical privacy. Wood-look sheet vinyl ﬂooring in a matte ﬁnish is partnered with soft paint colors. All of the spaces are illuminated by direct/indirect lighting ﬁxtures with dimming capabilities, while natural light is introduced via three transom windows. The special needs of seniors have been taken into consideration throughout the patient areas. Each of the six bays features extra thick TempurPedic® bed mattresses to cushion the body and prevent bed sores. Telephone dials feature bold numbers on large buttons for the visually impaired, while a large and clearly-marked red “push for help” button is located at arm’s reach on the wall. A large calendar provides a sense of orientation for the patient, while a chalkboard announces the name of the caregiver. Bedside registration is possible via a
Holy Cross was lucky to have the space and the ﬁnancial support of their foundation, and a reputation for innovation. What they didn’t have was a plan or benchmark to refer to, and they also needed to build consensus among the physicians and staff. Focus groups of local seniors were held in order to gain valuable information from the end-user’s perspective. In addition, Dr. Bill Thomas, Professor of Aging Studies and Distinguished Fellow at the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Erickson School—known for his innovations in the Eden Alternative and Greenhouse models of care—assisted with the programming and planning phases. The hospital’s new care team added a geriatric nurse practitioner, registered nurses trained in geriatric care and a social worker skilled in elderly issues. Key supporters of the project included the director of emergency care, emergency care physicians and the hospital’s office of strategic planning. Sensitivity training was introduced to all levels of staff involved in patient care. Remarkably, Holy Cross was able to complete this project in one year, using in-house staff for most of the construction. Only the ﬂooring and lighting were installed by outside contractors.
Extra-thick Tempur-Pedic® mattress cushions the body
the magazine of the american society of interior designers
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASID Icon - July/August 2010
ASID Icon - July/August 2010
The Art of Understanding
Design for Life
Resource Guide & Advertisers
ASID Icon - July/August 2010