Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 36

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S TA F F S PA C E S

BUILDING ALIGNMENT

Project teams are rethinking team stations on behavioral health
units to break down barriers and support evolving care methods
By Stephanie Vito

T

RADITIONAL APPROACHES to team stations on behavioral health inpatient units put these staff spaces at
the center of the unit to function as a central point
of awareness for staff as well as an interface point between the patients and clinicians. However, as treatment of mental illnesses evolves to become more
patient-centric, and as the use of workstations on
wheels (WOWs) and tablets allows the clinical team
to break the tether of sitting behind a desk, project teams are rethinking
their approaches to the physical and operational characteristics of the
team station to better align with modern care methods while maintaining a safe environment.
This is making the binary choice of open team station versus enclosed
team station an outdated approach to design. Rather, it's about finding a
configuration that allows staff to provide the most optimal care to patients.
In some applications, such as child and adolescent units or lower-acuity
adult units, there are advantages to eliminating the barrier between patients and staff at the center of the unit to allow the care team to interact
with patients in the care environment, encouraging a collaborative approach to recovery. For higher-acuity patient populations, breaking down
the barrier between the clinical team and patients may compromise safety
to both. In all cases, the design of the team station should balance the goal
of aligning to the model of care while ensuring both staff and patient safety.
Furthermore, dissolving the traditional sense of a team station can
foster relationships between clinicians and patients while changing the
power dynamic on the unit. Here are three examples to consider.
1. Strawberry Hill Behavioral Health Hospital. Opened in August
2019, the 48-bed Strawberry Hill Behavioral Health Hospital for The Uni-

36

J U N E /J U LY 2 0 2 0

The team center at
the Virginia Treatment
Center for Children was
reimagined to feature a
double-sided open desk
where patients and clinicians can sit together to
foster engagement and
promote collaborative
care.

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versity of Kansas Health System in Kansas City,
Kan., is located in a renovated, four-story office
building. The existing building geometry and
structural grid presented challenges related
to maintaining visibility of the unit from one
central team station. The solution was to break
down the units at Strawberry Hill into three
smaller neighborhoods, each with its own team
station strategically located between the daytime (patient activity) zone and nighttime (patient bedroom) zone. As a result, one side of the
team station is directly across from the patient
bedrooms and the other faces the patient activity rooms, as opposed to a more ideal layout
where the team station is surrounded only by
patient activity space to maintain a quiet sleeping environment. To address this situation,
the project team decided a hybrid team station
would provide the best solution: an open design
for the side of the station facing the daytime
zones encourages interaction between staff and
patients, while the side facing the patient rooms
is enclosed with a staggered series of glass panels. During the day, the staff primarily occupy
the open side of the team station, completing
documentation, interacting with patients, and
maintaining supervision of the daily activities.
When a private discussion or sensitive call must
be made, the enclosed side of the team station
is available to do so. Additionally, should an agitated patient attempt to enter the team station,
the staff can quickly move to the enclosed side
for safety. During the night, staff primarily utilize the enclosed side of the team center, where
they can maintain visibility of the unit for safety
and complete tasks without transmitting noise
to nearby patient bedrooms.
2. Virginia Treatment Center for Children.
For child and adolescent populations, it's especially important to build and maintain trust between clinicians and patients through personal
interactions, as young patients are away from
their consistent caregiver, potentially for the first
time, and in an unfamiliar environment. For the
Virginia Treatment Center for Children in Richmond, Va., the design team focused on using architecture and technology to transform the team
station into a collaborative and engaging space.
The unit features a double-sided, open desk
where patients and clinicians can sit together,
and the staff are provided with tablets for clinical
documentation, allowing the center of the unit
to be dedicated to human interaction. Additionally, staff can still maintain passive supervision of
the unit in its entirety, and children, sitting sideby-side with clinicians, can complete a puzzle

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Healthcare Design - June/July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Healthcare Design - June/July 2020

Healthcare Design - June/july 2020
Editorial
Show Talk
Homeward Bound
Take Five With Tammy Felker
First Look
Into the Light
Difference Maker
Planning and Operations Decompression Space
Staff Spaces Building Alignment
Productspotlight Behavioral Health
Product Spotlight Artwork
The Center
Face Time
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Healthcare Design - June/july 2020
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Cover2
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 1
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 2
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 3
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 4
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 5
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 6
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 7
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 8
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Editorial
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Show Talk
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 11
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 12
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Homeward Bound
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 14
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 15
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - First Look
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 17
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Into the Light
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 19
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 20
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 21
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 22
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 23
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 24
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 25
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Difference Maker
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 27
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 28
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 29
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 30
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 31
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 32
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Planning and Operations Decompression Space
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 34
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 35
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Staff Spaces Building Alignment
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 37
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Productspotlight Behavioral Health
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 39
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 40
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 41
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Product Spotlight Artwork
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 43
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 44
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 45
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 46
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - The Center
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Face Time
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Cover3
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Cover4
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