2021 Exhibition Excellence Award: Overall Works
The Warren Clinic is a modular clinic prototype designed for San Francis Health System Used in different locations in the Tulsa area of ??Oklahoma. The solution can be adjusted in various configurations according to the specific needs of the location, taking advantage of the on-stage/under-stage organization and sufficient lighting and vision. In addition, the design makes maximum use of the existing pink brand color of the health system, creating a branded glass wall on the exterior of the building to establish an iconic architectural element.Merit Award winning projects are by Calison RTKLHere, Eurico Francisco, the project leader of CallisonRTKL (Dallas), and Dana Brandle, the vice principal, shared some insights on some of the most famous design solutions of the jury.
Healthcare design: The customer asks you to establish a clinical model suitable for various places. How did you determine this particular method as a solution?
Eurico Francisco: We tested and developed a modular approach that can be compressed, expanded, and deformed according to each location and need, while always maintaining key common elements such as workflow, protocols, access to views and daylight, and branding. Our interdisciplinary internal team includes architects, interior designers and brand experts, and working towards a common goal has proven to be the key to achieving project goals. Before and during the design, key stakeholders including managers, department managers, and providers/clinicians are also involved. By combining a compact and flexible footprint with an endless exterior landscape, the module aims to blend efficiency and pleasure, which is not always the case in similar buildings. It meets the needs of nursing staff and patients without affecting performance or environmental quality.
Tell us how your team must predict the various applications of the module and how it is designed.
Francisco: In the programming phase, we analyzed the ratio of the examination room to the doctor to determine the ideal future state. The “A Day in Life” exercise was used to simulate the typical doctor process and how support and other employees affect the overall experience. In conjunction with the patient journey, a model was developed to replicate the ideal clinical scenario and determine the number of examination rooms required and the location of key support areas.
Through extensive research, our team determined that the modular pod concept around four doctors and 12 examination rooms is the best operationally effective. When multiple pods are connected together, certain auxiliary support spaces can be shared, such as supply storage and staff lounges. Modular pod links allow each given clinic site to be flexibly adjusted programmatically to meet the needs of each community it serves.
Our jurors expressed their appreciation for the large amount of daylight provided. How does the design process help you achieve this goal?
Francisco: In a rigorous vision meeting involving leadership and end users (such as administrators, department managers, doctors, and clinicians), our team applied our understanding of the positive results of integrating natural light into the medical space and took advantage of our unique The benefits of the modular design method are based on “Light from Above” as the design theme. This design approach combines the evidence-based benefits of daylight with the spiritual environment that the St. Francis Health System and Warren Clinic strive to emulate in all of its facilities. Our main design goal for this project has always been to create an extraordinary experience for patients, families and employees. We really believe that injecting natural light into the entire space is the key to improving the happiness of all visitors and creating a positive experience.
In operation, these modules are very effective. How do you handle the flow of patient journeys and clinical functions?
Dana Brandel: [The client] Want a new clinical model to improve patient treatment and improve employee performance. To achieve this goal, our team handles the patient experience by integrating the following key principles:
• Separation of staff and visitors-the separation of these two streams is the core of the clinic model. The Warren Clinic has completely changed the traditional clinic and created an onstage/offstage method. In this way, patients enter the examination room through a separate cycle from the staff, providing patients with a quieter and more private experience.
• Minimal/decentralized waiting area-when entering, visitors are escorted or directed to a dedicated, decentralized waiting area. These waiting areas are located outside each examination room, allowing patients to enter the examination room directly. In this way, patient flow is greatly improved while eliminating unnecessary interaction between patients.
• Separate employee work area—The employee work area and the flow of people are separated from the flow of patients and visitors in the entire clinic environment. This maximizes privacy/confidentiality and minimizes interference, thereby maximizing each provider’s time in the examination room and focusing on patient care.
The result of these key operational elements is increased staff efficiency, allowing more patients to be seen on specific dates, and a collaborative staff environment that optimizes patient care. From the patient’s point of view, they enter an environment with the shortest waiting time. If they happen to be waiting, it will be in the designated area, close to their examination room, and can be seen outside.
The brand played a leading role in this project, especially the pink feature wall on the outside. How did you make this bold choice?
Brandel: The legacy of the St. Francis Health System is embodied in its main campus on Yale Avenue, which locals in Tulsa often call the “pink hospital on the hill.” The iconic Saint Francis pink inspired us to develop the concept of the branded glass wall, using different pink tones as the front element of the prototype design. Bold, bright and unique “Saint Francis”, our proposed design will serve as a visual brand icon and an element that people can recognize and participate in when they approach the website. As a beacon that glows at night, the wall will also strengthen the connection between the clinic and the communities it serves.
The prototype has been delivered several times near Tulsa. How does it evolve with continuous iteration?
Brandel: Our team understands that each new site is unique and requires customized solutions while still adhering to prototyping and standards. We recognize that no design is a “one size fits all” solution. As we continue to implement modular prototyping in new locations, we are also constantly evolving and changing certain aspects, not only to meet the parameters of each site, but also to meet the needs of each specific community.
After living in the first-generation clinic for about a year, the owner invited our team to conduct a post-occupancy assessment to find out any lessons that could be incorporated into future sites. We have developed a list of most of the small design changes, but perhaps the most important changes are related to patient intake. The first generation clinics included a reception/welcoming desk, but the staff at the station did not always have volunteers. There is an empty table and frosted glass between the reception desk and the adjacent registration booth, making it difficult for patient service representatives to welcome arriving patients. In subsequent clinics, the reception desk and the frosting on the glass were removed so that the patient service representative could make eye contact and greet the arriving patients. In addition, after the first-generation clinic was put into operation, it was clear that the throughput of the examination room was operating as planned, and we eliminated the overflow waiting area from the prototype.
Jennifer Kovacs Silvis is the editor-in-chief of Healthcare Design.Her contact information is [email protected].