“Organizations built new facilities based on ease of access and making the patient visit more convenient,” Stacey explains. “They asked how easy can patients get in and out, and how can we meet the needs of population management going forward?”
Going further, Stacey says this response was seen in designs offering multiple access points with “different functions in different places for different people. The future is going to be about offering the right care in the right place, and some offered that better than others.”
Entries were evaluated by a panel of four judges based on design excellence, functional utility, flexibility and response to patients and families. Judges were especially impressed by the inclusion of spaces and facilities for family members in so many designs.
“The integration of family as part of healing is key,” Posada says.
In recent years, a growing trend has been to blend—and maybe blur—the hospital and hospitality industries, but Posada thinks it's been overdone. “My approach to hospitals is that they should not be perceived as a high-end hotel—and some of the lobbies (of the entries) were like that and that appeals to some people,” he says. “You don't go to a hospital to feel like you're in a resort. It's become a cliche phrase, and it waters down the seriousness of the healthcare.”
Stacey, however, says the aim is to make patients feel at home.
“That goes to personal preference, and my preference is less institutionalized is more,” he says. “You put people in an environment where the opportunity to heal is enhanced.”
While children's hospitals and cancer treatment centers have been recognized as leading the deinstitutionalizing movement, this year the top entries were those that centered on the heart: UC San Diego's 151,000-square-foot Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center's 165,000-square-foot Milstein Family Heart Center.
Children's hospitals were still well-represented among the award winners, including two of the three Honorable Mentions, the next-highest award. Those entries are the 1.07 million-square-foot King Abdullah Specialized Children's Hospital planned for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; the 265,000-square-foot Kaiser Permanente Small Hospital, Big Idea project designed for Lancaster, Calif.; and the massive 2.5 million-square-foot Sheikh Khalifa Medical City being built in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which includes general, pediatric and women's hospitals all in one facility.
Six projects were recognized with Citation awards: the Lunder Building at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Ann & Robert Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago; Mercy Health-West Hospital being built in Cincinnati; Piedmont Newnan (Ga.) Hospital; Roberts Pavilion at Cooper University Hospital, Camden, N.J.; and the UCLA Medical Building, Santa Monica, Calif.
TAKEAWAY: Healthcare execs planning new or renovation projects should make ease of use and navigation by patients and their families high priorities in their design plans.