Pathologists are integrated thoroughly into patient care at Cooper University Hospital, Camden, N.J., and this is by design—architectural design, that is.
The new $163.7 million Roberts Pavilion at Cooper was one of 105 entries in the 27th annual Modern Healthcare Design Awards contest. It was one of 11 winning designs, and EwingCole architects took home a Citation award for their work. What caught my attention, however, was that the architects said that special care was taken to locate the "clinical and anatomic pathology departments to enhance increased involvement of pathologists in the patient treatment stream, a fundamental shift in the role of pathology."
"We love it, it's gorgeous," said Dr. Roland Schwarting, Cooper's pathology department chairman and chief. "What I love about it is it's an integrated design.”
Schwarting explained how, typically, pathology departments and hospital laboratories are fragmented into various silos, hindering communication and collaboration. He said that on paper, it would amount to a very confusing "spaghetti diagram," with arrows pointing every which way to connect the various functions. One can still use a spaghetti diagram to illustrate the department's operation at Cooper, but "the noodles are not as long," Schwarting said.