Intermountain Health Care's McKay-Dee Hospital Center in Ogden, Utah, is an integrated healthcare campus setting a new benchmark for medical facilities in this century.

A Utah-stone fireplace, the sound of a grand piano, and a welcoming smile from the hospital greeter welcome patients. A central bank of elevators provides easy wayfinding, with signed balconies overlooking each floor. Cultural diversity is achieved through artwork, signage, and spatial organization. The rich hues of terrazzo flooring, warm woods, and dramatic lighting combined with large expanses of east-facing glass provide a mountain-resort-like effect that distracts and reduces patient stress. Landscaped courtyards and gardens are an integral part of the healing environment design, providing a strong connection to the outside. These accessible landscape gardens allow framed views for all inpatient rooms.

Project category: New construction (completed May 2002)

Chief administrator: Tom Hanrahan, Regional VP & CEO, (801) 627-2800

Firm: HKS, Inc., (214) 969-5599

Design team: John Rich, VP, Facilities Development (Intermountain Health Care); Tom Harvey, Principal (HKS, Inc.); Tony Wegener, President (Design West); Robert Moore, President (Big-D Construction Corp.); David Child, Project Manager (Project Control, Inc.)

Photography: Ed LaCasse, LaCasse Photography

Total building area (GSF): 700,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $176

Total cost (excluding land): $125,000,000

Private patient rooms were designed with noise, television, and light control, as well as views to nature. The hotel-like rooms are so popular that readmitted patients are making requests for certain rooms based on their favorite views. Family amenities were designed into the inpatient units to make them a welcome part of the care team.

The hospital also wanted its staff to feel inspired by the environment. Separate lounges, educational spaces on each floor, decentralized nursing stations with individual charting stations, a nurse communication system, and the latest in technology are offered. Doctors can go online from their integrated offices, through a secured system, to gain information on patients at any time during the day.

To date, the hospital boasts a 1.7% staff turnover rate as compared to 19% just five years ago. McKay-Dee Hospital Center also promotes cross-training of its staff. The facility was designed to encourage and promote the sharing of people and resources.

“I think we have created a wonderful public space,” said John Grima, regional director of planning/marketing, McKay-Dee Hospital Center. “We feel that the building is a real complement to community life in addition to being highly successful as a hospital. People like it. They say it is a beautiful building. It's not often that you hear that about a healthcare campus. Staff are happier working here. Patients and families like the view of the mountains and the other amenities offered in the facility.”