Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed June 2005)

Chief administrator: Dennis Sisto, President and CEO, (707) 252-4411

Firms: Montanio Design Group, Inc., (805) 522-5662; PDC Facilities, Inc., (714) 245-0144; Pults & Associates Architects, (805) 541-5604

Design team: Sylvia Montanio, President and CEO (Montanio Design Group, Inc.); Scot Berlinski, Contractor (PDC Facilities, Inc.); Deborah Jones Woodle, Architect (Pults & Associates Architects); Dwight Drew, Structural Engineer (Brooks Ransom Associates); Bruce Hagopian, Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer (BRUCE Engineering); Michael Koolhoven, Electrical Engineer (OMB Electrical Engineers)

Photography: John Sutton Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 7,500

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $533

Total construction cost (excluding land): $4,000,000

A patient's medical image is one of the most important tools the physician has for diagnosing and treating the patient's medical condition. The diagnostic information obtained from radiology and imaging procedures assists the doctor in the patient's care. Advances in imaging are startling, and Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa Valley, California, presents its new, 7,500-sq.-ft., freestanding Diagnostic Outpatient Imaging Center. The center features some of the top diagnostic imaging equipment available today, with a new 16-Slice Computerized Tomography (CT) Scanner and a new 8-Channel Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) device. This new equipment represents a quantum leap in imaging quality. With the tools and technology provided in this newly designed facility, diagnostic services are greatly improved, and early detection and higher cure rates are on the rise.

The Outpatient Imaging Center was constructed in two phases. Phase I originally housed the MRI Center and now consists of the new imaging equipment. The new plan took into consideration the proximity between the patient and the staff; addressing this close contact improves communication during the exam and calms the patient during the long examination. Phase II included the addition of a reception area, waiting area, male and female subwaiting areas, a physicians' reading room, offices, space for private patient consultation, and staff support spaces. The addition of this new Outpatient Imaging Center eliminated the need to share resources between inpatients and outpatients, which resulted in an increased level of care for the community. Patient comfort has been greatly improved, and a higher standard of treatment is provided.

The design offered solutions to common patient complaints of stress, anxiety, lack of control, and confinement. Materials that are sustainable, sound absorbing, and environmentally friendly were integrated; these materials are known to promote health and healing in a world of challenges and cold, hard surfaces. The sustainable materials specified will lower operational costs, heighten employee productivity, and improve the well- being of both patients and staff. They represent a positive example to the local community by displaying an image that those served are cared for. Sustainable materials improve on the indoor air quality, which in turn promotes healing by lowering the incidence of communicable disease. The openness of the space, use of indirect lighting, application of gentle curves, and inclusion of private spaces and artwork put patients' minds at ease and allow them to focus on their surroundings rather than the procedure.