Putting Together MultiCare Good Samaritan's New Patient Tower

September 18, 2012
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Glass entry canopies allow for natural light, even during rainy Washington winters. Photo credit: Michael Mathers. Research on the effects of nature views shows a clear benefit for patients. Dally Tower’s nine-story height capitalizes on its position on a hill overlooking a green suburban landscape, with distant views of Puget Sound. Photo credit: Michael Mathers. The lobby features 25-foot-high windows. Photo credit: Michael Mathers. The imaging waiting area is flooded with light from an adjacent curtainwall. Photo credit: Michael Mathers. Outside the rooms, a family lounge encourages a patient’s loved ones to stay close. Photo credit: Michael Mathers.     In support of research findings regarding decentralized resources and staff centers, Dally Tower’s patient floors are organized for efficiency. Each staff work center serves a 10-bed module and is situated close to patient rooms. Photo credit: Michael Mathers.    Inside the patient rooms, a “family zone” includes a sleep sofa and a privacy curtain.  Photo credit: Michael Mathers.  Each patient room has a cart under the work counter for ready access to oft-used supplies.  Photo credit: Michael Mathers.  Inpatient rooms have a light shelf to bounce light from the large windows deep into the room. Photo credit: Michael Mathers.  A floor plan of the acuity-adaptable single-bed rooms. Research shows that such rooms reduce medication errors and keep patients and staff safer. Desired outcomes  and design strategies.
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SIDEBAR: Breaking down the research
The new Dally Tower at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Pullyup, Washington, provides an example of how to apply a seminal literature review as a tool to connect design strategies with potential and probable outcomes. The team of architects, interior designers, and the client user group worked together to create a framework for application of evidence-based design (EBD) principles. We started by using literature searches to uncover applicable research and then created a simple matrix tool to organize information to directly correlate desired outcomes with design strategy.

This matrix tool was used to:

  • Apply research findings where there was compelling evidence;

  • Determine which design strategies were promising but not yet proven—these may still be used, and could be an opportunity to draw upon the project as further research to test the strategies’ success;

  • Communicate reasons behind design decisions to the entire team; and

  • Inspire confidence that the project will support EBD outcomes, in order to help the client do the right thing.

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