Project category: New construction (completed December 2004)

Chief administrator: Al Gatmaitan, FACHE, President and CEO, (765) 675-8501

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

Design team: Craig Beale, FAIA, FACHA, RIBA, CHE, CHC, Principal-in-Charge; Norman Morgan, AIA, Design Principal (HKS, Inc.); Ray de Hart, Project Manager (Jacobs Facilities, Inc.); Lynn Wall, Construction Manager (Shiel Sexton/GM Construction, Inc.); Ana Maregatti, Interior Designer (Maregatti Interiors); Chuck McDaniel, Landscape Architect (SWA Group)

Photography: Ed LaCasse

Total building area (sq. ft.): 425,569

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $193

Total construction cost (excluding land): $82,000,000

Five years ago, Clarian Health Partners tried a design experiment in its soon-to-be-constructed cardiac critical care unit. It signed on as one of the first Pebble Projects to implement and quantifiably test elements of a healing environment. Clarian Health Partners has employed many of the same principles to design Clarian West Medical Center, a 76-bed community hospital.

The 70-acre campus calls to the senses with decorative lakes, walking trails, native trees, and quiet gardens that provide a peaceful environment to promote a healing environment. The campus's brick and stone work reflect the character of the homes in the region while providing a comfortable scale and texture to create a noninstitutional look.

Inside, the three-story glass and stone atrium is designed as an open and inviting lobby to orient patients and visitors. The healing design includes all private patient rooms that feature Internet access, floor-to-ceiling windows, and room-service–style ordering options for patients, as well as garden sanctuaries, outdoor patios, and healing-themed staff retreats. Decentralized nursing stations with charting stations allow nurses to spend more time with patients.

The facility has improved safety and enhanced staff satisfaction and performance. The hospital reported a rate of 2.5 days lost per 1,000 paid days because of on-the-job injury. Its critical turnover rate is just 3%. Results from patient perception surveys for the fourth quarter of 2005 revealed that the hospital's adult inpatient areas scored in the nation's top 10% of hospitals.