Hendricks Community Hospital is unusual in that it is positioned in a smaller suburban community on the western edge of town and adjacent to a large metropolitan area. This suburban community is undergoing rapid commercial and residential growth in reaction to a major expansion and relocation of the regional-international airport (less than 12 miles away). This introduces an opportunity to provide healthcare services for this new population, as well as the established residents.

This replacement emergency facility was located at the northern end of the current campus as part of a master plan for the future growth of the hospital and surrounding community. The master plan was completed in concert with extensive evaluation and research on local, regional and national statistics pertaining to this healthcare community.

Providing a new ER was a great opportunity to solve a variety of overcrowding problems. The existing heliport site was in the middle of the turnaround area for the ambulances. The public entrance and the ambulance entry were immediately adjacent to each other (with no visual or physical separation), often causing confusion. The location of the existing ER was distant from both surgery and the ICU. The ER was landlocked in its current location


When the decision was made to shift the new ER location to the northern portion of the existing campus, it opened up many possibilities and opportunities. The new location provided for a safe and easily accessible heliport site. It also allowed for immediate adjacency to the ICU and to the future surgery location, and provided for future internal expansion of the ER itself. The footprint of the new ER set the foundation for a second-floor patient wing with a direct connection to the existing patient tower. This new complex is also designed for future vertical and horizontal expansion, ensuring flexibility to meet future needs.

Within the design and configuration of this new emergency department, a variety of innovative solutions followed. Patient flow was a critical issue. Identifying and separating critical and noncritical patients allowed not only for greater volumes but, more importantly, it provided an environment for more immediate patient care. The triage nurse can quickly evaluate patients and move them efficiently to the appropriate area for treatment. The patient's vital and confidential information is transcribed directly into the hospital computer's system in private, at the bedside, thereby minimizing paperwork and maximizing patient-focused care. A satellite radiology facility (within the ER) also adds to the ease and speed of patient flow.

Another unique design opportunity afforded by this expansion project was the ability to incorporate an outdoor garden visible from the ER lobby/waiting area, as well as from the new and existing patient rooms. Families and visitors also have access to a beautiful outdoor plaza and garden. This plaza is adjacent to the new hospital café, allowing all to enjoy a large, convenient outdoor dining area.

Within the large plaza area, multiple zones designate quiet and private areas, while other designated areas are very open and encourage conversation. A layer of informal gardens and landscaping separates the adjacent patient rooms at the plaza level (ensuring patient privacy). A serpentine seating wall winds throughout the plaza, allowing for informal conversations.

The primary public entrance into the emergency department is immediately adjacent to this outdoor design feature. The elevator lobby and connecting public corridors also align this new plaza, providing convenient access and further ensuring safety and security 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are several levels of direct and indirect lighting to enhance the drama of this space during the evening hours.

This relocation of the ER will be the first step in implementing the overall master plan. The project will provide the hospital with a new first impression and a new front door, thus allowing it to serve attractively this rapidly growing community.

PROJECT CATEGORY Project in Progress (Autumn 2003)

CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR Dennis Dawes, President, (317) 745-3502

FIRM BSA Design, (317) 819-7878

DESIGN TEAM Robert W. Snyder, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Sam Reed, PE, Engineering Principal; Ramesh Patel, Structural Engineer; Rick Berger, Civil Engineer (BSA Design); Dave Shuck, PE, Electrical Engineer (ATP Engineering)