Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed September 2006)

Chief administrator: Elaine Thompson, PhD, President, (610) 645-2000

Firm: Array Healthcare Facilities Solutions, (610) 270-0599

Design team: Patricia D. Malick, AAHID, IIDA, Principal, Interior Design; Donna Thompson, Senior Interior Designer; Genevieve Watycha, Interior Designer

Photography: © Tom Crane Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 300

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $323

Total construction cost (excluding land): $97,000

Lankenau Hospital invited the design firm to create a prototype Planetree-inspired patient room. The Planetree, or sycamore tree, is the tree under which Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine, sat when he began teaching his students centuries ago.

From the moment a patient enters the room, warm colors, rich wood textures, and soft lighting evoke a sense of soothing calm. The hospitality theme is further explored through the tiled bathroom, automated room controls, full-height wardrobe with dressing station, and modern entertainment and communication amenities.

Because healing is encouraged equally by medical professionals and family members, the space is designed to promote interaction from both in a manner that enhances the patient's well-being. Upon entering the patient room, staff are immediately presented with a workstation that places everything at their fingertips, including an integrated sink—so important for reducing nosocomial infections—and counter space for equipment and medications as well as space for an unobtrusive nurse charting station.

A bedside chair, fold-flat daybed, laptop desk (with wireless connection), and small refrigerator provide family members with the space to create a home away from home and encourages extended visits with patients. The family space is designed so that visitors need not leave during treatments; a privacy curtain separates the patient when needed.

The room is ultimately focused on the patient's comfort and well-being. The bed is slightly angled to provide views of the window, television, and family area and away from the hallway and clinical space. Overhead lighting, entertainment equipment, and automated window shades can be adjusted directly by the patient. A view toward a full window-length mural also provides a visual escape.