Authors Hank Adams, AIA, and Chuck Armstrong, AIA, from the new Parkland Hospital design team of HDR + Corgan, share the process their team went through to create the facility's master plan in HEALTHCARE DESIGN's four-part online exclusive series. The design team simultaneously executed both the master planning and hospital schematic design processes to achieve a completely integrated design solution. In the fourth and final installment of the series, Adams and Armstrong discuss the concept of "co-location" and how it works on the Parkland project.

Staying connected in the design process While it’s not uncommon for new hospital projects to solicit the advice of medical professionals and their patients, it is a new phenomenon to house these advisors among the facilities and design team. Known as “co-location,” this relatively new concept implemented by the Parkland project team refers to housing the entire project team under one roof.
The more than 300 people charged with building the new Parkland all reside in a “mega-office” on Medical District Drive, directly adjacent to the new campus.

Included on the team are in-house nursing liaisons dedicated entirely to the new hospital program. Their input has allowed the project team to blend and synthesize national healthcare design trends into the most functional environment for both patients and providers.

Clinical staff visit “mock-up” rooms, which are true-to-size, functional models of patient care areas, and propose input on room configuration and equipment. Once the feedback is integrated into the rooms, nursing staff return to practice mock medical codes and procedures to assure the design is functioning at its highest level. This process assists in decision-making and providing the highest level of feedback on repetitive rooms.

In order to assure that the hospital’s vision and principles are realized, a patient and family advisory committee was established. It provides a forum and vehicle for testing new ideas and ways of delivering care, and defining best practices from the eyes of the patient. Engaging patients in a proactive manner to gain their input is a progressive and innovative step in the process that will further enrich and enhance the design, and ultimately shape the patient’s experience.

Inside the new Parkland hospital, a patient-centered approach includes the use of single patient rooms, natural light and windows (views in each room will allow the patient to connect with nature, which is proven to aid healing), as well as more space for family and visitors.

To maximize the uplifting environment in the new hospital, extensive use of “on stage/off stage” design will be integrated into the building plans. Elements of this design include separate corridors and elevators for visitors and staff. This aims to reduce foot traffic and noise in patient care areas, ultimately promoting the healing process in a more peaceful environment. To read the first article in the series, please go here. To read the second part, go here. And for the third, go here. Hank Adams is Vice President and Healthcare Principal with HDR Architecture. Chuck Armstrong is Principal with Corgan Associates. HDR + Corgan is the joint venture design team for the new Parkland Hospital project. For more information about the Parkland Hospital project, please visit .

Photo Credit: © HDR + Corgan