Project category: New construction (completed March 2004)

Chief administrator: Cathleen Hamel, VP, Chief Nursing Officer, (518) 583-8481

Firm: Hyman Hayes Associates, LLC, (518) 452-3470

Design team: Myles Hyman, Principal, Project Manager; Jon Primeau, Job Captain (Hyman Hayes Associates, LLC); Jeff Manor, Principal (Friedman Fisher Associates, PC); Anthony Dalto, Principal Associate (Ryan-Biggs Associates, PC); Amy Pressman, Principal (Pressman Design Studio)

Photography: © Randall Perry Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 25,900

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $205

Total cost (excluding land): $5,300,000

Saratoga Hospital's new $5.3 million Ambulatory Surgery Center is designed to meet increased demand for outpatient surgical services in an adaptable, efficient, and patient/family-friendly environment.

Adaptability: Rooms were designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate multiple functions without interrupting operations. Pain management rooms can be converted for GI; GI rooms meet requirements for operating rooms; and pre-op, PACU, and step-down rooms all contain gases and monitoring for interchangeability. The floor plan allows for future expansion on two sides and on the second floor.

Efficiency: The building is designed around a counterclockwise patient circulation from check-in through discharge, so that no patient crosses with another patient at a different stage of services. Following check-in, patients enter the pre-op area, where full-height walls separate patient cubicles. Patients then enter a semirestricted corridor that leads either into the OR suite or the procedures corridor, with pain management and GI rooms. Entry to the OR suite and procedure corridor is at one end and exit at the other end, directly to recovery.

Patient/Family friendly: Upscale materials and finishes are used throughout the 25,900-square-foot facility to create a comforting, nonclinical environment. The hotel-lobby-like waiting room is a naturally lit and welcoming space with a variety of seating options. Family members can congregate at the coffee bar, watch TV, quietly read, or use the computer while waiting. Patient areas in pre-op and recovery are amply sized to accommodate family members.

Saratoga's surgery center achieves its goals of making day surgery less stressful for the patient and family, while creating a setting where nurses and doctors can provide the highest level of care.