Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed March 2005)

Chief administrator: Jim Hobbs, Chief Executive Officer, (541) 382-4321

Firm: Callison Architecture, Inc., (206) 623-4646

Design team: Project Team, Callison Architecture, Inc.

Photography: Callison/Chris Eden

Total building area (sq. ft.): 39,000 (new); 8,000 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $213 (total)

Total construction cost (excluding land): $10,000,000 (total)

St. Charles, a leader in patient-centered care, added 40 beds as part of an effort to expand and update patient floors to better serve its care practices. Callison provided planning, architecture, and interior design services for the project.

At 50,000 square feet, the addition is relatively small, but the results are big news for nurses, physicians, and their patients. Based on an innovative plan designed to improve the work environment for care teams, the unit design addresses five major factors that affect patient care and safety. A variety of strategies combine to provide strong support for care teams and families, while granting more patient control, eliminating environmental stressors, offering positive distractions, and providing access to nature.

The nursing unit of the future centers on enhancing the patient and care-team experience with added amenities for each. Functions not related to direct patient care, such as the staff lounge and elevators, were located away from the core, creating a central care-team work area with satellite nurses' stations. This planning solution cuts down on nurses' travel time without isolating them. Although the current industry standard is to disperse nurses' stations to reduce fatigue, this isolated them from their colleagues, causing increased stress levels. The Callison design improves patient safety, allowing nurses to stay focused on the patients.