Design of new Memorial Hospital rooms discussed


When in the midst of a hospital stay, most patients probably believe the layout of the room is inconsequential, perhaps designed so the facility could squeeze in the most rooms in the smallest space.
Memorial Health’s Board of Trustees found out Wednesday night that every door, bed and window will be placed with a purpose during the facility’s planned $50-million expansion. The building project will include a new tower containing 36 in-patient rooms.
Memorial Health CEO Chip Hubbs told board members that the layout of patient rooms have received a lot of internal debate among members of the staff.
“There is no such thing as a perfect patient room,” Hubbs said.
What is known is that all of the rooms in the facility will be identical, whether they are traditional rooms or housing intensive care patients. The only difference among the different wings will be the staffing levels for nurses.
Memorial Hospital is currently comprised of three different layouts for patient rooms.
Hubbs said that the clinical staff was allowed to weigh-in heavily on the design, but the administration is also tasked with making the rooms appealing to patients. In the competitive health care market, patients and families must have a positive experience, he said.
“This is a once-every-50-to-60-year project and we want to get it right,” Hubbs said.
Ashley Boyer, Assistant Vice President for Nursing Services at Memorial, explained some of the steps the organization went through to try to create the perfect room. Such traditional concerns as placement of the bathrooms, placement of the beds, location of the guest seating were scrutinized. Other less considered details such as amount of sunlight and the view through the windows were also discussed.
In the end, Boyer said, a “canted” design was chosen. The layout involves the room essentially being angled to allow more window space, for increased natural light. The beds in the rooms will also be angled toward the window to allow for the patient to have a better view outside, where some will see Marysville’s downtown area and others will see Eljer Park.
The layout also allows an expanded area for family and friend seating. The bathrooms will be located along the interior wall and will allow space for full showers in each room.
Another feature of the rooms is a “perch” on the interior wall which will allow nurses to view the patient while performing charting duties. Boyer noted that the “perches” will allow nurses to remain out on the floor, closer to patients and away from centralized nursing stations.
It was noted that the hospital will begin creating a replica of the future rooms so staff members can become familiar with the layout.
The hospital is currently at 80 percent of its fundraising goal for the project. Hubbs said $3.2 million, of the needed $4 million, has been raised for the project. The remainder of the cost will be financed.
It was noted during the meeting that ground could be broken for the first phase of the program in February or March of 2018.

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