PRIME - Creating Spaces Based on Shared Vision

July 11, 2018

At Evangelical Community Hospital, true vision comes from many sets of eyes and different perspectives to create the clearest possible picture. With that in mind, a special week was held for Evangelical’s most vested audience, its providers and staff, to aid in shaping the future of new patient care rooms.

In June, staff members, providers, patient advocates, board members, and leaders were invited to take tours of a mocked-up patient room and bathroom as proposed for the Patient Room Improvement Modernization and Enhancement (PRIME) project that is slated to begin construction in the coming months.

“For us, the best insights into care come from the ground-up,” said Kendra Aucker, President and CEO of Evangelical. “The care providers and staff, the ones who work in our patient rooms, know what works and what doesn’t. This week of touring mocked-to-scale patient rooms, allowed them to really be a collaborative part of the design process. The end result will be rooms that nurture a safe environment for both patients and staff.”

The mocked-up rooms, one acute care and one critical care, included not only furniture but also locations of essential room items such as medical equipment hook-ups, outlets, sinks, trash receptacles, patient documentation devices, IV stands, and more. The room was intended to allow individuals to have a “real-feel” of how the room would function.

During the tours, attendees were encouraged to move things to heights and locations that would be most convenient for the role they play in the space as well as to discuss with the designers why they felt the proposed layout could be improved by their suggested changes. They were also armed with sticky notes and markers, to write their feedback and stick it to their areas of concern for the designers to consider later during design discussions. Very hands-on, attendees were invited to sit in furniture, pretend they were doing their tasks, and open doors or move furniture in the room to see how it would be to actually work in the space.

For Taras Butrej, RN, the opportunity to have input before the expansion is built means a great deal. “In every environment I’ve worked, you always hear employees talking about how things could be done better, or asking why something is the way it is. When an opportunity to give input at the beginning of a process is offered, you don’t turn it down!”

To bring the vision into sight, virtual reality was used so participants could literally put themselves in a finished room to get a feel of how the new finishes and spaces will be when completed. Individuals could put on the virtual reality goggles and walk through the rooms, giving them more realistic spacial perspective as well as what a guest would feel like being inside of the room. 

Environmental Services team member, Nicole Alexander found the experience to be eye-opening: “I like that the surfaces will be easy to clean and durable and using the virtual reality really pulled it all together for me. I’m very excited to see the end product.”

The discussions that resulted from the tours highlighted not only what the patient would need from the room including clear sight lines and access to their belongings, but also considerations such as patient and staff safety, mobility and clearance provided in the room, operational conveniences for easier cleaning and care, and infection control. 

For Dwaine Reeder, Director of Environmental Services, the tours were exceptionally important to his staff members. “To have our team be part of the tour and to have some say in the PRIME project really brings ownership to our team. The feedback they gave for room functionality will improve our efficiency while cleaning patient rooms.”

Kendrah Beiler, MHSc, RRT, RCP, Cardiopulmonary Services Supervisor, took the tour keenly aware of what she would need as far as equipment plug-ins to do her job properly. “As clinicians, we value that we have a great deal of input in the areas where we will be providing care. The fact that we as employees have this opportunity is like no other we have had before. The ability to make suggestions made me feel as though my opinions were important.”

Furniture samples like bedside recliners, nightstands, over-the-bed tables, sofas for the family space, and more were able to be sat in, moved around, opened and closed, all in the hopes of getting feedback on what may be the best choice. Countertop, floor, and fabric samples could be handled and touched, to see how they might be cleaned or feel to patients.

Over the course of the week, approximately 150 individuals walked through the room and provided their feedback to the representatives of CallisonRTKL, the Hospital’s design firm for the PRIME project. Callison will be compiling the feedback, looking at their current design, and reviewing possible revisions with leadership based on what they learned through the tours. From there a final interior design will be made.


PHOTOS 1 and 2: Jennifer Miller, RN, MSN, NE-BC, Manager of Nursing Services, explores the new spaces of PRIME using virtual reality. With the VR goggles on, she is able to get a real feel view of the surfaces, spaces, and fixtures as they will appear when construction is complete. While she explores, other staff can see what she is looking at on a monitor behind her.

PHOTO 3: Gabryela Feldman, with CallisonRTKL, the architectural firm for the PRIME project at Evangelical, guides Evangelical Hospitalists through the mocked-up rooms to talk about patient care from the physician perspective.

PHOTO 4: The Environmental Services (EVS) team of Evangelical evaluate with a CallisonRTKL representative how efficiently they can clean and turn-over a room for the next patient based on seeing where things will be located in a mocked-up patient room. From left to right, Dwaine Reeder, Director of Environmental and Linen Services, and EVS team members Alyssa Thomas, Jody DeLong, Carrie Treibley, and Arlene Erb.

PHOTO 5: Bonnie Bower Snyder, RN, member of the IV Team at Evangelical, talks over medical hook-ups and the necessary locations for outlets and other items to place equipment so it is comfortable for the patient and accessible for staff. These discussions are essential in the pre-planning stage to think through patient and staff safety factors as well as efficiency of care.

PHOTO 6: Dwaine Reeder, Director of Environmental and Linen Services at Evangelical, operates a mocked-up linen drop to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the size, styling, and function. In addition to ease of retrieving used linens, discussion focused on staff safety and infection control and prevention.

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