The healthcare landscape is always changing as providers evolve the framework for care and adjust capital plans to maximize shifting reimbursement models, stay current with medical technology and respond to shifting political priorities and societal demands. In recent years, the Affordable Care Act and the cry for improved mental healthcare services have pushed the industry to increase outpatient primary care and mental health capacities. This trend is leading some in the industry to cast away old notions and stigma – and seize the opportunity to make mental health an integral part of primary healthcare.
In a recent design competition, TLCD Architecture explored how the fusion of mental health and primary care could be supported in the built environment. The resulting outpatient campus brings primary care and mental health together in a unified, community-focused design while addressing privacy and security concerns. The concept of total patient wellbeing begins with easy access for patients and incorporates healthy opportunities of exercise, farmers markets, community activities, health education and medical care. Giving people a reason to visit the site on a regular basis for everyday activities serves to promote health and wellbeing.
During the design process TLCD Architecture used our own healthcare experience that includes recent work on acute and outpatient mental health facilities, as well as assembling a team of designers, planners and engineers with diverse backgrounds to bring fresh perspectives to the discussion. We also used the growing body of research that brings these ideas into focus and provides motivation for healthcare providers to integrate primary care and mental health services that result in improved patient care, financial efficiencies and increased marketplace appeal.
As designers, TLCD Architecture believes that it’s our responsibility to bring design and operational innovations and new thinking to our clients so they are well informed as they make decisions that shape the future of healthcare.
For more information visit these resources.
Integrated Behavioral Health Project
Article: More ACOs Look to Behavioral Health
World Health Organization
Report: Integrating mental health into primary care: a global perspective
The exterior of the existing Kaiser Santa Rosa Hospital, built in the early 1990s was showing the signs of age and was in need of replacement. TLCD Architecture and Swinerton Builders worked together to replace the exterior building skin with a new composite metal panel system. The project not only provided a solution to a deteriorated exterior, it also reinterpreted the original architecture into a contemporary building. The meticulous installation of the composite metal panels was an important aspect of the design and worked with the complexity of the existing building geometry to modernize the identity of the building and campus. The use of virtual models, physical models and on site mock-ups made the precise installation possible and turned the design intent into reality.
The project needed to be constructed in phases to allow the hospital to remain fully operational throughout construction. The design and construction team worked together with the facility to develop construction sequencing and installation strategies that evolved throughout construction to minimize disruptions to the facility and keep them operational.
It was an amazing process to be a part of and the successful results speak to the teamwork involved to “Skin the Hospital”! Check out this video put together by Swinerton Builders for more on the project.
The Aurora Behavioral Health Psychiatric Hospital in Santa Rosa has reached another milestone in their efforts to bring the facility to full operating capacity. TLCD Architecture enjoyed working with Aurora Behavioral Health for the renovation of the facility and are gratified to have been a small part of their efforts to bring quality mental healthcare back to Sonoma County. Please read the North Bay Business Journal article for the full story.
The annual Healthcare Design Conference was held in Orlando Florida this year, and is put on by the Healthcare Design Magazine and The Center for Health Design. As an attendee of the four-day conference I came away with inspiration, information and invigoration. In addition to the exceptional facility tours, educational sessions, roundtable discussions and networking events, the keynote speakers stood out as the highlight of the conference.
Debra Levin (President and CEO of the Center for Health Design) provided inspiration in her opening address and reminded everyone that we are all working toward the common goal to improve healthcare delivery. The conference was full of chatter about the Kid President video she showed during her address.
Thomas Goetz (former Executive Editor, Wired Magazine, and Author of The Decision Tree) talked about new ideas and technologies that can mitigate failure and optimize innovation in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare infrastructure. He touched on everything from data visualization to workplace workarounds, and emphasized the opportunity everyone in the healthcare profession has to apply design thinking to their day-to-day routine.
Michael Murphy (Executive Director and Co-Founder of MASS Design Group) was the recipient of the Changemaker Award, and shared his experience working with the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, assisting with architectural solutions to mitigate and reduce the transmission of airborne diseases like tuberculosis.
Jake Poore (President and Chief Experience Officer, Integrated Loyalty Systems and former Disney Executive) closed the conference by sharing practical examples from a 20-year Disney veteran, who is now a “human architect” driven to elevate patient experiences, how patient-driven healthcare design links directly to patient satisfaction and, consequently, the success of the healthcare organization.
Having attended several of these conferences over the years, I find myself using the information and evidence based design resources I learn about in my day to day work on projects and in discussions with clients. TLCD Architecture is a Corporate Affiliate of The Center for Health Design, and I was thrilled to participate in a focus group discussion about next years conference being held in San Diego, CA. The 2014 Healthcare Design Conference will be in an amazing venue and full of relevent evidence-based design information and is well worth attending for professions related and associated with healthcare.
The North Bay Business Journal‘s annual Healthcare Conference was held today and the impact of the Affordable Care Act was discussed by a panel of North Bay healthcare leaders and another panel of insurance brokers.
As one of the attendees from TLCD Architecture‘s healthcare studio, I was left with two distinct impressions about the current healthcare landscape that are surprisingly quite different from national news reports: optimism and honesty.
Optimism: Both panels concurred that the current “pay for service” healthcare model is outdated, broken and unsustainable. The panels also agreed that the Affordable Care Act that transforms our healthcare system to focus on healthy outcomes through quality healthcare instead of quantity healthcare is the right approach.
Honesty: The panelists also agreed that the Affordable Care Act is not perfect nor is it a complete disaster. It is an opportunity to reshape our healthcare system that will take time and evolution to achieve a system that serves our communities to improve our health and happiness.
The coming months will be full of turbulence and growing pains, but only time will tell if the opportunity presented by the Affordable Care Act will be pursued with optimism and honesty.
As healthcare architects, it’s always rewarding to be a part of a team delivering quality healthcare projects and services. It’s particularly gratifying when those services enrich the lives of people in our own community. The opening of Aurora Behavioral Health Care’s Psychiatric Hospital in Santa Rosa marks the return of inpatient mental health services that have been absent from Sonoma County since 2008.
TLCD Architecture’s team worked closely with Aurora Behavioral Health Care on an extensive renovation of this 52,000 square foot facility once owned by St. Joseph Health System. With the addition of 17 new patient beds, the hospital now has a total capacity of 93 inpatient beds and will meet the much-needed demand for services for adolescents, adults and senior citizens in the North Bay.
The project required significant building infrastructure and interior improvements to meet OSHPD and California Department of Health Services standards. The result is a state-of-the art facility that includes semi-private patient rooms, self-contained nurse stations, activity rooms and a variety of outdoor exercise areas. The hospital’s interior has an overall warm color palette and comfortable contemporary furniture with an emphasis on sustainability.
TLCD Architecture was dedicated to this project and I speak for our entire team when I say we are thrilled to see it’s full realization as a place of healing for the community.
TLCD Architecture attended the 2011 ENR California Best Projects awards on December 12th as a member of the Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Hospital Expansion team that won the ENR Best Healthcare Project category. The award is a reflection of the great teamwork between the Owner, Design Team and Contractor who all shared a common goal to make this the best project possible. The Hospital Expansion opened a year ago and also won the North Bay Business Journal’s Top Project award. Congratulations to the whole team!