Replacement facility balances its priorities for patients, physicians and sustainability
Equipped with advanced information systems, centralized nurses stations, and built-in life systems, St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, CO, is designed not only to promote healing but also to reduce the stress that healthcare professionals can experience during patient care.
“The patient units are designed with a multitude of evidence-based design elements that will benefit the patients and staff for the life of the project,” says Sam Burnette, principal and senior designer at Nashville-based Earl Swensson Associates. “The units promote patient privacy without compromising safety, which is a priority of this facility,” he says. The 670,000-square-foot replacement facility has 222 beds.
To focus on its priorities, the project team balanced elegant design with health and safety concerns. Toilet placement, as well as room access considerations, received intelligent solutions. “In essence, we were able to balance the nurses’ need to see patients without compromising the privacy of the patients,” says Burnette.
Abundant natural light and warm interior finishes create a soothing ambiance reminiscent of the nearby spa hotels in surrounding ski resorts. “The public and private amenities on the first floor, such as the fireplace, stone, and warm colors, have a warm, healing appeal unlike the institutional, conventional spaces often found in hospitals,” adds Burnette.
The new hospital isn’t just good for patients – the earth benefits, too. The numerous sustainable elements of the project earned St. Anthony Hospital the 2011 Sustainability Leadership Award from the City of Lakewood. Water-saving fixtures reduced water consumption by 20%, and low-VOC interior finishes enhanced healthy indoor air quality.
“We were excited that all of the design and building features were recognized as having a positive impact for our community,” says Ryan Tobin, Administrator of Operations at St. Anthony Hospital. Tobin adds that the reaction to the new hospital has been extremely positive: “Our physicians have given us great feedback on the efficiency of the layout, and our patients and visitors seem to appreciate all that the new facility offers. In addition, we’ve seen major improvements in our patient satisfaction scores since opening our new campus.”