Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar     Subscribe     Contact Us    


Op-Ed: Deliberate Design Structures Contribute To Coordination, Patient Experience In Health Care


 

How much of a difference does a building make? In the world of health care, a lot.

Hospitals and physician practices today are rethinking the way their facilities are designed. The goal is to improve coordination among clinicians while enhancing patients' experiences. It's a shift that reflects broader trends in health care, as the industry evolves to embrace a more coordinated, team-based approach to care with a focus on patients, efficiency and satisfaction.

Nowhere are these changes more apparent - and needed - than in cancer care. Each year 1.5 million people are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S., making it the second leading cause of death in the country. As the baby boomer generation ages, the incidence of cancer is expected to increase dramatically. Patients expect the highest quality of care. Our research shows that a significant portion of our cancer patients have reported that the consolidation of care to one location is most important in their treatment.

There have been many improvements in cancer treatment and technology in the past two decades. But still there is work that needs to be done to improve care process and patient satisfaction - better systems and structures enhance clinical decision making, which translates into favorable outcomes and enhanced patient experience.

In the past, a cancer patient would see multiple doctors at different locations, resulting in a fragmented treatment process. These specialists worked together by phone and fax, but they could be across town from each other - making it hard for them to meet in person, and inconvenient for patients who had to travel back and forth.

That's an issue that Saint Thomas Cancer Care intends to resolve with an initial focus on the Midtown facility, which is under construction. When it opens, this center will bring many cancer specialists under one roof at 2004 Hayes Street, making it easier for multidisciplinary teams to collaborate and allowing patients to receive the vast majority of their care in one place.

Physicians and staff who will work in this new center were part of the design process. They provided insight on patient care and made recommendations on changes. For example, breast cancer specialists suggested grouping the breast imaging and clinical teams together, to speed care times and enhance patient access to services, from diagnostic testing to surgery, radiation and chemo, if needed, in the same place. They also recommended redesigning patient rooms (to make it easier for physicians to involve patients and their families in the decision-making process) and adding a conference room with video equipment (to facilitate collaboration between care specialists across the Saint Thomas Health system).

This building also will benefit patients by providing well-lit, comfortable spaces, including a garden area, all focused on relaxation and healing, to reduce anxiety and enhance their experience. It's well-documented that physical surroundings are important in health care settings. Our deliberate design not only allows convenience of care in one place - our specialists are able to serve and heal in an updated, seamless environment.

These innovative design changes are focused on the details that contribute to an improved patient journey. Ultimately, approaching the design process in the same way that hospitals and physician practices approach care - as a team, with the patient at the center - can contribute to better care and a better experience for cancer patients, and many others.



John Goodman

Don King

John Goodman is V.P. Oncology Service Line at Saint Thomas Health, and Don King is President & CEO at Saint Thomas Midtown & West.






 
Share:

Related Articles:


Recent Articles

Maintaining a Medical Presence in Rural Tennessee

On March 1, another rural Tennessee hospital closed its doors for good, leaving yet another town without easy access to emergency care and inpatient services.

Read More

When Every Minute Matters

Nashville hospitals are setting higher standards for trauma outcomes.

Read More

Physician Spotlight: State of Health

TDH Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, is making prevention, rural healthcare a priority.

Read More

Sen. Alexander Recognized by AMA for Outstanding Service

Last month, the AMA recognized U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander for his work to improve healthcare across the country.

Read More

Small Towns, Big Fight for Continued Access to Care

Cuts and reimbursement changes have led to increased hospital closures in rural America, but the National Rural Health Association is working diligently to educate lawmakers on the vital role these facilities play in keeping a community healthy and vibrant.

Read More

Being Responsive to First Responders

First responders witness human tragedy on a routine basis. A train-the-trainer program led by Acadia CMO Dr. Michael Genovese looks to alert colleagues and supervisors to red flags of PTSI and create supports to foster resiliency.

Read More

Violence in U.S. Emergency Departments on the Rise

By their very nature, emergency departments are high-stakes settings filled with vulnerable patients and frightened families. Increasingly, they are also high-risk settings for healthcare providers.

Read More

NMGMA: 10 Minute Takeaway

Hackers continue to target healthcare providers because of the rich patient data that is part of a practice's files. Staying one step ahead is tough, but there are proactive steps to take.

Read More

Education through Innovation

From virtual classrooms to high-tech sim labs, VUSN offers state-of-the-art training for tomorrow's nurse practitioners.

Read More

Health Care Council Hosts Eyles, Kahn for Policy Discussion

The Nashville Health Care Council hosted a lively discussion on healthcare policy with leaders of two of the most influential healthcare advocacy groups in D.C.

Read More

Email Print
 
 

 

 


Tags:
Saint Thomas Construction
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: