Sunday, May 27, 2018
Health

Healing vibes embedded in "lean" design of new Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel

WESLEY CHAPEL — Brian Adams stood and peered out the window of a patient room at Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel.

"Every room will have a view of healing gardens," he said, staring down at what now are bare sidewalks but will soon be filled with lush landscaping and flowing fountains.

Adams, the CEO of the 80-bed hospital being built just north of the Shops at Wiregrass on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, recognizes that healing is accomplished by more than a prescription pill or surgeon's scalpel.

It also means attention to little things, such as the strategically placed half wall between elevator and waiting areas in the intensive care unit, "so the family doesn't have to feel they're on display every time the doors open." Or even the fact that a connector road links the hospital directly to the Shops at Wiregrass.

"That way a day for a medical test can also be a positive day out," Adams said.

Expect that theme to be repeated through nearly every part Wesley Chapel's first hospital when it opens in early fall.

Officials want it to be noticed from the first glance of the parking lot, which will have a 150-foot long waterfall that ends at the covered entrance of the curved glass front building.

"This is not a big box parking lot," said Adams, who took the Tampa Bay Times on a hard hat tour last week.

The building is designed to grow from 80 beds to 238, all in the back or on top.

"You will never see any signs that say 'Pardon our dust,' " spokesman Will Darnall said.

The main entrance opens to an atrium that can be observed from all floors of the three-story building. In front, those awaiting outpatient services such as MRIs can sit in a well-lit area that is less than 50 feet from the rooms.

It's part of a process referred to as "lean" thinking, which began with Japanese automakers after World War II. It means eliminating waste and streamlining processes, leaving only those that add value. It has been used throughout hospitals in the Adventist Health System, which is Wesley Chapel's nonprofit, faith-based parent company.

Lean principles also went into creating the 18-bed emergency department that sits on the south end of the building. Four emergency rooms dedicated to children feature a 3-to 4-foot-wide circular LED light in the ceiling. With the push of a button, the room is bathed in a light of a favorite color or decorated with a kid-friendly motif such as horses or butterflies. Games can also be played on the wall.

When the room isn't being used for children, it can function as adult room.

The emergency department lobby also features games for kids, an aquarium and soothing sounds.

"Note the absence of the blaring bank of TVs," Adams pointed out. "Those add to the stress level." However for those who think missing the big game is more stressful than the sound of waves breaking, a television is available on the other end of the room.

The second floor includes four operating rooms, plus a room dedicated to Caesarian sections. The surgical suites are strategically placed close to the pathology lab, so specimens can be checked quickly.

Patient rooms are all private, as federal law now requires for newly built facilities. Each will include a 42-inch television with cable. It also can be used to show videos to teach patients how to use medicines or adopt healthy habits. Rooms also include dialysis hookups.

Interruptions will be kept to a minimum with double-sided cabinets that allow housekeepers to deliver fresh linens from the hallway, without entering the room. Staffers can later access the sheets by opening the other cabinet door inside the room.

Hospital officials also plan to try a system that provides white noise to drown out chatter and beeping from the nurses' station or in the halls.

"People say they can't rest in the hospital," Adams said.

And of course, every room overlooks a view of the healing gardens, including "backstage" areas for staff.

The smallest window can be found in Adams' third floor office.

"I don't want to spend much time in here," the Rockport-wearing executive said. "I like to walk around."

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