Although urban populations are on the rise—experts predict that 70% of the world’s population will live in metropolitan areas by 2050—research reveals that a smaller proportion of the population is actually living and working in the heart of their cities, where many healthcare campuses are located. With factors like space and affordability increasing the appeal of city-adjacent living, providers are rolling out a range of facilities in periphery communities, from larger 24/7 care residences to cancer treatment centers to smaller outpatient clinics.
The healing benefits of “going off-campus” and providing decentralized care for neighborhoods that need it range from the practical, such as improved accessibility and shorter wait times, to the intangible—the comfort of being close to home, the sense of community and interpersonal connection among doctors and care teams, patients and their families that localized care affords. But decentralization is not a one-size-fits-all solution. In some communities, simplifying and improving the healthcare experience, in fact, calls for the consolidation of care offerings. These projects exemplify some of the ways in which healthcare providers are adapting their models of care:
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Brooklyn Infusion Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) sought to develop new cancer-care delivery protocols through the innovation of a new style of clinic. The Brooklyn Infusion Center (BIC) is the first prototype to bring infusion into MSKCC patient communities. The project allows the client to explore the impact of a streamlined care model. Patients receive their chemotherapy at a neighborhood site in Brooklyn and the balance of their care in Manhattan. The concept makes patients “chemo-ready” by performing blood work and other screening procedures the day before in MSKCC’s Manhattan facilities. Chemotherapy drug treatment is then provided in the neighborhood facility. The Center delivers leading-edge care in a welcoming environment and balances a sense of community with private space.
- Seattle Children’s
Seattle Children’s Hospital is recalibrating how it delivers care by establishing outpatient clinics in under-served communities across the Puget Sound region. This strategy brings preventative healthcare closer to the patient. The hope is that patients will require acute care less often and maintain healthy lives. Seattle Children’s main campus facility can then focus on acute care services, including emergency room and surgical services.
In 2018, Seattle Children’s relocated from its previous North Sound locations in Everett and Mill Creek into the larger North Clinic space. The outpatient facility has 25 exam rooms and provides access to urgent care. More than 18 pediatric subspecialties are provided by clinicians and staff who live in the community they serve. The building uses a Lean, cross-functional approach. The North Clinic focuses on patient flow to ensure patients and their families are seen quickly and efficiently. The lessons learned from the Seattle Children’s South Clinic, which debuted 50 miles south in 2015, influenced the clinic pod layout and the exam room to clinical support space ratio.
This former Circuit City is now home to the South Clinic. This project is Seattle Children’s first experience to transform a nonmedical building into a clinic. The existing retail center offered plenty of square footage and an open floor plan for its ranges of services such as urgent care, outpatient care, occupational and physical therapy, just to name a few. The clinic is positioned within the area for easy access to other businesses that families and patients frequently visit.
Los Angeles healthcare giant Cedars-Sinai is launching community-based clinics in such neighborhoods as Tarzana to the north and Playa Vista to the west, with the goal of servicing the sprawling city of Los Angeles beyond the organization’s main campus in Beverly Grove, and reducing patient travel time for quality care.
Playa Vista Physician Office & Urgent Care
Cedar-Sinai’s Playa Vista Physician Office & Urgent Care serves as a prototype for Cedars-Sinai as they expand their service offerings and develop new ways of delivering enhanced medical care throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The clinic’s interiors draw inspiration from the upscale hospitality realm to create a calm and inviting space for patients and care teams alike that aligns with the culture and aesthetic of the surrounding “Silicon Beach” neighborhood. The clinic is situated at the heart of a residential zone in an outdoor mall with a CVS, Whole Foods, restaurants, and retail, making doctor visits a seamless addition to to-do lists.
Ventana Tarzana Medical Delivery Network—Oncology and Internal Medicine
Once complete, this new clinic will bring cancer care into the heart of the Tarzana community, helping to make ongoing treatment easier to incorporate into the day to day lives of patients and their families, rather than requiring time-consuming and costly multi-day visits to out-of-town cancer treatment centers. The interior design concept revolves around the creation of a gentle, yet dynamic space that supports the journey of healing, with color, materiality, and lighting intended to evoke a great sense of safety and tranquility.
- The Vancouver Clinic
The recently-opened Vancouver Clinic in Ridgefield, WA is the first of three clinics to be completed as part of The Vancouver Clinic’s expansion efforts in the greater Southwest Washington area. The Vancouver Clinic model offers community-based care to bring services closer to where patients live. The result connects local residents with the doctors they need without having to travel for treatment. The new Ridgefield Clinic includes units for primary care, including pediatrics, and a new urgent care center to serve the growing region.
- Keck Medicine of USC Multispecialty Clinic, Arcadia
The Keck Medicine of USC Multispecialty Clinic is part of the University’s program to expand their healthcare reach into the communities just outside Los Angeles. The three floors consist of radiation oncology, medical oncology outpatient clinics, and an infusion center. The clinic brings specialty healthcare services for cancer patients into the city’s suburbs to provide patients with the same name brand care they know and trust within a reasonable distance from their homes. Abundant daylighting and striking mountain views delivering a healing dose of nature is an added benefit of receiving treatment at this window-wrapped, suburban clinic.
- The Everett Clinic
The Everett Clinic (TEC) is a national physician-owned clinic group providing care to more than 330,000 patients throughout Washington state each year. Our recent work with TEC illustrates how healthcare delivery models have evolved over the last decade towards decentralized care and how healthcare facility design has evolved with it.
Smokey Point Medical Center
The Smokey Point Medical Center is the first prototype multispecialty clinic designed from the ground up in TEC’s nearly 90-year history. The regional hub puts a greater emphasis on preventive care and delivers 90% of patient care services outside of the main campus. TEC dramatically reimagines the workplace to streamline and enhance the patient experience. The medical center minimizes waste and any non-value-added steps to serve more efficiently. Today, the Smokey Point clinic houses over twenty different medical specialties and provides comprehensive care in a single easy-to-access location adjacent to a major interstate highway.
After the successful Lean prototype at Smokey Point, ZGF partnered again with TEC to design a two-story, 44,000 SF clinic—which repurposed an existing grocery store—in Shoreline, Washington. Based on the Smokey Point module, the Shoreline Clinic was designed in just six weeks using a Lean, cross-functional approach. It opened its doors in 2016 with many of the same spatial relationships as the Smokey Point Medical Center and houses 13 different medical specialties. The Everett Clinic’s decision to convert a pre-existing grocery store was influenced by the location for patients and caregivers, existing infrastructure, and sustainability aspects.
- Baptist Housing, The Heights at Mt. View
Located in Saanich, British Columbia, The Heights at Mt. View is part of a regional plan and partnership with the Province of British Columbia, the Vancouver Island Health Authority, the Capital Regional Hospital District and Baptist Housing to increase long-term care (skilled nursing) facilities in the Capital Region. The building provides more care and housing options for the growing senior citizen population in greater British Columbia. The seven-story, 260 suite facility is designed for complex residential care for dementia patients. Inspired by the patients who call this facility home, resident-centered care happens in a non-institutional setting.
- University of Virginia, Ivy Mountain Musculoskeletal Center
The University of Virginia Health System’s Ivy Mountain Musculoskeletal Center in Charlottesville, VA will establish an orthopedic center to service the community beyond its borders. The center will house multiple specialty clinics, an outpatient surgery center, imaging, physical therapy, and physician offices. The facility will create a one-stop-shop where patients can receive their orthopedic and musculoskeletal care. As joint replacement surgeries are on the rise as the baby boomer generation ages, the new center meets a demand in the market for ultra-convenient and comprehensive care. The center’s design prioritizes the patient experience and seeks to optimize healing inside and out. Patients and staff enjoy views of the garden-like site and physical therapy trails.