The design of Building Hope certainly hasn’t happened in a vacuum. It has involved input from world-class architects, engineers and builders, but the perspectives of the staff members, patients and families who will occupy the new building have also been carefully considered. After all, who better to share their ideas and opinions than the people who use the space?

Seattle Children’s recently held a design event where several of our nurses were invited to provide feedback on how to make the new space the best that it can be. They were shown blueprints, tabletop replicas and a warehouse-sized mock-up of the new building.

One of the people who participated was Nicole Simon, a nurse on the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Unit who has worked at Children’s for four years.

“It was an incredible feeling to be a part of the planning!” said Nicole. “We worked extremely hard with participants from across the hospital to make the design function as well as possible. It will be amazing to see it come to life. I know that we had a major impact on the layout and final design, which will enable us to continually improve nursing care in the future.”

According to Nicole, a great deal of emphasis was placed on functionality and efficiency.

“We need the spaces to work today as well as in the future,” she said. “They need to have the flexibility to change between different units and be used for different purposes. For example, there are team spaces that will serve multiple purposes for different groups; meeting rooms where various educational events will be held for nurses, medical professionals and students; and family spaces that provide quiet areas as well as a space for families to gather.”

In terms of efficiency, Nicole noted several things the team did to improve the experience for patients and their families, and to maximize the time nurses spend with them.

“We created a space inside patient rooms for the nurse to prepare medications, access and update the patient’s chart and to make tubing,” she said. “We placed frequently used supplies inside the room, commonly used items nearby and infrequently used supplies in other areas. Our new workflow should be safe and efficient, and decrease the time a patient has to stay in the hospital.

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Tim McKey

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