Seattle Children’s held a design event in November to provide valuable input into design of the new Emergency Department (ED).

For this event, a full-scale mock-up of the proposed ED was set up on the construction site in the actual space that will become the ED. Then, representatives including ED physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, techs, parents, social workers, Child Life specialists, pharmacists and staff from Security Services, Patient and Family Relations, Environmental Service, Information Services, Facilities and hospital leadership, came together to “test” four different exam room designs as well as the overall flow and layout. The team provided feedback on things that worked well, and elements that needed revising.

First, the group simulated caring for patients in the four different exam room setups and chose their top two, based on predetermined criteria. Then, they simulated a “day-in-the-life” in the ED using different scenarios, testing the overall flow of the space.

According to Mandy Hansen, one of Children’s Continuous Performance Improvement (CPI) consultants who facilitated the design event, the group felt it gave them a good understanding of the size, proportion and layout of the space. “The team expressed great appreciation for the opportunity to experience what it will be like to work in the real ED space,” she noted.

ED design work actually began in September; this design event is the fourth in a series of events that will continue through the new year to ensure that Children’s new ED meets the needs of staff, patients and their families. Each event helps move the design forward and identify elements that will be further refined in future design work.

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