March is Women’s History Month and this year’s theme is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.” To close out the month, we asked Ballinger staff members to share advice and their perspectives as women in architecture, engineering and interior design. We’ll be sharing more thoughts from the remarkable women of Ballinger throughout the year.
Ballinger participated in this year’s PDC Summit, an international conference and exhibition on health facility planning, design and construction. Ballinger principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE, and senior project healthcare planners Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC and Debbie Phillips, AIA, ACHA, EDAC presented “Population Health and the Quadruple Aim,” in which they explored how we as the design community contribute to population health. They illustrated the key factors that link design and population health through case studies of Puentes de Salud, Penn Medicine: Lancaster General Health Urgent Care, Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical and Patient Care, and the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health.
A digital poll of the audience, conducted during the presentation, revealed that 69% of respondents view individuals (rather than healthcare providers or policy makers) as having the most impact on population health. The presenters issued a call to action for the design community to employ humanistic design and “the right place” to contribute to population health.
A white paper by Ballinger principal Louis Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE and Senior Healthcare Planner Debbie Phillips, AIA, ACHA, EDAC was published by the American College of Healthcare Architects and appeared in the Summer 2017 ACHA Quarterly Newsletter.
The Ballinger team conducted a post-occupancy evaluation at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital (PMCCH) comparing the recently completed Lasko Tower, designed by Ballinger, to a unit in the neighboring West Building.
Since the move from West Building to Lasko Tower, the hospital has seen significant improvements in HCAHPS and staff satisfaction. The results from this study informed Ballinger’s design for PMCCH’s next bed tower, currently under construction.
As part of Ballinger’s commitment to designing facilities that optimize the healthcare experience for patients, families and staff, our teams conduct post-occupancy evaluations (POE) on completed projects to assess and monitor how the buildings are being used. Ballinger recently published a POE on their design for the Lasko Tower at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital, completed in 2015. The research team, led by Ballinger Principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE and healthcare planners Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC and Debbie Phillips, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, assessed which planning and design interventions were most successful and what effect the unit design had on staff and patients.
Although the primary goal was to gather insights for an additional bed tower (currently under construction), it also offered an opportunity to compare patient satisfaction and operational performance against an existing 20-bed unit, the West Building (built in 1962 and renovated in 1998). Significant differences between the West unit and the Lasko Tower unit include a larger floor area with a racetrack organization of patient beds rather than a single-corridor layout, the inclusion of decentralized care stations between every two patient rooms, and more locations for staff charting.
The analysis assessed patient satisfaction with rooms and amenities, staff operations relative to charting and patient care, and housekeeping operations relative to material selection and ongoing maintenance. Because both of the units studied have private patient rooms, the evaluation enabled direct comparison between fall rates, HCAHPS scores (noise and cleanliness), and rates of hospital acquired infections (HAI). The study included a proximity index charting the travel distances between staff care stations, patient rooms and supplies, and assigned a cost/benefit metric to key design considerations.
The POE results suggest Lasko Tower is an improved patient care environment, and since moving in, the hospital has noted significant improvements in all categories. The insights gained through this study directly informed planning of the 96-room patient bed tower currently under construction.
A Japanese delegation of 35 architects and healthcare administrators traveled to Pennsylvania today to tour the Ballinger-designed Lasko Tower at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital and to visit Ballinger’s office in downtown Philadelphia.
The delegation became familiar with Lasko Tower and Ballinger’s design role when Principal Louis Meilink and Senior Healthcare Planners Christina Grimes and Debbie Phillips presented a Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Lasko Tower at the 2016 PDC Summit in San Diego. The presentation piqued the Japanese delegation’s interest and inspired their trip to Philadelphia around this year’s PDC Summit.
The delegation explored the three floors of Lasko Tower with Louis Meilink and his Ballinger colleague’s Associate Principal Tom Parr and Junko Huang serving as tour guides.
Following the Lasko Tower tour, the delegation arrived at Ballinger’s office in Philadelphia where they gave a compelling presentation on the latest design trends and healthcare facilities in Japan.
Office-wide tours and four thought-provoking healthcare topics were then presented by Ballinger healthcare team members. The topics, conceived by the delegation, explored improving patient safety, increasing staff motivation in the workplace, ensuring flexibility for the future, and the importance of codes and guidelines when designing hospitals. The topics were presented by Ballinger healthcare team members: Erin Cooper, Amy Floresta, Rob Goss, Christina Grimes, Debbie Phillips, and Eric Swanson.
In 2007 the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) developed the Triple Aim framework, an approach to optimizing health system performance. The idea was to simultaneously improve the patient care experience, improve the health of a population, and reduce per capita healthcare costs. Ballinger principal Louis Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE paraphrases the goals of the framework as “delivering the right care for the right price at the right time.”
Given the impact of the Affordable Care Act and current trends in population health, today’s healthcare institutions and planners must also consider a fourth aim: the right place. The Evolving Quadruple Aim builds on the IHI framework to include the importance of place. By considering the location, scale and services provided within a facility, healthcare planners can optimize operations and improve population health.
Ballinger is studying the spectrum of healthcare from homecare and telehealth to academic medical centers. By understanding and balancing the benefits of on-demand access, tertiary and quaternary care, spaces for community use and other factors, Ballinger is studying and advocating for improved population health through the design of health facilities.
Louis Meilink and Senior Healthcare Planner Debbie Phillips, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, were invited to speak at the Fall 2016 Architecture-For-Health Lecture Series at Texas A&M University. The series, “The Global Impact of the Concept of Population Health on the Design of Health Networks and Health Facilities,” invites experienced public health and design professionals, who have programmed and designed healthcare facilities, to present on relevant themes. Louis and Debbie presented “Research-based Design: Fundamental to Architectural Excellence While Advancing Population Health” and answered questions from students, faculty members, design professionals and an international delegation. The presentation coincided with the annual meeting of the Texas A&M Center for Health Systems and Design’s Health Industry Advisory Council (HIAC).
At the PDC Summit 2016 in San Diego, CA, Ballinger’s Principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., along with healthcare planners’ Christina Grimes & Debbie Phillips, and Chester County Hospital’s Director of Medical Services Cathy Weidman presented a Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) of Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital’s new 24-bed Lasko Tower. Although the primary goal was to gather insights for another bed tower in design, it also offered an opportunity to compare patient satisfaction and operational performance against an existing 20 bed unit, the West Building (built in 1962 and renovated in 1998).
The most significant changes between the existing unit and the new unit included a much larger floor area and a racetrack organization of patient beds rather than a single corridor. In addition, the new Lasko Tower’s design includes decentralized care stations between every 2 patient rooms and more locations for staff charting. The analysis reviewed multiple items including:
- Patient satisfaction with the new room and other amenities,
- Staff operations relative to charting and patient care, and
- Housekeeping operations relative to material selection and ongoing maintenance.
Because both units had private patient rooms, there was a more direct comparison between fall rates, HCAHPS scores (noise & cleanliness), and rates of hospital acquired infections (HAI). Since the move, the hospital has seen significant improvements in all categories.
The study assigned a cost/benefit metric to key design considerations including private rooms, decentralized care stations, supply locations, and family amenities. The study also included a Proximity Index charting the travel distances between staff care stations, patient rooms and supplies. Insights gained will directly inform plans for the future 96-room patient bed tower design scheduled to be built in 2018.
Data collection method: 117 staff and 50 patient survey responses, onsite observation and onsite interviews with staff (December 2015).
The Ballinger presentation at the PDC Summit 2016 utilized live polling software to gauge the audience’s perspectives on several healthcare design topics. When asked the question “Which intervention had the Highest Impact for the Least Cost?” the audience made up of architects /engineers and healthcare staff responded: 70% Decentralized Station; 18% Noise Reducing Measures; 9% Décor + Material; 3% Size of the Patient Room.