Articles Tagged with: Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital

Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital Celebrates Expansion Opening

Tomorrow, March 7, Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital will celebrate the opening of a 250,000 SF expansion and 26,000 SF renovation designed to transform the campus and improve patient care. Chester County residents will have the opportunity to gather at the new Pavilion for a ceremonial ribbon cutting and celebration.

The design of Chester County Hospital’s expansion is inspired by the Mediterranean heritage of the hospital’s original building, designed in the 1920s. Comprising a new main entry, procedural platform, emergency department, parking garage and new bed tower, the expansion will make world-class healthcare accessible to all in Chester County.

Ballinger completed the first phase of the expansion, Lasko Tower, a 100,000 SF, four-story building with patient rooms for telemetry, surgical care, and maternity units, in 2014.  A post-occupancy evaluation of Lasko Tower was then completed and its findings were used to inform the design of the next phases of the expansion.

A new emergency department, with a separate entrance, will significantly expand the hospital’s capabilities to better serve the needs of patients and is designed with the flexibility to become a trauma center. The expansion features private prep-recovery rooms with decentralized care, as well as surgical and interventional rooms co-located for collaboration, flexibility and efficiency of shared resources.

New glass elements and courtyards compliment the white stucco and tile roofs of the existing campus. They enable intuitive wayfinding while providing access to daylight and nature. A ground floor courtyard serves as a verdant extension of the lobby, with seating beneath a canopy of ginkgo trees. Designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, the project includes an expansive green roof atop the procedural platform. Rooftop plantings will improve stormwater management, reduce heat build-up, and provide green views for guests.

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Philadelphia Business Journal Highlights Chester County Hospital Expansion

Senior Reporter John George at the Philadelphia Business Journal recently profiled Chester County Hospital‘s largest expansion in the medical center’s 125-year history, designed by Ballinger and currently in construction.

Excerpted from the Philadelphia Business Journal:

Penn Medicine’s Chester County Hospital is getting ready to debut the first phase of the largest expansion project in the West Chester medical center’s 125-year history.

15065_00_N7_highPatient care at the $300 million, five-story patient tower — which will have 99 private rooms — will begin Jan. 27.

“We’ve been growing rapidly over the past five years and we couldn’t sustain that growth,” said Michael Duncan, the hospital’s president. “We have one wing that is 60 years old. We need more space and bigger operating rooms.”

Admissions at the hospital climbed from 14,890 in 2014 to 16,790 last year. During that same time, emergency department visits increased from 43,240 to 45,161.

With the new addition, Chester County Hospital will grow from 240 licensed beds to 301 licensed beds with all private rooms. The patient tower is expected to add about 50 new jobs at the hospital, which now has 2,482 employees.

The expansion will make the hospital the largest in Chester County, passing Paoli Hospital, which underwent a major expansion in 2009.

Features of the 250,000 square-foot expansion project include:

  • 15 operating room suites, including three high-tech labs for cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology procedures and one hybrid operating room
  • New areas for non-invasive cardiology and pre-procedure testing
  • A rooftop helipad
  • An outpatient pharmacy offering

The project — which boasts an abundance of natural lighting, a courtyard and a green roof — is also creating space for a bistro (serving Starbucks coffee) and enhanced space for the Women’s Auxiliary gift shop in the new Knauer Family Lobby.

A 26,000-square-foot emergency department expansion is scheduled to be completed in the spring.15065_00_N8_high

Chester County Hospital contracted with Philadelphia firm Ballinger for architecture services and hired L.F. Driscoll of Bala Cynwyd as the builder.

Duncan said the hospital’s decision to join the University of Pennsylvania Health System was done in large part to gain better access to the capital markets to fund the project. He said the two organizations also shared similar visions for the hospital’s future growth.

“Penn Medicine was all in with its commitment to Chester County,” said Duncan, noting Chester County Hospital spoke with 17 potential partners before deciding to go with Penn.

Duncan said often when a community hospital aligns with a large health system, the goal is to use the smaller hospitals to gain referrals.

“Penn Medicine’s model is the opposite,” he said. “They are an exporter, bringing their advanced services closer to patients.”

Duncan said the TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement), robotic bypass and bariatric surgery programs that will be part of the new building are examples of that.

Larry Bell, senior project manager for the expansion, said the new patient tower will feature the latest in technology, including 75-inch monitors that will replace whiteboards in patient rooms. He also noted monitors can be found throughout the operating and procedure rooms.

“It will make it easy for a doctor who is consulting with another doctor,” Bell said. “The doctor can be down the hall or up at Penn and they can see what is happening.”

Duncan said some of the technology at West Chester Hospital is being beta-tested in West Chester for use in the $1.5 billion pavilion Penn is building in West Philadelphia.

The last major expansion at the Chester County Hospital occurred in 2014 with the opening of the 93,000-square foot Lasko Tower. That project added 72 rooms for heart patients along with a mother and baby pavilion and an orthopedic/surgical recovery unit.

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Open-Door Planning for Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital’s Expansion

Penn Medicine’s internal newsletter, System News, published an update on the evolution of Chester County Hospital since it became a member of Penn Medicine, highlighting the major expansion project currently under construction.

Ballinger designed the expansion, due to open in 2020, with input from physicians and staff who will inhabit the new space. Ballinger principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE is quoted, “Chester County Hospital adopted an open-door policy for planning… the hospital engaged multiple stakeholders with innovative design techniques throughout the process.” Ballinger led planning workshops with 3D-printed models for rapid prototyping and consensus-building.

Ballinger pioneered the use of role-playing workshops with miniature models and now maintains over 250 pieces of equipment and furniture. Employing this technique allows for rapid exploration of layout variations to achieve the optimal solutions for clinicians and staff.

Link to article

“125 Stories” Celebrates the 125th Anniversary of Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital

In celebration of its 125th anniversary, Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital released “125 Stories of Chester County Hospital,” an anthology of the men and women who contributed to the institution’s enduring legacy. As a partner to the hospital for over 20 years, Ballinger is proud of our role in its growth. We’re pleased to be featured in story number 125, highlighting the 250,000 SF expansion currently underway. It is the largest construction project in the hospital’s history and will propel it into the vanguard of 21st century healthcare.

Preview the book

Post-Occupancy Research Exhibited at European Healthcare Design Congress and SALUS Global Knowledge Exchange

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 they are used. Particularly illuminating was a recent POE conducted on the new Lasko Tower at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital (PMCCH).

The research team, led by Ballinger Principal Louis Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE and Senior Project Healthcare Planner Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC, assessed how effective the inclusion of decentralized caregiver stations are toward improving staff and patient experience in the medical/surgical inpatient environment. By comparing four new floors of the tower, each with a unique layout featuring decentralized caregiver stations, to the hospital’s existing units which previously accommodated the same patient populations and were built with a single caregiver station, they were able to control for patient populations and consistent staff. The result was a study focused solely ¬on the physical environment.

The POE findings were strongly indicative of the benefits of decentralized caregiver stations. Patient and staff overall satisfaction scores increased by 113% in the new Lasko Tower units as compared to the pre-existing hospital units featuring central nursing cores. Sixty-six percent of staff felt that decentralized stations improved their ability to deliver quality patient care, and ninety-one percent of patients said that the stations improved the way they felt cared for in the new building. The decentralized stations resulted in reduced walking distances and increased patient time for staff, as well as improved fall rates and noise levels for patients. These results suggest an improved patient care environment.

The study was displayed at the 2017 European Healthcare Design Congress held at the Royal College of Physicians in London, UK, and published by SALUS Global Knowledge Exchange, a global media, publishing and research organization whose mission is improving human and planetary health.

Link to Poster

 

Post-Occupancy Evaluation Published for Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital’s Lasko Tower

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.

View the post-occupancy evaluation

Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital Kicks Off Expansion with Ceremonial Groundbreaking

Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital held a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday, marking the start of a 250,000 SF expansion project. Ballinger has worked with the hospital since 1996, providing architectural and engineering services to support the hospital’s growth.

The expansion to their West Chester, PA campus was designed by Ballinger, and was inspired by the Mediterranean heritage of the hospital’s original 1920’s building. New glass elements and courtyards will compliment the white stucco and tile roofs of the existing campus. The ambitious project includes modern surgical suites and Cath/EP labs, new emergency rooms, more patient care areas and a spacious front entrance.

“This construction project is the largest ever for the hospital and propels it into the vanguard of 21st century health care,” said Ballinger Principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE.

Ballinger Principal Eric Swanson, AIA and Associate Principal Tom Parr, AIA joined hospital leadership to mark the landmark day in the hospital’s 125-year history. Since opening their doors in 1892 as a ten-bed dispensary, Chester County has expanded into a 243-bed inpatient complex with five satellite locations.

 

See also Ballinger’s Lasko Tower at Penn Medicine Chester County.

Japanese Delegation Tours Lasko Tower at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital and Visits Ballinger Office

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.

Evaluating the Benefits of Decentralized Stations Beyond Patient Visibility

Ballinger recently conducted a post-occupancy evaluation to assess how effective the inclusion of decentralized caregiver stations are toward improving staff and patient experience in the medical/surgical inpatient environment.

The research team focused on the Ballinger-designed Lasko Tower at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital that was completed in 2015 and utilized data and survey results to compare the new floors, each featuring decentralized caregiver stations to existing units which previously accommodated the same patient populations and were built with a single caregiver station and no decentralized stations.  By controlling for patient populations and consistent staff, the study focused on the physical environment. Its results support a strong case for the use of decentralized stations with benefits extending beyond patient visibility.

This research was published by the AIA AAH Academy Journal in an article written by Ballinger principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr. AIA, ACHA, ACHE and senior associate Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED BD+C, EDAC entitled “The decentralized station: More than just patient visibility”.

Link to Article

Ballinger Presents at PDC Summit 2016

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).

Link to Presentation

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.

Link to Video of Polling