The Future of Healthcare

Scott Shannon

October 21, 2014

When St. Helena Hospital was established more than 100 years ago, it was on the cutting edge patient care. Now, it is again.

Established in 1878 as the Rural Health Retreat, St. Helena Hospital is the oldest Seventh-day Adventist hospital in the United States. Dreyfuss + Blackford is completing a multi-year renovation and refresh of all the inpatient bed units at St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley.

Project Transform’s goal was to rejuvenate patient rooms completely by introducing Smart Patient Rooms. No small feat in a 1940’s vintage building with the added constraint of minimizing the number of beds out-of-service during renovation. Additionally, base utility system and ADA compliance upgrades were code mandated throughout.

We approached this project by first defining the core framework of the physical room that would remain, then used a design ‘layering’ or ‘collage’ strategy for new materials and technology. This was greatly enhanced by using BIM (Building Information Modeling) platform, standard for all our work. Because this was a complex renovation of an occupied acute-care space, BIM greatly aided in system clash detection and visualization of multiple design solutions.

An example of the ‘collage’ design strategy was the use of a ‘headwall’ surface treatment at patient beds, as opposed to a cost-prohibitive new equipment headwall unit. Innovative use of thin, aluminum frame components with changeable infill panels allowed multiple project scope items to be addressed: new nature-based graphics and signage; bed wall protection and centering; and organization of new technology ports including IT, Med Gases and Lighting. This was completed in a wall-applied profile of no more than one inch thick. 

In short, it’s about respecting the original work, while at the same time, acknowledging the need for flexible modernization.

Dreyfuss + Blackford brought our in-house resources to bear for this project: Full-phase Architecture, Interiors and Planning services, including specialized Strategic Service-Line Programing, Medical Equipment Technology Planning and full Furniture Design and Procurement services.

On the topic of Programming, we understood that one of the overarching goals of Project Transform was to better align bed capacity with St. Helena Hospital’s local growth service lines. This led to the recommendation of ‘re-stacking’ units, allowing growth in the number of Orthopedic and Heart/Vascular beds which aligned with future community needs in Napa Valley. Yet another example of efficient renovation using what you have to refresh and renew.

While all these important renovation/refresh elements were being implemented, necessary technology upgrades were always in the mix – both those needed now and those to be added in the future.

As a system, Adventist Health is developing a strategic relationship with Cerner Corporation. Working with the Adventist Health/Cerner team, Dreyfuss + Blackford developed a phased plan to implement ‘SmartRoom’ technology into the overall project scope.

The following goals are planned for implementation with this new SmartRoom technology:

  • Tracking and alignment of people and assets
  • Integrating technology at the point-of-care
  • Enhancing the care-giver access experience
  • Transforming the hospital experience for patients and families
  • Setting new standards for patient safety

This technology includes real-time temperature and humidity monitoring for units, individual patient rooms and critical support facilities. The goal through SmartRoom IT systems is to provide dietary room service menu selection, entertainment and treatment education with internet links and many other interactive services. For patient safety, these technology upgrades will allow a new standard for medication management, including a closed-loop dispensing and tracking system.

St. Helena Hospital, Project Transform, 2011

Project Transform at St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley is many things designed to help many people. Meeting the hospital’s goal of being the healthcare destination of choice for all who seek to Live Younger Longer, makes Dreyfuss + Blackford proud to have helped make a difference at this strong Adventist Health institution.

To see more images of Project Transform at St. Helena Hospital, click here.

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