Trend in healthcare trades sterile look for friendlier feel
By Kyle LoJacono
Many area hospitals are changing the traditional, institutional look for one many might mistake for an upscale hotel.
During the last few years both Pasco Regional Medical Center and Florida Hospital Zephyrhills have had portions of the facilities updated with the new style. The Wesley Chapel Medical Center will break ground this summer and will also use the new trend in its blueprints and James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital is doing the same with its renovations.
FLORIDA HOSPITAL ZEPHYRHILLS
Florida Hospital Zephyrhills completed renovations of 96 general medical rooms in January, adding a home-like element to the facility.
“I wouldn’t say it’s like a hotel, but more of a homey look,” said Florida Hospital Zephyrhills president and CEO John Harding. “… When we remodeled the rooms we put in simulated wood floors and a new color scheme. We’ve used more Florida colors — lots of yellows and greens.
The simulated wood prevents the growth of microorganisms.
“We also made its so the rooms are a lot brighter and airy to improve the healing environment,” Harding said. “Also, the safety of our patients is one of the most important things so we wanted to make sure everything felt very clean while making it feel more like a home.”
The renovations were done to the second and third floors and included adding new artwork while things like trashcans were also hidden from patients’ view. The halls and nurses stations were also remolded in a similar fashion.
“I think the hospital was always nice, but now it’s even better to look at from the inside,” Harding said. “But it’s not what I think that matters, it’s what our patients and the staff think and they love it. When the patients have a bright and airy environment they can heal better and faster.”
Harding would not elaborate on how much the improvements cost, but said they tried to balance the fact that the hospital is a nonprofit facility while giving patients attractive rooms.
Florida Hospital Zephyrhills is located at 7050 Gall Blvd. in Zephyrhills.
PASCO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
Pasco Regional joined the trend in November 2007 when all of its birthing, or obstetrics, facilities were remodeled. That includes five labor and delivery and six postpartum suites.
“These rooms feature all the comforts of home, such as beautiful faux hardwood floors, plantation shutters, a glider rocking chair and a comfortable sleep chair for guests,” said Katie Bryant, hospital spokeswoman.
The walls are a mint hue with soft wall lighting. Flat panel televisions provide cable service and telephones are located at each bedside.”
Paintings and other pieces of art are placed in the room to hide some of the medical equipment. Also every mom is given a gift basket for her stay that has baby blankets, baby clothes, a robe and slippers.
The fathers are also part of this process. During the mother’s stay, fathers are provided with three meals a day and a chair that folds out into a bed. The parents also receive a celebratory meal after their baby arrives.
“All of these little details are just part of the broader picture of making both parents comfortable during the delivery process,” Bryant said.
“Pasco Regional has adopted a plan to apply a more home-like environment to all current and future renovations,” Bryant continued. “Based on the increasing number of births each year, an expansion of the unit was planned.”
Bryant also said any future projects will use this concept, such as the hospital’s emergency room expansion that will start in September and the waiting rooms and main lobby renovations are set to start in 2011.
Pasco Regional is located at 13100 Fort King Road in Dade City.
WESLEY CHAPEL MEDICAL CENTER
Construction on the Wesley Chapel Medical Center will begin later this summer and will use evidence-based design from start to finish.
The facility is a joint venture of Adventist Health System and University Community Health (UCH). The Adventists use the Florida Hospital name, which includes Florida Hospital Zephyrhills.
Jan Baskin, Florida Hospital Zephyrhills assistant vice president of marketing, said it will use natural elements to enhance the healing process.
“We will have healing gardens and it will be built to allow as much light as possible to enter the hospital,” Baskin previously said. “… It will be a beautiful facility.”
Once completed, the facility will have 80 beds and offer obstetrics, pediatrics, women’s and men’s services, general surgery, an emergency department with helicopter pad, a comprehensive medical fitness program, orthopedics and sports medicine.
The hospital will be located one half-mile north of SR 56 and the Shops at Wiregrass on the east side of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and will take 18 months to complete. The original plans are for the facility to cost $121 million, but that number could change.
JAMES A. HALEY VETERANS’ HOSPITAL
The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital recently started a three-year expansion project. While much of the work is to expand the hospital’s capacity and renovate the facility, evidence-based design is also part of the plan.
The project, which costs $22 million, will add 56 private rooms that will allow relatives to stay with the patients. All the rooms will be in groups of six so patients and relatives have access to a family living room, a kitchen and a laundry room.
These additions will let families stay closer to those in the hospital.
“Many of the wounded are just waking up from having severe trauma and having loved ones there, they tell me, is like being home,” said Steven Scott, the hospital’s medical director at the polytrauma rehabilitation center. “… The most important part of rehabilitation is having family there.”
The project will be completed in three parts, which will include adding 178,000 square feet to the hospital and renovating the spinal cord injury center and therapy pool.
The hospital is located 13000 at Bruce B. Downs Blvd. near the University of South Florida. It also has an out patient clinic at 6937 Medical View Lane in Zephyrhills.