Posted on September 03, 2019
As teams prepare the Avera Specialty Hospital on Louise Avenue for its first visitors next month, they build upon hours of input and countless suggestions from the people who will benefit from these 260,000 square feet of space the most: patients.
“The overall flow, design and feel of the entire facility is based on a wide range of conversations we had with patients and families, as well as our providers and nurses, on how to create a space tailored to the patient and visitor,” said Chad Bare, assistant vice president, Avera on Louise Health Campus.
“A lot of thinking, listening and planning went into what we wanted to have here, and we really feel we’ve succeeded in achieving those objectives and that we’re continuing to offer the leading-edge, quality care people know so well from Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, as well as at our new location.”
The “built for you” nature of the hospital covers every square inch, Bare said. From the easy-to-use, single-level parking lot to the connections between various floors, rooms and service areas, concept focus was priority throughout construction.
Avera Specialty Hospital’s location will make it easily accessible for patients and families coming into Sioux Falls for care. The site was a natural fit, near the Interstate 229 loop, with drivers exiting off of 69th Street to its parking area.
“The location, as well as our parking area, is a good place to start when considering the ease-of-use concept we’ve put into action,” said Sarah Kappel, director of patient care services for Avera Specialty Hospital. “For many people, traversing Sioux Falls traffic, as well as multilevel parking ramps, can be daunting. The layout leads patients to the well-lit, spacious entryways, and they’re just a few steps from the elevator that leads to our pre-op greeting space.”
One newer feature that surgery patients and families may appreciate is a lack of traditional waiting rooms. After checking in, people will instead go to their rooms, where they will be before and after their procedures.
“We feel eliminating a large, impersonal waiting area will be beneficial for families and patients, and for our providers and caregivers,” said Justin Snyder, director of operative services, Avera Specialty Hospital.
“Families won’t come to the patient’s room and then be asked to go elsewhere. They can meet with the team and await the patient’s return all in one place if they wish. That way they don’t have to worry about not knowing their way around.”
Room-by-room, perfect fits
The individual patient rooms also will offer a number of user-friendly features, including wheel-in showers and fold-out couches. Expansive rooms nearby offer space for families to gather or to meet with care teams.
“It goes all the way down to the carpeting. It features measurements and pathways woven into the material, so from the first walk after a procedure, patients will be working toward their goals,” Kappel said. “Every patient’s goal is the same – to go home – and that idea is built into the entire space.”
A rooftop garden, family couches and USB outlets round out the comforts found on each floor and around every corner. Technology, including preloaded tablets with apps patients can use and prayer guides, will be ready in the rooms too.
“We have incorporated as much natural light as possible, with floor-to-ceiling windows in almost all of our rooms, hallways and other gathering places,” Snyder said. “The building does look nice, but the real ‘wow factor’ is in the teams that are proudly bringing it to life. They are excited to share this space and to be a part of the experience along with those people we host over the first days and weeks of operation.”