Riverview Hospital Association
For many patients a visit to the hospital can be a frightening and disorienting experience. The 162,000 square foot Patient Tower Addition at Riverview Hospital is designed to allay those fears and create a welcoming, home-like environment. Using Planetree design principles, the addition includes 48 private rooms for medical, surgical, and pediatric inpatients; an on-site occupational therapy suite; and an infusion area where outpatient blood transfusions, antibiotics, and other short-term treatments are administered. The design concept closely follows the principles of Planetree patient-focused healthcare and embodies the idea that the physical design of healthcare environments can positively affect patients and staff. Key features for this project include single-patient rooms, easily accessible workstations, and improved layout. Keeping patient needs at the forefront, Somerville created an efficient, functional space while maintaining a comfortable, user-friendly environment.
The project’s centerpiece is the addition of 48 spacious private inpatient rooms, each approximately 60 square feet larger than the double occupancy rooms in the hospital’s former inpatient department. Research shows patients are more satisfied with their care when given adequate space to interact with their families, and the new patient rooms’ pullout couches and extra living space can better accommodate extended stays by relatives. Additional in-room features include increased lighting, larger windows with light-filtering and blocking window shades, zero entry showers, individual temperature controls, and locked pass-throughs enabling staff to change linens or deliver medication without entering the room and disturbing the patient. Nurse stations are located outside every other room so patients may be observed, if necessary, without physical presence in the room; this network of decentralized nursing stations further improves care and efficiency. Patient toilet rooms are equipped with oversize doors and the distance from bed to toilet is minimized to reduce the risk of falls and injury. The tower’s ground floor includes a 90-space parking garage, offering convenient access for families and visitors.
Residential touches included in the furnishings, finishes, and common areas further increase patient and visitor comfort. Three landscaped courtyards, one large area for patients and visitors and two smaller areas reserved for staff, give facility users an easily accessible, relaxing outdoor space. Water features provide a tranquil experience. Quiet, family-friendly lounges with comfortable furniture, soothing color schemes, large windows, and gas fireplaces create a less institutional, more home-like setting. Natural hardwood, tile and stone are used throughout. The abundant natural light, views to the outside, and comfortable, residential-style architecture combine to create a friendly, welcoming environment.
To reduce patient and visitor confusion and frustration, special attention was given to architectural wayfinding throughout the new addition. Useful and intuitive signage, color transitions, and easily navigable corridors were employed in the design to improve navigation and flow. Helping patients and visitors effortlessly find their way through hospitals can improve their overall care experience and increase satisfaction by reducing feelings of stress, anxiety, and helplessness for them and their families.
Faced with an aging population, the community anticipates increased demand for medical services. To accommodate these growing needs, the facility needed a flexible design. Should additional inpatient space be required, for example, the infusion space and several other rooms can be converted to bring the total number of private rooms to 57.
The Tower at Riverview Hospital emphasizes state-of-the-art patient care and comfort by creating a welcoming environment for medical care recipients, their visitors, and staff.
- Planetree design principles
- 48 large private inpatient rooms
- On-site occupational therapy suite
- Infusion area for outpatient blood transfusions, antibiotics, and other short-term treatments
- In-room features: increased lighting, larger windows with light filtering and blocking window shades, zero edge showers, individual temperature controls, and locked pass-throughs enabling staff to change linens or deliver medication without entering the room and disturbing the patient
- Nurse stations located outside each pair of rooms so patients may be observed, without physical presence in the room
- Patient toilet rooms are equipped with oversize doors and the distance from bed to toilet is minimized to reduce the risk of falls
- 90-space parking garage
- Three landscaped, elevated courtyards
- Water features provide a tranquil experience
- Quiet, family-friendly lounges with comfortable furniture, soothing color schemes, large windows, and gas fireplaces create a less institutional, more home-like setting
- Natural hardwood, tile and stone materials throughout
- Abundant natural light