Emory University Hospital Midtown Intensive Care Unit

Atlanta, Georgia

Academic medical center ICU.

Family representation and provider engagement inform healing.

Emory University Health System incorporates a Family Care representative on the design team of each project to provide valuable input on the patient room design. The new ICU provides a family zone with desk and sleeper sofa in each patient room and a showering facility in the unit’s family waiting room. Considering the action of hand washing part of the patient engagement, the design features sinks positioned to allow care providers to converse with patients and family members while washing their hands in view. Double-sided nurse servers allow supplies to be restocked from the hallway to avoid disturbing sleeping patients. Booms provide full access to a patient’s head, enabling a provider to pull the patient into the center of the room or to angle the bed directly toward decentralized nursing.

Designed with an emphasis on patient-focused care, the layout responds to the medical staff’s request to lessen the impact of educational rounding in this teaching hospital. Intensive user group meetings with clinicians, departmental support teams, and IT vendors resulted in this one-of-a-kind intensive care environment that has the potential to redirect the delivery of care throughout the Emory system.  In an innovative application of the e-ICU concept, advanced technology allows residents to remain in the unit’s central team theatre during rounds. Only those physicians on the core care team engage with patients and family care providers.

Converting three med/surg rooms into two ICU rooms required extensive renovation and repurposing of the existing clinical environment. A vital component of the project and one which required extensive structural and design coordination is the new patient transport bridge that shortens the length and time of travel between the CV surgical suite and the new ICU. Including the bridge in the overall project allowed the design team to consider the existing square footage for renovation/redesign into the ICU.

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