The patient-centered approach was a part of the culture at Fauquier Hospital, a designated Planetree facility since 2007. Planetree is a model of personalized care that is all-encompassing, from the design of the physical environment to the welcoming of family members as part of the healthcare solution. Millions of dollars had been invested in the hospital; now the oncology center and its caregivers needed to reflect the same approach.
"We started to look for free-standing space for the center, but because of our Planetree status, the structure had to be patient-focused," says Bengston. That meant when they looked at existing structures the organization needed to factor in how much would need to be altered to accommodate the needs of patients.
For instance, some studies show that natural light (as compared to fluorescentlight) promotes a sense of well-being for oncology patients. But not all the structures and spaces under consideration had enough windows to provide sufficient natural light.
So the hospital decided to build Dr. Ali's office alongside a new oncology center using existing space available at the front of the hospital. The location would fit several needs: it would meet the environmental design structure Fauquier Hospital wanted and it would provide links between the patient and the hospital and Dr. Ali and the center.
Ali, who sees patients in his office and also in the hospital, appreciates the synergy.