Campaign Spotlight: New Facility Designed for Patients, by Doctors

Marianne Aiello , July 15, 2009

Click to view larger version.When the brand new West Chester (OH) Medical Center opened, locals streamed in to view the much-anticipated patient-centered building. They entered the glass-domed rotunda from the covered drop-off area, wandered along the arc of diagnostic and treatment areas, and strolled through bright lounges and open spaces. Planners designed the 385,000-square-foot medical center's so that it was visually engaging, patient- and technology-focused, and easy to navigate.

The hospital's owner, Health Alliance of Cincinnati, brought in some of its network's most innovative clinicians to work with designers and develop a new and efficient healthcare environment for the 162-bed, five-story facility.

"By working with the future doctors and staff of West Chester Medical Center, we found that their overarching vision was for the new hospital to focus on patients and families," said Michael Hoffmeyer, AIA, ACHA, project manager. "Our design strives to fulfill this vision in two ways. First, the design focuses on a holistic, integrated view of care rather than a model that moves patients between departments. Second, initial patient ‘touch points' are clustered around the central rotunda to ease wayfinding and make the hospital seem more intimate and friendly."

The public face of the building is a sheer glass wall and offers views both inside and outside that help visitors stay oriented.

"Off the rotunda, related medical services are clustered together, with diagnostic and treatment areas in a radial arc, imaging located next to the emergency department, and outpatient services easily accessible on the ground floor," according to a press release from RTLK, the building design firm. "The entire hospital emphasizes clear and concise visual organization of space that helps users easily find their destinations."

Marianne Aiello is an editor with HealthLeaders Media. She may be reached at

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