An element of fun.
A children’s hospital inspired by building blocks.
Big impact for Michigan’s smallest patients.
For patients of all ages, a hospital visit may bring with it negative connotations. As the largest pediatric healthcare provider in southeast Michigan, The Children’s Hospital of Michigan (CHM) is particularly sensitive to the emotional well-being of its young patients.
In our recent partnership with CHM, we worked together to imagine a new kind of hospital—one that would, in turn, create a new experience for patients and families. Welcoming. Soothing. Playful—even fun!—the design challenges outdated hospital stereotypes, responds empathetically to patients’ needs and delivers the highest possible level of care.
To accomplish this goal, the project team implemented an Integrated Facility Design (IFD) process to enhance the patient experience, maximize efficiency and flexibility and eliminate programmatic waste. A full-scale cardboard mockup was created to vet every aspect of the design, from the size of rooms to the number of steps required to perform a task. We invited healthcare providers, hospital staff, patients, families and community members to review the mockup and provide input. Physicians, nurses and support staff also participated in intensive, daylong design sessions dedicated to improving performance and elevating healthcare delivery practices.
The positive impact of this collaborative, community-based approach is evidenced in every facet of the design. Emulating a colorful tumble of children’s building blocks, the glazed-brick exterior extends a playful invitation to arriving patients and families. Inside, the bright, carefully considered interior simplifies wayfinding, minimizes wait time and maximizes every square foot of space. The in-depth process not only resulted in project delivery a month in advance of scheduled completion—it also changed the way CHM performs surgeries and significantly improved the quality of patient care, advancing healthcare delivery in a big way for some of Michigan’s smallest patients.