The Marcus Heart & Vascular Center at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital

HKS Architects

HKS Architects

During the past year, CAMA Inc., HKS Architects, and 30 other professional consulting firms have collaborated with Piedmont Atlanta Hospital to redefine the patient and family experience for a new surgical bed-tower.  Construction for the Marcus Heart and Vascular Center is scheduled to begin in 2017.  The first phase of this expansion will include 10 new operating rooms, 8 cardiac catheterization labs, 4 cardiac electrophysiology labs, 84 critical care beds, and 48 acute care beds.  

As the experience design consultancy for the project, CAMA facilitated a series of visioning workshops with Piedmont staff and patient advisors.  Through a variety of interactive activities, workshop participants considered the broad collection of experiences across the continuum of care that can influence the overall impression that patients and their families have within the hospital campus, from arriving on campus, entering through multiple front doors, seeking out information, navigating the building and overall health campus, preparing for surgery, occupying time in between, recovering in the patient room, the discharge process, and finally being able to return home.  In a video interview, Dr. Patrick Battey, who is Piedmont Atlanta Hospital’s CEO, describes the success that comes from utilizing a multidisciplinary team and the benefits of seeking input from multiple stakeholders in order to best redefine the experience of going to hospital for patients and their families.  He explains, 

“Many people have participated in the planning and design of the building at the center of our expansion project.  Local neighborhood residents, patients, families, staff and physicians have been engaged in well-conceived design workshops.  Involving a wide range of community stakeholders has ensured our plan will add value to the patient and family experience from scheduling, to arrival, to registration, to intervention, to recovery, through discharge.  All will elevate the health and wellness of our community to keep our patients at the center of our efforts.”  

CAMA captured the creative design ideas generated from visioning sessions in a report, which has been updated and refined throughout the planning and design phases.  The report included an exploration and enumeration of the driving forces behind the patient experience movement, highlighted industry best practices, and analyzed existing conditions at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital.  The report also included several tools to aid the design team as they shaped the new Marcus Heart Tower, including a set of experiential room data sheets and maps.  The data sheets provided design recommendations and checklists that can be used at key locations, while the maps helped the client visually understand the relative scale and proximity of these key spaces that, when taken together, most contribute to the overall care experience.  Currently, CAMA is working with Piedmont Atlanta Hospital’s marketing team to generate the first in a series of three electronic surveys exploring how specific design features within the built environment influence experience. The surveys will be distributed to Piedmont’s large network of patient and family advisors.  

This body of work will culminate in the creation of a Patient Field Guide.  The intention of the Field Guide is to introduce the Marcus Heart and Vascular Center to patients and their families, highlighting the Center’s many thoughtfully designed and desirable design features while also situating the building contextually within Piedmont Atlanta Hospital’s health campus and the surrounding community.