University of Illinois Hospital Postpartum Rooms and Nurses' Station
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Stereotypical imagery of hospitals usually brings to mind bleak, sterile interiors and cramped rooms with insufficient amenities. However, rapid technological advances, increases in the number of services that are to be provided, and a shift towards increased patient comfort are changing the dynamics of how hospitals appear and operate. At the University of Illinois Hospital (UIH), the 5th floor hosts pediatrics while the 4th floor is reserved for labor and delivery. In order to respond to changing patient needs, UIH expanded their offerings for postpartum care with the addition of a postpartum unit on the 5th floor. The expansion of the postpartum service line onto the pediatric floor provides a unique function independent of its surroundings. The unit will be a self-sufficient postpartum island.
The existing footprint of a pediatric room is smaller than the typical postpartum care rooms. Bailey Edward had to design a unique configuration of the room’s amenities to accommodate the needs of the patient, baby, overnight visitors, and any clinical support staff. Each patient room is planned in three distinct accessible and functional zones: a nursing/service zone, a patient/baby zone and an adjacent family zone. An overnight sleeping area with a convertible sleeping chair allows visitors to comfortably spend time with and support the mother. The renovated bathroom, wardrobe and desk are all configured to maximize space for mother and guest comfort.
To speed delivery of care, nurse-servers – linens, nurse storage, sink and charting computer- are located within the room. The wall-mounted location of the computerized patient charting reduces the charting time, opens up floor space, and allows the nurse the opportunity to maintain eye contact with the patient. Not only does in-room nursing equipment increase the speed of care, it helps foster a connection between the clinical staff and the patient and increases privacy for the patient in a bustling, urban hospital.
After a series of studies and evaluations, the finishes chosen for the rooms were clean and contemporary, mirroring the hospital’s urban location while creating a softer, home-like feel. A hospitality-like color palette with LED lighting was chosen, as well as vinyl flooring that has a natural, woven textile look through it to bring an appealing natural aesthetic to the hospital.
The new postpartum unit will efficiently and independently provide resources to the nursing staff, create important connections between patient and nurse, and provide the comfort to fully support the mother and baby.
University of Illinois at Chicago
Each of the postpartum rooms are designed as a high acuity step-down unit to serve the general hospital population, in addition to its specific labor and delivery purposes. Through the multi-acuity function, UIH is granted flexibility and convertibility based on patient loads and demands. Similarly, if UIH decides to eliminate this postpartum satellite area, there will be no resources lost in the transition from postpartum to general patient service.