Emergency Department

One of the current trends in emergency room design reconfigures the traditional racetrack typology by creating separate circulation paths for visitors, patients, and staff. The separate circulation zones help reduce unnecessary traffic and noise around the patient rooms and the nurse stations, which improves patient privacy and medical staff performance. HOLT applied this linear model at Rome Memorial Hospital with a contemporary design that tripled the size of an outdated Emergency Department, and brought patient-focused emergency care services to the greater Rome area.


The new 11,000 square foot Emergency Department occupies the middle level of a 3-story addition to the main hospital, with Materials Management below and a new Laboratory and Pharmacy above. Separate entrances for walk-in and ambulance traffic create smooth patient flow. The covered public drop-off at the new glass pavilion leads directly to an attractive sky lit waiting room. Fourteen private treatment rooms are arranged around the linear central nursing core. Patients and family enter treatment rooms from their own private glass-walled corridor, shielded from the typical emergency room stress. Staff care within the core is focused on the treatment rooms away from outside distractions. Throughout the design HOLT used natural light, indirect lighting, warm natural woods, and a soft color palette to create a relaxing atmosphere that calms patients and families exposed to high stress.


Laboratory & Pharmacy

The top floor of a new 3-story addition to Rome Hospital was identified in the HOLT Master Facilities Plan as the ideal location for a new main Laboratory and Pharmacy to replace outdated existing facilities. Located directly above the new Emergency Department, this location permits the direct vertical transport of medications and specimens. The two suites are placed adjacent to each other along a public corridor opposite shared staff locker rooms on the 9,800 square foot wing. This solution permits convenient drop-off by couriers and hospital staff without disturbing laboratory or pharmacy operations. The suite entrances and reception areas are visually highlighted with bursts of warm color and the introduction of soft curving ceiling forms and fluid floor designs.


The new Laboratory places Accession and Blood Bank between the public corridor and the central open lab, using drop-off windows for controlled specimen flow. The Core Lab features indirect lighting with ample windows and has fixed perimeter casework with flexible central casework to permit easy reconfiguration. Histology is located within the lab suite but placed nearer the pathologists who use it frequently. It has its own separate public entrance to minimize through-lab traffic.


At the Pharmacy the design of the sterile prep areas, including ante room, chemo prep and buffer, focuses both on the staff's progression through the spaces from clean to sterile, and the handling and transportation of medications and equipment through distinct zones. Pass-through cabinets between the general pharmacy area and the ante room are designed to allow staff to restock IV prep equipment without entering the clean zones. Windows between the different rooms within the sterile prep suite allow for visual contact, as does the hands-free, two-way intercom system. Design features that address staff comfort and performance include padded slip-resistant flooring for standing staff and light fixtures calibrated to minimize fatigue and staff errors due to lighting. Both the Laboratory and Pharmacy suites contain internal break rooms so that staff does not need to leave these controlled environments.


For more information about this project contact Graham L. Gillespie, AIA:


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