2 hospitals embrace coordinated care through design

Coordinated care refers to the ability for physicians in different specialties to come together and share skills and accountability for a given patient's care. Treatment models such as the accountable care organization and patient-centered medical home are operational examples of the trend of coordinated care come to life through a team of clinicians, though more hospitals are starting to see the value in combining disparate care settings in one package.

In fact, two hospitals in New York and New Jersey have taken the concepts of coordinated care and translated those into new physical spaces in their facilities that make it easier for physicians to provide prompt and accurate care. While one focused on health literacy and the other preferred to add new technologies to their hospitals, both represent a significant conceptual step in transforming the physical space of hospitals into embodiments of modern medicine.

1. The $8 million operating room
At first glance, constructing a single room in a hospital for $8 million seems like a gross over-expenditure of funds that could better be spent elsewhere, especially in an industry already facing out-of-control costs. However, CNY Central reported that Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York added not just one, but two state-of-the-art operating rooms each with similar price tags.

So what makes these operating rooms so expensive? Thanks to the inclusion of both surgical and radiological equipment, physicians can give patients X-rays and perform surgery without wasting time shuttling all over the facility. According to Adham Kamel, M.D., a surgeon at Crouse Hospital, the new rooms will make it much easier to diagnose and treat stroke victims.

"When the patient has a stroke, they may not know the signs and symptoms of a stroke and that delays the management," Kamel told CNY Central. "This window of opportunity needs expertise and a facility to properly diagnose a stroke."

2. Engaging patients through design
Within the realm of patient engagement, the hospital has always been a nebulous area for patient education and engagement. Some patients simply do not feel comfortable in these facilities, and physicians are often too busy to sit down with their patients and talk them through their conditions for hours on end.

However, officials at New Jersey's Morristown Medical Center have taken cues from both the physician's and the patient's world to create HealtheConnect, a cafe-style lounge room where patients can get help setting up health management apps on their smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices, PFSK.com reported. HealtheConnect took design cues from Apple's Genius bars to create a welcoming atmosphere for even the most anxious patients.

"HealtheConnect reaffirms Atlantic Health System's mission to empower our communities to be the healthiest in the nation using all of the tools available to us, including mobile devices that our patients can use every day," David Shulkin, M.D., president of the Morristown Medical Center said in a statement. As the health care field continues to adopt technologies to promote health and well-being, we are happy to provide this resource to help community members further integrate new applications and technologies to improve their own health management."

Now that officials have built a space that patients can use to become more engaged in their conditions, all that remains is to see if they will come.

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