When you are sick enough to go to an emergency room, there is only one thing on your mind: being seen as quickly as possible by a doctor. And that was front and center in the design solution for the 13,000 square foot renovation of Yale New Haven’s Emergency Department on the St. Raphael Campus.
The new design incorporates universal design elements to provide for increased visibility and clarity of direction. A split-flow model and triage process allows the nursing staff to quickly assess a patient’s condition and then directs the patient to the appropriate exam room. There are rooms reserved for high acuity emergency cases, as well as fast-track flex exam rooms for patients with less serious conditions. Because the triage and registration process can be accomplished simultaneously, patient wait times are reduced dramatically, thus improving the overall patient satisfaction and hospital experience.
The layout of the new emergency department provides flexibility to support variations in clinical operations over time and allows for an immediate assessment upon check-in resulting in significantly reduced waiting times and patient flow congestion.
Empathetic design doesn’t need to be expensive. It just needs to be well thought out.
“I know from first hand experience being the father of two toddlers,” explains James Wisniewski, the Project Architect and Designer. “When you bring someone to the emergency room, you are under stress, you are concerned for your loved one. You want clear and easy to understand signage and way finding and to see a healthcare professional immediately. In designing this space, I deliberately put myself in the role of the patient or parent of a patient. Empathetic design doesn’t need to be expensive. It just needs to be well thought out.”