Privacy and safety were critical design considerations. Our new design balances security requirements with each patient’s need for a healthy, healing environment. We want patients to feel safe but not like they’re in a guarded institution.
PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center is on the University of Oregon campus, with many rooms facing the street. So, our design emphasizes natural light and privacy. Every room has a bathroom with a half wall, so patients can be seen but also have privacy. The room doors have small windows, and curtains on the outside allow staff to check on patients, but patients also have privacy from passersby.
Every aspect of the design was reviewed to ensure nothing could harm patients. Small safety details, like putting window blinds between panes of glass, prevent opportunities for harm.
Unique interior aspects make the spaces feel comfortable: Warm wood-grain flooring, neutral, soothing colors, dimmable lighting, soft furniture, and galleries of patient artwork create a welcoming space. Access to natural daylight and the outdoors support healing; all-day rooms open to a secure outdoor area where patients can safely go outside, and each patient room has a garden in the space between their window and frosted glass panels. Skylights in day rooms flood the spaces with natural light.
For staff safety, flexible barriers permit patient separations as needed and adjust for the flow of new patients. Nurses are centrally located so they can quickly support one another. Public rooms let judges or other members of the public visit while creating privacy for everyone. With no blind corridors, staff and patients can always be seen.
Creating a comprehensive healing environment, the design also includes a warming kitchen to feed patients, a quiet room for patients to be alone and calm, an activity room for art therapy, arts and crafts, and a library.