Located in New York, Mount Sinai Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) is undergoing a transformation. A multi-phase restoration and expansion project has begun with a 7,500-square-foot rapid medical evaluation (RME) unit that heavily features biophilic and evidence-based design principles in its design.
The unit will serve as an entry point into the ED, allowing doctors and nurses to identify patient acuity levels and treat low-acuity patients within the unit. This, in addition to providing more isolation rooms and consolidating departments to add inpatient beds, gives personnel more space and more focus to give to sicker patients, driving down wait times. In addition, the unit will feature two private/safe exam rooms for patients with mental or behavioral health concerns, victims of assault or other sensitive issues with natural accents scattered throughout.
Enlivening Spaces With the Power of Nature
Biophilic accents are one of the main hallmarks of the design as images of nature and natural wood finishes accompany a soothing color palette: a beneficial distraction to workers, visitors and patients alike. Though, special consideration went into the design of the ceiling.
E4H, the architectural providing design for the new ED, has chosen a striking blue hue to harken to an overhead sky, instilling a sense of calm throughout the space. Meanwhile, a balance of linear lighting strips and circular in various diameters cut down on glare. These elements are further situated in wooden accents at key points, such as nurses’ stations, throughout the space to provide a subtle means of wayfinding in the unit.
From the nurses’ stations, workers have uninterrupted views into the 14 patient bays, each separated by forest twigs incapsulated in polymer, providing a sense of transparency and lightness. Designed to treat an increased population count, these spaces are equipped with double medical gases, electrical outlets and equipment. For lower-acuity patients, recliner chair replace the more traditional stretchers.
Additional phases will include consolidating administration spaces to create additional space for patient treatment and an expansion of the existing CT/X-ray rooms, including equipment upgrades, will accommodate a larger patient population.
Another version of this article previously appeared in Healthcare Design Magazine.