Agile Work Space and Care Space For Accessible Healthcare Services
The County of Los Angeles Health Services needed to build a new outpatient clinic and surgery center in South Los Angeles. The goal was to help ease the burden on Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital and provide much-needed services within the community.
This new site needed to move beyond the traditional clinical environment that naturally creates a hierarchy between patient and caregiver. Instead, the clinic would unite patient well-being with soothing natural elements and empower visitors to be active participants in their care.
It was crucial for patients to feel immediately welcomed and sense that this was a place they could visit even when they weren’t ill. The supportive environment should convey respect for the community and a commitment to providing an elevated level of care.
Another requirement was that It would need to work for the healthcare workers and staff, as well as the patients, through an adaptive and agile working environment. That meant caregiver and staff workstations had to be flexible enough to be shared or assigned and grouped to convey a sense of collaboration. Ergonomics would be a central focus within the workstations, enhancing productivity while easing the strain of a demanding schedule.
The end result from our Healthcare Services team for the new Martin Luther King Jr. Community Health Medical Office Building would be a new medical facility designed to provide uplifting, dignified, and accessible health care options. It would house resources and services needed by a historically underserved area of the Los Angeles Community.
Encouraging Interaction Between Patients and Caregivers
Easing stress and providing comfort was the main focus for the design of the patient areas. Furniture that provided physical comfort while holding up to heavy usage was key. This provided patients with safe, supportive places to rest while receiving care. The layout utilized an open plan design that allowed plenty of light to stream in, to facilitate healing, and to create a positive, natural space for visitors.
Special attention was given to signage and wayfinding systems in place througout the facility. Clear signage helps reduce visitor stress while efficiently moving traffic through the facility.
The needs of the clinical staff were also given close attention. Staff workstations were chosen for their ability to enhance productivity while providing necessary ergonomic comforts. The staff furniture was deftly grouped into pods in an innovative on-stage, off-stage configuration. This achieved the goal of eliminating the invisible division between caregiver and patient. Overall, the effect created a more harmonious and collaborative environment for healthcare.
Collaborating to Meet the Needs of a Community
This innovative and unique project allowed for collaboration with both the architect and design firm HKS, as well as with developer Trammel Crow who worked directly with County of Los Angeles Health Services and included the furniture in their scope of work.
Our solutions featured:
- Aesthetics that create a welcoming sense of space and belonging
- Layouts and workstations that eliminate the typical hierarchy between patients and clinical care providers
- Open plan of furniture to allow plenty of light, which helps facilitate healing
- Environment signage for easy way-finding to help reduce patient and visitos stress
- Layouts and furniture that provides identity and organization for the clinic staff who are efficiently grouped per pod in an on-stage/off-stage configuration
Because of this project’s special focus of supporting the local community, it used about 45% local labor. That kept over 200 construction jobs within Los Angeles and showed the medical facility’s commitment to being a part of South LA.
“This project was a great example of a full team effort,” said Jim, Kastner, CEO, Unisource Solutions. “The equal contribution of each team member allowed us to succeed in meeting the design intent while meeting each deadline. From showcasing our capabilities in the design stage to managing the final installation and punch list, everyone on the Unisource Solutions team worked closely together to make this project successful.”