“Smart buildings” use technology to share information between the building’s systems. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), for example, know what’s happening with the security and lighting systems. And the other way around, too.
So, what would you call a building that uses both smart digital solutions and low-tech patient friendly features? The team at Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) calls it the Health and Wellness Center. Due to open in late 2021 on the campus of YRMC West, the Health and Wellness Center is both smart and accessible to all.
“Patient accessibility and convenience are key to every discussion surrounding the construction of the Health and Wellness Center,” says Ken Boush, Director of Marketing and Communications at Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center. “This has led us to very sophisticated and intuitive technology. At the same time, we’re incorporating features that people who are not comfortable with technology can use.”
An App or a Paper Map—You Choose
To understand how this something-for-everyone strategy works, let’s look at the patient registration process.
“You will be able to register for your appointment within our system if you have a smart phone, flip phone or even no phone,” says Michael Forry, Director of Construction at Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center.
People with smart phones can download an app before they arrive at the Health and Wellness Center. Using the app, they’ll complete their registration forms online. They’ll also access a digital map for step-by-step directions to their destination. No smart phone? Head to a kiosk for an easy registration process. And, with the push of a button, you can print a map to your provider’s office.
Patient Friendly Parking
Registration kiosks will be available on all three levels of the building. For example, patients visiting Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Group, Cardiology (YRMG) can park on the second floor of the parking garage. They can then head across a skybridge to registration, and next to YRMG Cardiology on the same floor.
“It’s a very patient friendly set up,” Forry says. “The enclosed skybridge links every level of the parking structure to the Health and Wellness Center.”
The parking structure was also designed without ramps so patients and visitors won’t have an uphill climb to reach their destination. This will be especially helpful to people who have mobility issues.
When developing the Health and Wellness Center, YRMC’s leadership combined specialty, diagnostic and therapeutic services for patient convenience. The following services and YRMG clinics are currently slated to be part of the new facility when it opens:
- Laboratory Services
- Outpatient Physical Rehabilitation Services
- Respiratory Therapy
- Pre-Operative Office
- YRMG Vascular Surgery
- YRMG Orthopedic Surgery
- Cardiac Imaging Services
- YRMG Cardiology
- Preventive Medicine and Wellness
- YRMG Neurology
- YRMG Oncology
- Infusion Therapy (This is in addition to the current Infusion Therapy location at YRMC East in Prescott Valley.)
The Health and Wellness Center includes a state-of-the-art teleconferencing system for secure, virtual communication among providers.
“We’ve created a world-class clinical collaboration space,” Forry says. “It will support communication between the providers on the two YRMC campuses, between our providers and doctors at Dignity Health, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, or with a medical team on the other side of the globe.”
On the Lighter Side
The Bistro restaurant – located on the first floor of the Health and Wellness Center – will serve grab-and-go meals, a variety of salads, delicious smoothies and other healthy options. Diners will be able to enjoy their selections under an outdoor patio with a covered canopy.
The Health and Wellness Center incorporates several other outdoor spaces. Weather permitting, Outpatient Physical Rehabilitation therapists may work with individual patients and host stretching or other low-impact classes under a 4,500-square-foot covered deck. YRMC-sponsored community events will take place in that same area.
“We’re also creating an outdoor walking area with gradual inclines that are designed especially for physical therapists to work with patients,” Forry adds. “This will be located between the Health and Wellness Center and Prescott Medical Imaging.”
The first floor of the Health and Wellness Center includes these community-focused features:
- A demonstration kitchen for YRMC’s cooking classes – A fully equipped kitchen will serve as a set for YRMC’s online cooking show, Your Healthy Kitchen. Heart healthy cooking and diabetes friendly food-prep classes may also take place in the demonstration kitchen.
- A community room for health education presentations – This community education room includes partitions to divide the area into smaller classrooms.
“We’re creating usable space throughout the building,” Forry says. “That even includes the main lobby which can be incorporated into the community room for even larger events.”
The Health and Wellness Center is using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) construction industry standards. LEED assures that a project is designed, constructed and can be maintained in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way.
“YRMC’s leadership took this approach because of their desire to be good neighbors and good stewards of our resources,” notes Forry. “It was a huge commitment. It was the right thing to do for our community.”
It’s also in keeping with YRMC’s “smart” approach to the entire project.
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