GS&P-Designed Renovation of UAB Whitaker Clinic Complete

UAB Hospital’s Outpatient Clinic Expanded and Renovated to Increase Efficiency, Flexibility and Collaboration

September 13, 2017   |   Birmingham,  Ala.   |   Projects

Gresham, Smith and Partners announces the completion of University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) Hospital’s Whitaker Clinic, which added more than 60,000 square feet on two floors. The design increases capacity as well as improves operational efficiency, collaboration and patient and staff experience. The new Whitaker facility houses primary care, dermatology, podiatry, rheumatology clinics, lab and imaging. 

“The environment plays an important role in care, so a more comfortable, dignified and workable space for patients and staff was a top priority for the expansion,” said Stuart Cohen, medical director for UAB Prime Care. “In order to ensure the space worked for our medical team they were highly involved with layout and design. This collaboration helped ensure the best design and underscore the importance of collaboration in our practice.”
 
“While this expansion addressed clinical capacity, the design was also a driving force in crafting a new operational model and processes,” commented Robert Murphy, AIA, LEED AP, principal-in-charge, Gresham, Smith and Partners. “The result is a new practice model that delivers a better human experience and a more efficient prototype clinic for UAB.”
 
A new orientation features public/waiting areas on the building’s perimeter to allow light to penetrate deep into the facility, providing a sense of openness. A contiguous staff corridor allows for connectivity between clinics, shared back-of-house functions and the ability for physicians to work out of multiple clinics.
 
The exam rooms were designed using LEAN principles, combining triage and exam space and standardizing rooms to maximize flexibility and utilization across practices. The design integrated technology and space planning to improve the human experience and create additional value for patients and staff. The new prototype exam rooms shift the mechanics of patient and clinician interaction by streamlining equipment, including an exam chair that weighs patients and converts to an exam table. This all-in-one feature saves steps for the patient resulting in more face time with their care team. Additionally, swapping stationary cabinets with a counter and mobile cart and replacing traditional swing doors with barn style sliding doors saved space and improved functionality.
 
GS&P’s dedicated Healthcare staff approach each project through the lens of Value-Added Design. Value-Added Design is a dynamic, holistic framework in which teams explore and define what is important to clients with a focus on key performance indicators: patient safety; operational efficiencies; integration of technology; adaptability/resiliency; healthy, sustainable buildings; and human experience through evidence-based design. This approach gives clients the opportunity to assess and prepare for inevitable market shifts. 
 

“While this expansion addressed clinical capacity, the design was also a driving force in crafting a new operational model and processes. The result is a new practice model that delivers a better human experience and a more efficient prototype clinic for UAB.”

Robert Murphy, AIA, LEED AP, principal-in-charge, Gresham, Smith and Partners
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