Methodist Olive Branch Hospital

  • Gregory A. Gore

    Gregory A. Gore AIA, NCARB

    Senior Architect, Principal Contact

Bordered on the north by the Tennessee/Mississippi state line, DeSoto County, Mississippi, has experienced tremendous growth over the past two decades. With nearby central Memphis losing residents at an unprecedented rate, DeSoto County suburbs such as Southaven and Olive Branch have been absorbing these migrating citizens. In an effort to attract an estimated 47,000 northern Mississippi residents who travel across the state line to receive healthcare services, Memphis-based Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) elected to build a 100-bed, full-service, faith-based hospital in the growing city of Olive Branch.

With growth patterns for small, greenfield hospitals often difficult to predict, MLH challenged the project team to design a hospital that could easily adapt to the ever- changing nature of healthcare. GS&P’s innovative design solution meets this challenge by allowing the hospital to grow within the existing building by incorporating a large amount of shell space into the new facility, giving it the room to incrementally grow from a 100-bed hospital to a 400-bed facility over time. The design also allows for future expansion by placing surgical services and the hospital’s intensive care unit on the second floor.

In addition to room for growth, flexibility was a major part of MLH’s vision for the new facility. To enable this adaptability, patient areas and clinical spaces were designed to have dual purposes, serving as overflow areas that reduce wait times and improve the overall patient experience. Additionally, the connection of the hospital’s two main entrances allows for overflow seating and promotes simple wayfinding. To provide flex capacity when emergency department volumes run high on nights and weekends, the pre-admission testing area is located immediately adjacent to the emergency department, and pre-admission testing rooms are also designed as emergency rooms.

Also augmenting flexibility, the hospital’s surgical floor contains a centralized prep and recovery area for outpatients, as opposed to the surgery, cath lab and endoscopy departments each having its own prep and recovery space, which only duplicates hospital services and increases staff size. In addition, the size of the central nurse station was dramatically reduced due to the incorporation of smaller, decentralized work alcoves (located outside each patient room) that enhance the nursing staff’s interaction with patients.

The first inpatient facility in the United States to earn the distinction of LEED for Healthcare Gold certification, the new faith-based, patient- and family-centered hospital allows Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare to provide high-quality, cost-effective care to the thousands of residents it already serves in its Memphis-based facilities. Services include cardiology, obstetrics, MRI, a diagnostic and therapeutic cardiac cath lab, and emergency services. Energy-saving strategies incorporated into the facility exceeded MLH’s goals for energy reduction by earning an ENERGY STAR rating of 93, reflecting a 33-percent reduction in energy use, and a savings of more than $318,000 annually.

Hear what Architect David Zegley, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, has to say about how when sustainable design and construction elements are integrated early and integrated properly, sustainability doesn't have to be a premium.

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