Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital

  • Gregory A. Gore

    Gregory A. Gore AIA, NCARB

    Senior Architect, Principal Contact
Located in the heart of downtown Murfreesboro in one of the nation’s fastest growing counties, the aging and outdated Middle Tennessee Medical Center (MTMC) – renamed Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in 2013 – had become landlocked. Less accessible to the expanding population, MTMC was losing patients, and as a result, losing credibility within the community as a first-rate healthcare facility. Most sections of the original hospital were 30-60 years old, had outlived their useful life, and lacked the infrastructure needed to keep up with advancing technologies. As the city planned for the Gateway Design District to be the area’s retail center, it chose the new, 286-bed, 550,000-square-foot replacement hospital to serve as the development’s anchor.

GS&P provided architectural, interior design, environmental graphics, structural and master planning services for this unique project with the goal of creating a cutting-edge hospital that met the hospital’s core values – including a focus on patient safety and the patient/family experience in the healing environment. The team conducted a comprehensive operational assessment of conditions at the previous campus to better understand the processes utilized by MTMC, which led to a design that allows caregivers to operate more efficiently.

The incorporation of distinct zones in each patient room addresses the needs of the family, the patient and the caregiver, improving the environment’s ability to impact the healing process while maximizing the patient experience. The new positioning of the ED, along with updated wayfinding designs, has improved standardization and operational efficiencies. The chapel, administrative offices, outpatient diagnostics, imaging, emergency, same-day surgery and waiting rooms are located off of the main lobby, allowing visitors to access every area, including treatment rooms and diagnostic testing, without having to seek administrative help desks. The streamlined processes in MTMC’s new Direct Admit Unit allow nurses to obtain patient history, initiate treatments and admit patients faster than ever. The hospital’s interior layout also allows caregivers to streamline processes.

GS&P’s environmental graphics team developed an award-winning, comprehensive campus wayfinding program that reinforces the main concept of a healing environment centered on the patient/family experience. The interior sign system blends clean, simple style with digital printing technology to make updates easy, efficient and economical. Pictorial images of well-known local attractions integrated into key decision points on patient floors serve as landmark wayfinding tools. The exterior campus sign system promotes a positive visual identity by blending architectural materials with the hospital’s brand. Modular components used in the vehicular directional signs are also designed to expand as the campus grows.

As the Gateway Design District continues to grow, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital is considered to be a primary driver of further development. Retail and hotel projects continue to be built adjacent to the campus, evidence of the site's success and its acceptance by the community, staff and patients.

"This project further supports our vision to be our community's first choice for excellent care."

Gordon Ferguson, CEO

Middle Tennessee Medical Center

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