BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Gresham, Smith and Partners recently completed University of Alabama Birmingham 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.
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.
Doster Construction served as general contractor on the project.