Patterson Health Center Designed to Change Rural Healthcare in Kansas, Focuses on Wellness

Patterson Health Center, a new 62,500-square foot facility located in rural Harper County, Kansas, unites two formerly separate critical access hospitals under one distinctive roof that pays homage to neighboring communities coming together.

The new hospital is deliberately sited between Harper and Anthony and adjacent to their shared Chaparral High School. The distinctive roof form, resembling a heartbeat, opens on its north and south ends to reach out to each community and creates a new identity for their merged facility. The material choice of reflective, standing seam metal roofing references contextual agrarian structures and its lightness conveys a tranquil wellness space. The darker metal panel façade emphasizes voids of light and transparency that highlight the care happening within. Entrances are marked with native western red cedar, which wraps into the main entrance and guides guests into a vaulted lobby that connects with the light-filled main circulatory path. Full swaths of vertical glass in perimeter spaces and every inpatient suite connect visitors to the earth and sky. Furthermore, clerestory and skylights provide additional daylight to spaces typically buried within hospitals, including main circulation paths, nurse stations, staff areas and lab spaces.

The center provides access to education, prevention and long-term wellness by combining a health clinic with various spaces traditionally associated with a community center — an indoor/outdoor café and a large greenspace for health fairs, farmers’ markets and fitness events. The adjacent high school will soon offer a health-centered curriculum with introductory healthcare job training programs, sports medicine classes and wellness programs to improve teenage health.

Operational innovations of the new facility include:

  • An inpatient care unit with 10 large, private bedrooms where a family member can stay overnight. The remaining three semi-private rooms will be licensed as patient beds for peaks in census and will also be used for multiple procedures, such as outpatient infusions and same-day surgery prep/recovery beds. The nurse stations for the inpatient unit and the four-room ED are interconnected to efficiently operate the two services and allow staff to easily flow between the two services.
  • A 22-exam-room clinic connected to the critical access hospital, which features an integrated care team clinic delivery model to provide the greatest flexibility in response to the changing healthcare landscape. This model brings patient rooms, staff working areas and service provider offices together in one place. It creates a centralized, off-stage space that allows staff to collaborate and move efficiently, ultimately enhancing care coordination and the patient experience.
  • An 18-equipment-station outpatient rehabilitation gym with several private treatment rooms and an in-ground hydrotherapy pool will provide physical, occupational and cardiopulmonary therapies for outpatients. A separate fitness center is available for staff members.
  • A new cafe offering locally grown produce and healthy menu options offers indoor and outdoor dining options. It serves not only patients, staff and visitors to the health center, but provides another dining opportunity to the public.

The health center is rich in new healthcare technologies to improve workflow and efficiency, including electronic outpatient registration, digital patient tracking, telemedicine capabilities for clinic and trauma patients, automated medication dispensing units and contemporary surgical and diagnostic imaging equipment.

Future campus plans include a fitness center, community center, community gardens and a trail system. The project is a collaboration between Gould Evans, Kahler Slater, McCownGordon Construction, Grand Construction and Hospital Districts #5 and 6 of Harper County.

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Posted August 8, 2019

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