How OHC Designed ‘Patient Experience’ Into its Prototype Office – Part 2 of 2
The following is the second of a two-part series (previous article published here) describing the innovative patient-centered design and functionality of OHC’s new prototype oncology office (OHC West).
OHC’s new treatment area is located on the second floor, away from the examination rooms. This was done to further optimize patient traffic flow. The space is open and roomy with large windows for natural light. The chairs are comfortable, and beside each is a console where loved ones can sit and personal items can be stored. A blanket warmer is very popular with patients.
Also in the treatment area is an amply stocked refreshment station where patients can replenish themselves after their treatments.
There are a number of meeting rooms on the second floor where patients can meet with staff or nurse navigators. The doors on these rooms slide, which maximizes space inside and prevents obstructions outside.
Even the walls at OHC West were taken into consideration during the design phase. They are modular and can easily be removed and reconfigured to meet future needs.
AS OHC personnel concentrated on the functionality of the new office, the design team led by Kelly Kolar of Kolar Design began to plan out the aesthetics, working on the emotional response that the space would evoke.
Kolar Design has worked with medical practices for 18 years and has expertise in creating spaces that are both soothing and uplifting for patients. Their focus for the new OHC office was to create a sense of wellness, while at the same time interpreting OHC into a physical structure. They had to ensure that the space portrayed OHC’s core values and mission of “Patients First.”
Their influence can be seen and felt as soon upon entering. The reception area is open, with large windows for natural light. Overhead fluorescent lighting does
not dominate this space. The reception area was thoughtfully designed for comfort, with love seats and restful chairs. No institutional plastic was used.
The design allows patients in wheelchairs to easily sit with their families. The lower height of the welcome counter, and its natural surface, gives the sense that you’re visiting a hotel, rather than a medical practice.
Throughout the space, OHC’s colors were used to adorn the walls. The blue, green, and orange watermarks, a distinct part of OHC’s brand, were printed onto special wallpaper, or in some instances, directly onto the wall panels. Nearly every wall is covered with this design, making it clear that this is an OHC space.
But it’s a patient space, as well, and Kolar and OHC recognized that fact by their use of color. Instead of sterile white examination rooms, patients are welcomed with a gentler shade of green. It’s a color that gives one the sense of home.
To comfort and inspire patients, quotes from notable figures dominate the walls. Use of lighting gently highlights these words of inspiration, as well as highlighting the framed photographs seen throughout the office.
The nature photos are a favorite with patients. Kolar believes in connecting the art and science of medicine through nature. These photos serve that purpose.
These particular images have a deeper tie and meaning for OHC, though. They are from the private collection of OHC founder Dr. Richard Levy. He is an avid photographer and the photos that hang in this and other offices are those he took himself.
It seems fitting that these photos should be used to decorate OHC’s newest office. Dr. Levy recognized early on that cancer care provided closer to home, in neighborhood locations, was ultimately better than that received in hospitals.
Now, with his photography adorning the walls of OHC’s prototype office, Dr. Levy’s work is again positively impacting patients.
Being a prototype office, OHC intends to eventually bring aspects of its design and functionality to other neighborhood locations in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.