Case Study: Regions Hospital

Region’s Hospital Burn Care Center is located in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is one of the country’s first burn centers and includes inpatient care, outpatient care, rehabilitation services, family services, and telemedicine services. The burn care unit itself specifically treats thermal burns, electrical burns, chemical burns, frostbite, exfoliative skin disorders, and chronic wound problems. The unit is able to treat patients in emergency situations as well as provide them care in long-term recovery.

Located on the fifth floor of the hospital, the burn unit is off-set from the main circulation and enclosed with automatic doors. When entering, there is a reception desk with staff to direct visitors or family members to the area or room they are looking for. The rooms are located around the perimeter of the building so that each patient may have natural daylight and a view to the outdoors. The doors to the rooms are either glass sliding doors which the patients may choose to leave open or closed, or traditional single doors.

There are two types of rooms in this unit: single and double. The single, private room contains a sink and small counter area near the entry, along with cabinets filled with supplies. The toilet is outboard, not enclosed with walls, but simply a curtain. I believe that because it is many times difficult for burn patients to move, a curtain wall makes it more easily accessible for them. Each room is laid out the same way, to incorporate same-handedness. The disadvantage to this is that the toilets and sinks do not share a wet-wall, but the layout is easier and more efficient for the doctors, nurses, and other staff. One patient bed is located on the right hand side in the middle of the wall. The designated “family area” is within the patient room to the left of the bed and contains three chairs. One of these can pull out into a small bed, if needed. Most of the equipment is located above the patient bed and to the right hand side of it, where the doctor or nurse does most of his or her work on the patient.

The double patient rooms have the same concept as the single, but with two people. A sink is located at the entry and the patient beds are along the right hand wall. A curtain divides the two patients for privacy; however, I do not think that this is nearly as efficient for preventing the spread of infection. They also share a toilet which is once again outboard. Although patients do not usually need the toilet very often, it is vital that it is cleaned between each use if two patients will be sharing the same one. I believe that acute care patients receive single rooms and non-acute care patients will be placed in a shared room.

In the center of all the patient rooms is a shared family area. Therefore, if the family cannot be in the same room as the patient, they can be in this area. It can be private by closing the doors, or the doors may remain open if privacy is not needed. The area includes a “play area” for young children including books, toys, coloring books, etc. The space also has a small conference table along with a small kitchen area. Also in the center of all the patient rooms are the staff support areas. Locating these centrally helps reduce travel distance and provides easy accessibility for the staff. Staff offices are located along the perimeter of the building and are private areas not seen from the patient rooms.

Patient RoomLobby Area

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