Patient Room Design at University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital
In partnership with patients and families, we planned for every inpatient room in our hospital to have three distinct areas to support patient- and family-centered care.
The family zone provides amenities that offer comfort and convenience, enabling family members to remain close to their child at all times. The family zone is located in the back of each room, near the windows. Large windows in every room let in natural light and offer great views of the Iowa City area. Patients or family members can control the window shades, lighting, and room temperature.
Furniture: The family zone includes a sleeping area with furnishings that support two adults comfortably, enabling family members to participate in the care and support of their child during their hospital stay. A nearby recliner is a comfortable spot for a nap and includes a glider capability for soothing patients.
Amenities: The family zone has a TV and lights that can be controlled separately from the rest of the lights in the room. A curtain can be drawn for added privacy.
On Levels 9, 10, and 11 (acute care floors), a modular footwall system includes a refrigerator for family use, a linen shelf, a counter, and a shelf for cards and other items. The footwall also includes a locking storage cabinet for family use.
On Level 3—the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)—the family storage cabinet is located in the bathroom. Each patient room also features a storage area with a family refrigerator, linen shelf, and a counter for personal items.
On Level 6—the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)—the footwall features a large area for displaying photos and scrapbook pages. The footwall in the NICU was designed to include amenities to support families with nursing babies. It has a sink dedicated to washing feeding supplies, a rack for drying feeding supplies, and a refrigerator for storing breast milk.
The patient zone is designed to ensure that every patient receives the best possible care. It includes features to entertain and distract patients.
Bed/Isolette: Rooms on each floor are same-handed in design. This means the layout is identical to other rooms. As a result, a bed in one room never shares a common wall with a bed in another room. This reduces noise transfer between rooms, enhancing rest.
Headwall: In most patient rooms (except those in the PCICU and PICU), a headwall system is installed on the wall nearest to the head of the bed. The headwall system provides easy access to electrical outlets, medical gas, and other functions needed to provide care.
Rooms on Level 3 (PCICU and PICU) uses an overhead boom configuration instead of a headwall. Each boom is positioned near the patient’s bed and consists of one long movable arm, with three smaller movable extensions. Beds in the PCICU and PICU often have to be rearranged to accommodate extra medical equipment. The adjustable boom provides all the functions needed by the medical team, no matter where the bed is located. The booms include patient monitors, a surgical light for in-room procedures, and access to medical gas and vacuum outlets.
TV: Most patient rooms feature a 65-inch TV in the patient zone. Patient TVs (family TVs in the NICU) are equipped with Oneview, an interactive education and entertainment system for patients and families.
Through Oneview, patients and families will be able to see information about members of their treatment team, review daily goals, access educational materials and videos, enjoy entertainment options, see what activities are happening in the hospital, and much more. Oneview can be accessed through the touchscreen computer on the patient’s bedside table or through the TV.
Patients can personalize the Oneview screen by uploading their own photos. Oneview also allow patients to order meals and snacks customized to their dietary needs.
On Levels 9, 10, and 11, the patient TV is located on the footwall. In the PCICU and PICU, the TV is located on the boom near the patient’s bed. There are no patient TVs in the NICU.
“Good night” lights: When patients choose to rest, a member of the care team can flip a switch to the “good night” setting. This setting turns off lights in the patient zone and activates two small red lights. The red lights do not prevent patients from sleeping. They do, however, provide enough light for the care team to perform their tasks. These lights help promote patient rest, enhancing healing.
Former Patient Provides Inspiration for Special Lighting Fixture
The large flat-screen TVs in patient rooms are bound to attract a lot of attention in the new children’s hospital. But patients and family members will notice something else about the footwalls in their rooms.
Above the patient TVs, seven cubes are mounted on the wall in three diagonal rows. The cubes appear to be cheerful decorations, but they actually form a lighting fixture known as Drew’s Lamp.
Controlled by the patient using a bedside remote, Drew’s Lamp has 11 settings. Several options allow patients to pick one of many colors to illuminate all the cubes at once. There’s a color to suit everyone’s taste: yellow, green, indigo, red, violet, orange, and blue.
For added whimsy, patients can choose other options that exhibit many colors at the same time. For example, one option will display various shades of blue, while another shows all the colors of the rainbow. When one of these options is chosen, each light fades in and out, resulting in a magical, enchanting display created and controlled by the patient. Patients also will be able to control the lights through Oneview, the education and entertainment system for patients and families.
Drew’s Lamp is designed to distract and entertain. It’s special for another reason; it allows patients to control something at a time when so much is out of their control. Even when the care team turns off the lights in a patient’s room, Drew’s Lamp will remain on until the patient turns it off.
This custom lighting feature was designed especially for our children’s hospital. Drew’s Lamp was inspired by, and named in honor of, former patient Drew Wall. Drew passed away in 2012 at age 16.
For five years, Drew was treated at University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Whenever he arrived for an inpatient stay, he brought a small bedside lamp with him. The light helped him create a more home-like environment and gave him some control of his situation. A member of the hospital’s Youth Advisory Council, Drew made an impact during the early stages of planning for our hospital.
“Drew really advocated for the patient having some sense of control and for experiencing beauty, whimsy, and fun while in the hospital,” explains Tami Pollari, director of patient- and family-centered services. As planning for the new hospital continued, staff who partnered with Drew and his family throughout his stays began referring to the lights as “Drew’s Lamp.” The name stuck.
The colorful lights may distract patients for a few seconds or mesmerize them for a few minutes. Most importantly, patients will have the opportunity to choose the settings they like best. Drew would have loved that.
The care team zone is designed with efficiency, quality care, and patient safety in mind. This area is located along the headwall in most inpatient rooms, near the door to the hallway. All the components used by the care team is integrated into the headwall system on Levels 6, 9, 10, and 11. Locations for the sink, disposables containers, and hand sanitizer will be the same from room to room, increasing efficiency and patient safety.
Sink: The design of each sink plays a key role in infection prevention. Sinks have automated sensors so care team members no longer need to touch handles to turn sinks on and off. In addition, the drain is offset from the faucet to reduce splashing when the faucet is turned on. Other measures to reduce splashing include an angled spout and a curved ridge above the basin along the front of the sink. Reducing splashing helps combat the spread of infection.
Headwall design: The headwall includes a patient monitor, bedside computer, label printer, nurse call system, and other equipment needed to monitor and document patient care. The headwall configuration, designed with input from nurses, provide efficient and easy access to essential equipment and medical gases. This design facilitates and supports safe patient care.
Linen and trash carts: In most rooms, soiled linen and trash carts are located near the entrance to patient rooms. Hospital employees can roll these carts out easily to empty them. In the PCICU and PICU, sinks, trash, and linen carts are located on a small footwall All other items needed by the care team are located on the boom.
Bathroom: In most rooms, the bathroom are inboarded, or located at the front of the room, near the entrance. In the PCICU and PICU, bathrooms are outboarded, meaning they are located at the rear of the room, near the family zone. This design allows clear sliding doors to be installed at the entrance to each room, giving the care team a clear line of sight to patients. The doors also make it easier to move equipment in and out of rooms as needed.