This month we catch up with Mark Reckin with AECOM, the design firm working with the team constructing the new Mercy Health – West Hospital.
Q: What made you choose your career in design?
A: I have always been interested in how places and people work together to become something extraordinary. I started my education with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and then received a Master’s Degree in architecture. My interest in caring for people’s health since my days as a Nursing Assistant at the University of Minnesota all combined to lead me to a career as a medical planner/healthcare architect.
Q: How is the Mercy Health – West Hospital project different from other projects?
A: This hospital is going to be an extraordinary place for healthcare. The consideration given to all aspects of the patient and family experience will set Mercy Health – West Hospital apart. From the positioning of furniture to the exterior colors to the sound absorbent corridors, all design and planning aspects will come together to allow for a positive patient-family experience.
Q: What do you like best about this project?
A: It is rare when a project of this magnitude has such a complete and thorough coming together of design concepts, thoughtful and engaged staff participation and quality craftsmanship. The interior spaces by themselves will set a new national standard for regional/community hospitals.
Q: The Emergency Department is one of the busiest areas of most hospitals. Describe how you designed the Emergency Department (ED) at Mercy Health – West Hospital to have the most efficient flow.
A: Efficient flow of doctors, nurses, support staff, patients, equipment and materials is one of the many considerations in ED design. The new ED at Mercy Health – West Hospital brings together an optimal layout of treatment rooms with centralized staff areas and support spaces to allow for efficient staff travel distances and close proximities between staff, patients and supplies. These areas are designed for easy expansion should patient volume increase during the course of a 24-hour period.
Q: How does the ED at the new Mercy Health – West Hospital differ from other EDs?
A: Innovative ideas like the Discharge Lounge sets the ED apart from more conventional EDs.In the conventional ED layout, patients are taken to a treatment bay upon arrival. They remain in that same space until they are discharged and leave. The Discharge Lounge at Mercy Health – West Hospital is a separate area for patients once their primary treatment has been completed. This allows patients to relax in a more open, less clinical environment while waiting to receive their discharge instructions or lab results.