Pennsylvania Hospital Adds $54M Addition

By Eric Althoff

DOYLESTOWN, Pa.—Architecture firm SLAM Collaborative and healthcare operator Doylestown Health have announced the completion of a 100,000-square-foot, three-story addition to Doylestown Hospital. The $54 million project, the Cardiovascular and Critical Care Pavilion, is being touted by the companies as a facility that will focus on patient-centered care in a setting that is modern and with technological capabilities that are up to the moment.

The exterior for the new area matches the red brick facade of the existing structures, but inside, the design emphasis is on a natural, open environment. Furthermore, the cafeteria that greets visitors offers only healthy dining options, keeping in line with the heart health mission the facility is promoting. (The cafe staff will also be offering cooking classes.) Beyond the cafeteria, visitors will be greeted by a family waiting area featuring a fireplace and furnishings to make it appear more like a home than a hospital setting.

The pavilion’s second floor hosts the Center for Heart and Vascular Care, which features 28 beds that can each be segregated for maximum privacy. Each bed is also designed to toggle between servicing patients in either interventional vascular or cardiovascular care. The center features patient “pods” to expedite the response time of clinicians for patient needs.

Completing the Center for Heart and Vascular Care was the first phase of the three-part project.  Of primacy in the new construction was the desire for noise reduction, which can be a major detriment to both patients and staff. Dawn Thornton, SLAM architect and lead designer on the project, said that noise levels can actually elevate heart rate and increase patient stress levels.

“Well-being is not only the absence of a disease or injury, it is also psychological,” Thornton said in a recent statement, adding that a well-planned design can alleviate those very issues. “As designers, we need to understand that, while the hospital is a healing environment, it is also a functioning one,” she said.

SLAM’s three-area layout entails a Clinical Zone, Patient Zone and Family Zone, the last of which is placed farther away from the entranceway to the clinic, and thus gives patients’ families a peaceful space next to large windows offering views of the natural splendor of eastern Pennsylvania. Also, the Family Zone offers a pull-out sofa for those who might need to stay overnight.

Earlier work that was part of the overall expansion included an endovascular hybrid surgical suite and a brand-new “hybrid” operating room. An expansion of the cardiac procedural suite on the second floor for 20 pre- and post-op bays is also nearly finished.

Moving forward, future phases of expansion at the Doylestown Hospital include an outpatient cardiac services suite on the first floor, as well as a 32-bed universal room intensive care/intermediate unit on the third floor.

The design firm SLAM has offices around the country and offers consulting on such design elements as landscape architecture, site planning, structural engineering and pre-construction. The company has also worked on other healthcare projects such as a redesign of the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Massachusetts and the Lighthouse Surgery Center at St. Francis Hospital Medical Center in Connecticut.

The contractor on the project was the Norwood Company, based in Malvern, Pa.