Posts from the ‘exceptional exp’ category

Nature Themes and Seating Areas Come to the Pike

An artist’s rendering illustrates the Pike’s upcoming coastalthemed area, which will be located near Bornstein Amphitheater.

An artist’s rendering illustrates the Pike’s upcoming coastal-themed area, which will be located near Bornstein Amphitheater.

You may have noticed a few changes along the Pike recently, including the addition of seating alcoves and nature-themed designs. Kicked off two years ago by the Brigham’s Planning and Construction team, the project is part of a larger effort to make it easier for patients, visitors and staff to navigate the hospital and to create a more welcoming and soothing environment.

As part of the new design, six areas are designed to correspond to a scene in nature, such as a forest, pond or wheat field. Seating alcoves within these areas will provide places for patients and families to relax in a peaceful setting as they traverse the Pike.

“We wanted to brighten up the Pike by bringing a sense of nature into the building,” said Bea Gomez, senior project manager of Real Estate. “Giving patients, families and staff a connection to the outdoors while inside was extremely important to us, as research suggests that immersion in nature makes people feel more at ease.”

The improvements are not only exciting to the team executing the work, but also to Brigham patients, families and staff.

“We’ve received feedback from people that the Pike feels more welcoming and accommodating now,” said Steve Dempsey, executive director of Planning and Construction. “We’re excited to continue to look for new opportunities to incorporate nature themes throughout the hospital.”

The team has previously worked on improving design throughout the Brigham with the addition of area platforms overlooking gardens at the Garden Café, as well as the installation of a bright green roof below the windows of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Dempsey credits Brigham Health President Betsy Nabel, MD, with supporting the team’s work to spruce up areas across the main campus. Nabel challenged the group to combine both navigational and welcoming elements in their renovations, a task that Dempsey was eager to take on.
“We’ve been able to successfully put the two concepts together,” said Dempsey. “We’re excited to make it easier for patients to find their way around the Brigham in a more comfortable and peaceful environment.”

The project is scheduled to be completed in February 2019.

Brigham Health’s Strategy in Action: Exceptional Experience
Learn more about our strategic priorities at BWHPikeNotes.org.

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Digital Tool Helps Patients, Staff Find Their Way

From left: Helen Thompson, Josie Elias and Ashley Buckley look at directions provided by the BWH wayfinding tool.

Have you ever started walking to a meeting or tried to give someone directions to an unfamiliar part of the Brigham, only to realize you weren’t entirely sure how to get there? Thanks to a group of in-house innovators at BWH, a new online wayfinding tool is helping patients, visitors and staff get to where they need to go around the main campus.

Accessed through a web browser on any internet-connected device, the wayfinding tool is designed to help users navigate the hospital several different ways. Available at maps.brighamandwomens.org, the web-based tool can provide directions to a location in the Brigham from an outside site, such as a person’s home address. To get from one place to another within the hospital, users receive step-by-step walking instructions alongside a map that illustrates their path.

The wayfinding tool’s robust directory includes far more than the locations of clinics and conference rooms. It can also help patients, visitors and staff find various services within and outside the hospital, such as the BWH Shop on the Pike or a nearby restaurant. In addition, the tool allows users to search locations by the name of the clinic, conference room, service line, patient floor and much more.

For about two years now, an interdisciplinary team at BWH has been working diligently to build and test the online navigation tool. Josie Elias, MBA, MPH, program manager for Digital Health Initiatives at the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub (iHub), who has led the project since its inception, said she’s proud of what the teams have accomplished and hopes people find the tool to be useful.

“We wanted to alleviate the stress of trying to locate a specific area in the hospital,” Elias said. “The Brigham is a very large institution and sometimes it can be difficult for people, including staff, to locate their destination.”

This tool is designed in a way that enables the team to easily modify and add locations if, for example, an office relocates or there’s demand to include locations not currently in the directory, Elias added.

Using wayfinding is simple and intuitive, said Cassandra Lee, a marketing specialist at iHub. A starting location can be entered manually – bringing up a list of options as you type – or, for internal locations, selected by browsing the directory. When starting from somewhere outside the main campus, the tool can also identify your current location using GPS.

Among the many BWHers who collaborated with iHub to design, build and test the tool was Andrew Shinn, a planner in BWH Real Estate and Facilities. Shinn has worked closely with Elias and the team to make sure the directions provided in wayfinding are up to date and match signage throughout the hospital. Shinn said it’s wonderful to see the technology come to fruition in the hospital setting.

“It’s exciting to produce a tool that will provide a better experience for our patients, visitors and staff,” Shinn said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the group to discuss feedback and make sure the tool reflects what users want to see.”

As early adopters, Helen Thompson, manager of Patient Access Services, and Ashley Buckley, a supervisor in Patient Access Services, have worked with Elias and the team to develop and refine content and naming conventions in the web-based tool. Buckley and Thompson said they’re eager to share its capabilities with patients, visitors and staff.

Buckley said she’s enjoyed being involved in so many aspects of the project, from design to implementation. She’s looking forward to seeing the tool evolve over the coming months.

“I know this tool will have a positive impact on patients, families and staff,” Buckley said. “I’ve found that I use wayfinding so often now, especially when I’m running from one meeting to another. I know my colleagues are going to enjoy using it as well.”

Thompson agreed, adding that it’s an exciting time to be at the Brigham.

“The wayfinding tool is another example of how the Brigham is moving forward with technology that is designed to make life easier for our patients, their families and our colleagues,” Thompson said. “I’m grateful that Josie and the team have put so much thought into the design of this tool. It’s really something special.”

To submit feedback and questions about the wayfinding tool, email BWHWayfinding@partners.org.

Brigham Health’s Strategy in Action: Exceptional Experience
Learn more about our strategic priorities at BWHPikeNotes.org.

Just Around the Bend: Rehab Services Relocates to Shapiro

Physical therapist Caitlin Guzy supports patient Luis González during his physical therapy session in the clinic’s new space.

Sunlight, street-level visibility and greater privacy – these are just a few upgrades providing a better experience for Ambulatory Rehabilitation Services patients, families and staff in the department’s new clinic in the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center.

Formerly located on the ground-level Pike at 45 Francis St., Rehab Services’ outpatient team began seeing patients in its new main campus space on Oct. 23. The department relocated to the first-floor area of Shapiro formerly occupied by the Great Living Café.

While the previous location used curtains to separate patient areas, the new clinic space contains five private exam rooms. Frosted glass on the windows ensures patient privacy for the Francis Street-facing open treatment and gym space.

“The new rehabilitation space is wonderful,” said patient Luis González, who has been receiving physical therapy at the Brigham following surgery. “I like how there is so much natural light. It’s nice to be able to look out the windows when I’m doing my therapy. I enjoy every minute when I’m here. I’m feeling better each time I come for therapy, thanks to the great therapists who spend time working with me.”

In addition to providing a better overall experience, the exam rooms will enable the department to expand its service line at the main campus to provide pelvic floor and lymphedema care soon, said Reg Wilcox III, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, who was recently named executive director of Rehab Services. Until now, pelvic floor care was only available at the department’s other ambulatory clinics: 850 Boylston St. and the Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health Care Center in Foxborough.

The relocation to Shapiro offers other benefits for patients. Aside from being easier to find, the new space is more centrally located within the hospital – and closer to other clinics Rehab Services patients often visit when they come in, such as the Orthopaedic and Arthritis Center, Wilcox said.

“We provided excellent care in the old space, but this new location offers many opportunities to better serve our patients and staff in a convenient and expanded healing environment,” he said.

Wilcox, who has been with the department for 17 years, said one of his short-term goals as the new executive director is ensuring the Rehab Services team uses the new space effectively to meet the needs of patients seeking ambulatory rehabilitation care on the main campus.

Patients from Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, the Neurosciences and Internal Medicine and Primary Care are often referred to Rehab Services for outpatient care. As patient volume in those areas grows, it is important that Rehab Services is well-positioned to serve those patients, Wilcox said. This new space will assist with those plans.

“My big strategic goal is to have rehabilitation resources and staff, both ambulatory and inpatient, in the places they need to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of patients,” he said. “It’s about providing the right care for the right patient at the right time in the right location.”

The clinic’s former space at 45 Francis St. – also vacated by Orthopaedics and Rheumatology when they moved into the Building for Transformative Medicine last year – will be used in the upcoming Emergency Department (ED) expansion. A construction project expected to last several years, the ED expansion will add 30 patient rooms, larger trauma bays, a second CT scanner and areas dedicated to oncology and behavioral health patients.

Brigham Health’s Strategy in Action: Exceptional Experience
Learn more about our strategic priorities at BWHPikeNotes.org.

Here Comes the Bride – and Baby: Nurse Officiates Wedding in NICU

Ashley and Zachary Thompson had planned to get married with a low-key courthouse ceremony on Oct. 10, one month before the couple expected to celebrate the birth of their son. But baby Jack, it seems, did not want to miss the party, arriving just a few days before his parents intended to say “I do.”

Thanks to a BWH nurse, Ashley and Zack were still able to say their vows on Oct. 10, albeit in an unanticipated setting – the Brigham’s NICU – and with a very special “best man” in their arms.

Shortly before Ashley’s C-section on Oct. 6, Matt Medina, MSN, RNC-OB/EFM, a nurse in the Center for Labor and Delivery, learned about the engaged couple’s situation. Medina, who is also a lay minister, offered to perform the ceremony before their son was born, but the couple had not yet obtained their marriage license.

On Oct. 10, Medina was in a nurse midwifery class in Springfield when he received a text message from the Labor and Delivery nurse-in-charge that Ashley and Zack had their marriage license and wanted Medina to officiate the ceremony that day.

In between an exam and his other classes, Medina was in contact with staff from the NICU, Spiritual Care Services and the Center for Patients and Families to ensure everything was ready for the celebration.

That evening, the couple and Medina gathered in Jack’s room in the NICU, which was decorated for the occasion by NICU nurses. Holding her newborn son in one arm, Ashley joined hands with Zack as Medina pronounced them husband and wife.

“I’m so excited to have been connected to you both during the unexpected delivery of this handsome little man,” said Medina during the ceremony. “Our meeting and our connection is a perfect reminder to cherish and savor those serendipitous moments that come up. As your love grows, remember to follow these moments that will write the story of your life. Spontaneity is one of the many seeds of a strong marriage.”

Suzanne Fernandes, MSN, RN, nurse director of the Growth and Development Unit and Special Care Nursery, noted that the ceremony would not have been possible without Medina going above and beyond for the couple.

“Not only did Matt help bring Jack into the world, but he also united his parents in marriage. It was beyond the call of duty and exemplified the true art of nursing,” she said.

Ashley described the experience as unforgettable, thanking Medina and the Brigham for “helping our dreams come true” as a family.

“Being able to hold Jack in our arms as Zack and I committed to forever together was something so unbelievably special,” she said. “It’s a moment we will cherish for the rest of our lives.”

Brigham Health’s Strategy in Action: Exceptional Experience
Learn more about our strategic priorities at BWHPikeNotes.org.

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Improving the Experience for LGBT Patients

Barbara Gottlieb (center) reviews care plans with Harvard Medical School trainees Blanca Morales Temich and Alma Onate Munoz.

On June 6, Brigham Health added “LGBT Health” as a clinical interest in 65 providers’ profiles in the Physician Directory. The listings – the first wave of a phased rollout – will enable LGBT patients to easily find clinicians who have demonstrated an understanding of and sensitivity to their health concerns.

While many LGBT patients have positive experiences with their care providers, those who have experienced discrimination or inappropriate comments often avoid seeking care, said Pothik Chatterjee, MBA, chair of the Brigham Health LGBT & Allies Employee Resource Group. Flagging specific providers as specialized in LGBT health can help patients feel more confident about the quality of care they receive, he noted.

“It can be challenging for anyone to navigate the health care system. That is especially true for LGBT patients, particularly transgender patients, some of whom have had negative experiences or received inadequate care. Transgender patients in particular are placed in a vulnerable situation when they are addressed by the incorrect pronoun in the doctor’s office or exam room,” said Chatterjee. “With this effort, LGBT patients can identify providers at the Brigham who have competency, experience and interest in LGBT health.”

Becoming ‘A Better Clinician for All My Patients’

The initial rollout targets specialties where demand is greatest: Emergency Medicine, Endocrinology, Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Surgery. The project will expand to Psychiatry, Social Work and more.

Providers in the pilot group were asked to complete a survey indicating whether they have LGBT patients, feel knowledgeable about LGBT health and have completed, or would be willing to complete, a training program about LGBT health. Clinicians had to respond “yes” to all three to be listed as an LGBT Health provider.

One of those providers is Barbara Gottlieb, MD, a primary care physician at Brookside Community Health Center, who eagerly completed the survey. Striving to make patients feel safe and comfortable, Gottlieb has sought out educational resources and training opportunities around LGBT health over the years.

“As a provider, I need to make sure I’m aware of what patients need based on evidence, not assumptions or stereotypes,” she said. “What I’ve learned over the years is that educating myself about how to improve care for one patient population that may be underserved or have special needs makes me a better clinician for all my patients.”

The effort was spearheaded by the LGBT Health Work Group, led by Robert Barbieri, MD, chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Giles Boland, MD, FACR, chair of Radiology; Jessica Dudley, chief medical officer of the BWPO; Richard Gitomer, MD, vice chair of Primary Care; and leaders from the employee resource group.

“Brigham Health clinicians are enthusiastic about providing a welcoming and safe care environment for all of our patients, which include members of the LGBTQ community,” Barbieri said. “I am confident many more skilled Brigham Health clinicians will add LGBT Health to their Physician Directory listing.”

The initiative is one of several aimed at improving the experiences of LGBT patients, visitors and employees. In addition, new signs outside of single-stall restrooms show unisex icons – depicting a man and woman – to indicate anyone may use them. Previously, single-stall bathrooms were reserved for either men or women. More than 50 restrooms will have the new signs by the end of summer.

To learn more about how clinicians can add LGBT Health to their Physician Directory listing, email bwhclgbt@partners.orgView the list of providers specializing in LGBT Health.

Brigham Health’s Strategy in Action: Exceptional Experience
Learn more about our strategic priorities at BWHPikeNotes.org.

Melodies Grace Cabot Atrium on World Voice Day

Meryl Galaid Sokolski sings the final note during her World Voice Day performance.

The Division of Otolaryngology held a concert for staff, patients and visitors in Cabot Atrium for World Voice Day on April 14.

“Voices are really what allow us to make impressions. They’re the first thing we notice when we meet people,” said Thomas Carroll, MD, director of BWH’s Voice Program. The practice provides care and therapies for patients with voice or airway conditions.

On World Voice Day, voice health professionals worldwide hold concerts and other events to celebrate voices and raise awareness of vocal health. Among those who performed at BWH this year was Meryl Galaid Sokolski, an Otolaryngology patient and Boston-area professional singer and actor. Whether she is afflicted with a cold or laryngitis, Galaid Sokolski has found her BWH care team to be accessible, comforting and responsive to her needs as a patient and performer.

“Any actor will tell you that it’s devastating when you’ve got a 28-show run and realize you’re getting sick,” she said. “The team in the Voice Program is always available, and they never minimize any issues that I have. That’s really key as a performer – to have a care team take you seriously and want to help the best they can.”

During the concert, Galaid Sokolski sang Judy Garland’s “The Trolley Song” and Fats Waller’s “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now.”

Also performing that day was the female barbershop quartet Intuition, whose members are Susan Kapur, Dianne Nitzschke, Kelly Winnick and Jennifer Winston, MS, CCC-SLP, a speech language pathologist in the Voice Program. They sang The Chiffons’ “One Fine Day,” followed by Garland’s “Zing Went the Strings of My Heart” and “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

The show concluded with a group performance by four BWHers from the Voice Program: Carroll and Winston, along with Jessica Taylor, a program coordinator, and Chandler Thompson, DMA, MS, CCC-SLP, coordinator of Voice Services. Together they sang “Dona Nobis Pacem,” which translates from Latin to “Give Us Peace.”

Brigham Health’s Strategy in Action: Exceptional Experience
Learn more about our strategic priorities at BWHPikeNotes.org.

‘My Heart Beats Because of Manny’: Donor Family, Recipient Bond

Tears began to fall from Pat Lopes’ eyes as she gently placed a stethoscope on Brian Wade’s chest.

“I can hear it,” exclaimed Lopes, as she leaned in closer to Wade. “That’s Manny’s heartbeat. I can hear my son’s heart beat.”

Lopes, of Hyannis, met Wade, the recipient of her son’s heart, for the first time at the Brigham last month. It was an emotional gathering that both had hoped would someday come to fruition.

After suffering from advanced heart failure for several years, Wade got the call last Valentine’s Day that a donor heart was available.

“I wanted to meet Manny’s mother and his family so I could personally thank them for this extraordinary gift of life,” said Wade, of Portland, Maine. “While I feel so fortunate that I was able to receive a new heart, I’m also sad that it means someone had to die. I’ll never forget that my heart beats because of Manny. I’m forever grateful that I am here today, thanks to one person’s decision to become an organ donor.”

Pat Lopes embraces Brian Wade, the recipient of a donor heart from her late son, Manuel Lopes III.

Pat Lopes embraces Brian Wade, the recipient of a donor heart from her late son, Manuel Lopes III.

For more than an hour, Lopes and Wade, along with their families, talked in a private meeting space in the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center. Lopes, her husband, Manuel, and stepdaughter, Kimberly Lopes-Costa, shared stories about Manny. Wade, who came with his wife, Celeste, son, Travis, and close friend, Lisa Alexander, spoke about what his life has been like post-transplant.

Manuel (Manny) Lopes III died at age 42 due to medical complications stemming from a drug addiction he battled for many years. His mother described her son as the type of man who was always willing to help others. His decision to become an organ donor was an extension of his generous spirit, she said.

“He had a profound love for his family and friends,” Lopes said. “His sense of humor and smile could light up a room. He was genuinely a kind-hearted person who would give you the shirt off his back.”

During the meeting at BWH, Lopes shared photos of Manny with Wade. Manny’s stepsister showed the Wade family a tattoo on her arm, which depicts an electrocardiograph showing a snapshot of Manny’s heartbeat.

“I am happy to know that my brother’s heart still beats,” Lopes-Costa said.
The families also chatted with Michael Givertz, MD, medical director of the Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program, who was part of Wade’s care team.

Givertz said while all transplants are special, Wade’s case was especially memorable because he received his heart on a day that symbolizes love.
“Notifying someone that a donor heart is available is one of the most amazing calls we get to make to patients,” Givertz said. “It’s wonderful that these two families could meet so close to the first anniversary of Brian’s transplant.”

“I’m just glad to be here and to be doing well. Every day is a good day for me,” Wade said. “My entire perspective on life has changed since I received my new heart. I wake up every day thankful that I am still here. I want Manny’s family to know that I think about them and Manny often.”

StrategyIcon_WordpressBrigham Health’s Strategy in Action: Exceptional Experience
Learn more about our strategic priorities at BWHPikeNotes.org.

Q&A: Introducing Brigham Health

bh_bwh_pms_293Brigham Health was unveiled earlier this week as the new name for the parent organization that includes Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization. All three entities will retain their individual names and identities. Brigham Health replaces Brigham and Women’s Health Care (BWHC). 

Brigham Health President Betsy Nabel, MD, discusses with BWH Bulletin what this change means for us. 

Why did we change from BWHC to Brigham Health?

Nabel: Those who know the Brigham think of it as a top-tier New England hospital – a place to go for care when needed, especially complex procedures. But according to market research, many outside of New England assume we are solely a women’s hospital. And while we are certainly a leader in women’s health care, we want to be sure it’s clear that our excellence and expertise extend to so many other areas. Brigham Health reinforces that we are not just one point on a map, or even a single point of discovery.

The new name eliminates some of the confusion we have found among those outside of New England. Talking about the services of BWH, BWFH and the BWPO as simply Brigham Health will enable us to more effectively reach people who are seeking health information, referrals and care.

How does this change fit into our strategy?

Nabel: This change is a vital component of our institutional strategy. For example, one of our strategic priorities is to improve health. In addition to providing highly specialized care in the hospital and ambulatory settings, we also must engage people around the world as we promote health and wellness and concentrate on preventing disease in populations.

Another example is twofold. By building national and international lines of business, we reinforce our financial strength and advance our work in business development – two areas essential to guaranteeing we continue delivering on our mission.

Why was the name Brigham Health selected?

Nabel: Brigham Health reflects our role as a leader in maintaining and restoring health around the world, encompassing all that we do in delivering care, advancing scientific discovery and educating the next generation of health care professionals. It broadly defines everything we do today and provides a new platform for amplifying our commitment to what everybody desires: health.

For more Brigham Health information and resources – including an FAQ, downloadable logos and presentation templates – visit BWHPikeNotes.org

StrategyIcon_WordpressBrigham Health’s Strategy in Action
Learn more about our strategic priorities at BWHPikeNotes.org.

Lung Center Celebrates Patients in Photo Exhibit

BWH patient Katie Paquette poses for a photo underneath her portrait.

BWH patient Katie Paquette poses for a photo underneath her portrait.

Cheryl Sclar was sitting in a meeting when a coughing fit struck.

As someone living with primary ciliary dyskinesia – a genetic disorder that causes chronic, recurrent infections in the lungs and sinuses – Sclar dreads such moments. She tries her best to remain “invisible,” as she puts it, but it’s nearly impossible to keep the coughing at bay once it starts.

Sclar, who works at a local college, started composing a message to her pulmonologist, Bruce Levy, MD, chief of BWH’s Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, while she sat in the meeting and struggled to suppress her coughs.

“Hi, Dr. Levy. I’m at an all-campus meeting with about 100 of my colleagues, who are painfully aware of my existence,” she wrote. Levy quickly responded with words of reassurance.

The interaction, although brief, illustrated the empathy and warmth patients regularly experience at BWH, Sclar said in recounting the story at a recent event honoring patients of BWH’s Lung Center.

“I want to thank you, Dr. Levy, for your compassion and kindness, for always rescuing me and for never minimizing how I feel,” said Sclar, addressing him from the podium before describing her experience living with a lung disease.

The event marked the debut of a photo exhibition, “Positive Exposure: Beyond Diagnosis to Innovation,” by New York-based fashion photographer Rick Guidotti. The exhibit, unveiled at the Lung Center event on Nov. 7, comprises portraits of about a dozen of the center’s patients.

More than 100 patients, families and BWH staffers attended the evening event in Cabot Atrium, and nearly 50 viewers tuned in to the live stream via webcast.

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The Lung Center is a medical and surgical collaboration between the Division of Thoracic Surgery and the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, as well as other divisions and departments at BWH, including Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine and, at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Pathology, Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology.

Raphael Bueno, MD, chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery and surgical director of the Lung Center, welcomed attendees to “a celebration of life, patients, health care providers and the promise of a bright future for lung health.”

As the photos were unveiled, emotions swept over the crowd – tears of joy and sadness for those pictured. Ahmet Uluer, DO, director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program and a pulmonary specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital, gave a tribute to two young patients included in the exhibit who had died shortly after being photographed: Antwaughn Moore, 28, and Jay Bernardini, 36.

The photo exhibit will remain in Cabot for several months and then move to the Lung Center’s clinic as its permanent home.

“Medicine is an art and a science,” Levy said. “Tonight, it’s about the art. Tonight, it’s about the humanism in medicine.”

StrategyIcon_WordpressBWHC’s Strategy in Action: Exceptional Experience
Learn more about our strategic priorities at BWHPikeNotes.org.

Enhancing the Patient Experience at 60 Fenwood Road

Environments that foster exceptional patient experiences, as depicted in this rendering of the new Infusion Suite, are a key element of the building.

Environments that foster exceptional patient experiences, as depicted in this rendering of the new Infusion Suite, are a key element of the building.

Jeff Taylor, MPH, has a big circle drawn around Oct. 3 on his calendar. The date marks when the first patients will be seen in the new building at 60 Fenwood Road, and Taylor says he can’t wait for them to experience the world-class facility and start benefitting from all it has to offer.

“From the lighting and layout of clinics to the artwork that hangs on the walls, every aspect of this building has been designed with the patient in mind,” said Taylor, executive director of Ambulatory Operations and Management for the building. “I’m very much looking forward to having these doors open to our Brigham community in just a few weeks.”

Taylor, who assumed his new role in July after serving as director of Operations and Network Development in Orthopaedics and the Brigham Orthopaedic and Arthritis Center, explained that the building was constructed to be a “one-stop shop.” Several amenities for patients, including underground parking, clinics, clinical trial exam rooms, state-of-the-art imaging technologies and even a new cafe will be available under one roof.

“We’ll have larger and more private check-in areas, which will improve patient flow,” Taylor said. “What’s also very exciting is that research will be conducted right in the building. The purpose is to get that research down into the clinics as soon as possible.”

One example of this one-stop-shop approach to care is how the BWH Neurosciences Center, which will be housed on the first floor of the new building, will provide patient care. Physicians from the center recently participated in a retreat organized by Angela O’Neal, MD, clinical director for the Neurosciences in the new building, to brainstorm ways they can improve communication, facilitate research and teaching, as well as make patient visits as convenient as possible. This may mean booking multiple related appointments for the same day—with, for instance, a neurosurgeon, neurologist and neuropsychiatrist—without long gaps of time in the waiting room.

“For many of our Neurosciences patients, they need input into a diagnosis or treatment from many sources,” said Rich Fernandez, MBA, senior vice president of Ambulatory Services. “The appointments will be scheduled in one central location so that the providers are coming to the patient versus the patient having to travel to different locations for these appointments.”

An Environment for Healing

This approach represents a big change, as it marks the first time the three core Neurosciences departments—Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry—are in the same building. Clinicians are currently scattered across BWH, sometimes making collaboration and communication difficult.

Karen Costenbader, MD, MPH, of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy and director of the Lupus Program, also anticipates patient satisfaction with the new setup will be very high.

By having Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy research housed just a couple of floors up from the clinical space, Costenbader said there will be more opportunities for interaction and collaboration.

“We will have many more private areas for patient recruitment and enrollment in clinical trials, study visits, filling out questionnaires and more,” Costenbader said. “Study patients will no longer have to travel around to other parts of the hospital and research can be conducted much more seamlessly with clinical care.”

In addition, some departments moving into the new building will have more exam rooms to see patients, which translates into greater appointment availability and the opportunity to recruit new providers, Taylor said. Orthopaedics will have 24 exam rooms, compared to 15 now on the main campus. Rheumatology will have 21 exam rooms, up from 15. Musculoskeletal Radiology will have eight X-ray rooms in the new building, adding to the six X-ray rooms at the hospital currently shared by all of Ambulatory Radiology.

“Right now, Orthopaedics tells their patients to come an hour before an X-ray,” Taylor said. “But they will be reducing this time due to improved Radiology capacity so patients can arrive closer to their appointment time.”

Aida Faria, chief technologist in Radiology, says she’s excited to see the department’s imaging services expand and improve.

“Our MRI and CT scanners have the newest imaging technology,” she said. “We will also have ‘wide bore’ scanners, which allow more room and comfort inside the machine for patients.”

Another way the building will enhance the patient experience is the eventual implementation of a new technology that can monitor a patient’s activity in the building, using a small device that stores no identifying information. If a patient chooses to wear the device during a visit, it can monitor the times spent waiting for and seeing a provider. Operations teams can see real-time information about if and where patients are waiting and retrospectively analyze the aggregated data to identify areas for cycle time improvement.

Steve Dempsey, director of Planning and Construction, believes patients will also appreciate the new Infusion Suite on the building’s ground level.

Patients there will receive care in larger, more private rooms bathed in natural sunlight and with views of a garden right outside. The outdoor garden provides more than pleasing aesthetics; plantings are situated to provide privacy by obstructing pedestrians’ view into the suite.

The garden is one of many examples of the patient-first approach in the new building, said Dempsey. While giving a tour to a group of visitors recently, Dempsey said they were impressed by all of the deliberate touches that went into building a facility that will soon help clinicians and scientists change the future of medicine.

“We know that a lot of patients and families will be spending considerable time in our new building,” Dempsey said. “As the group made its way through several parts of the new space, they said the building was a joy to be in—they’ve never seen anything like it before. That’s the kind of reaction we are hoping for from the Brigham community.”

 

StrategyIcon_WordpressBWHC’s Strategy in Action: Exceptional Experience
Learn more about our strategic priorities at BWHPikeNotes.org.