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Getting to the Heart of the Matter New Hanover Regional Medical Center Heart Center


Healthcare can be

STRESSFUL For patients dealing with the emotions and physical constraints of a new diagnosis, navigating through a medical facility can be an anxiety-ridden experience. Inconvenient parking, confusing signage, or a badly-lit institutional aesthetic all compound the stress of an already difficult situation.


“Healing is a matter of time, but it is also sometimes a matter of opportunity.” Hippocrates


Alone we are smart. Together, we are brilliant.” Steven Anderson, Educator

For doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff, the daily schedule can be grueling, with increasingly limited time to listen to, treat, and educate patients. Inefficient or outdated facilities add steps, waste precious minutes, and contribute to a sense of working in isolation. For healthcare systems, the stress comes from ever-higher levels of accountability, rising costs, and rapid changes in

healthcare delivery. As best practices evolve and new models for delivery appear, healthcare systems are caught between providing the best possible care for today’s patients while anticipating the needs of tomorrow. Also problematic: technology evolves faster than buildings. In evaluating the long-term needs of its cardiology services, New Hanover Regional Medical Center

needed a better plan. NHRMC was operating four separate cardiac-related practices scattered across three buildings. The situation was confusing and stressful for patients, inefficient and isolating for physicians, and expensive to operate. NHRMC and LS3P collaborated on a solution.

A much,


much better solution.


ENGAGE Before anyone put a pencil to paper, however, the team had to do a deep-dive into what the cardiac practice looked like. What were the existing facilities? Who was using them? How were they functioning? What were the challenges? What were the opportunities? The design process started with listening, followed by questions, followed by a lot more listening.


No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” H.E. Luccock


Once the initial information gathering was complete, the team looked into a variety of options for using existing space vs. new construction. The plan that made the most sense for patients, staff, and NHRMC was to start from scratch, consolidating all four practices and 3 buildings into one high-performance facility. Major goals were to provide • Better care for patients • Better flow for doctors • More holistic approach • Streamlined operations • Proximity to hospital


DESIGN The new design is a “win” on all fronts, providing more welcoming, less stressful, and better coordinated cardiac care. The building, in close proximity to the hospital, is open and visually connected, with two large program wings connected by an expansive atrium. Downstairs, clinical spaces from all four practices are consolidated on the ground floor for easy access. Upper floors provide space for cardiac imaging (stress testing, nuclear imaging, etc.), a pacemaker lab, office space, and a full cardiac rehab area with walking track, education counseling rooms, central registration, and education spaces. Upper level workspaces are designed with openness and ease of collaboration in mind. In lieu of traditional enclosed physician’s offices, care providers use open work spaces and shared collaboration areas to facilitate communication.


From the exterior, thoughtfully considered massing, human-scale texture, and a contemporary palette of materials define the architecture. The large mass of the building is broken into smaller-scale, interlocked forms which are further articulated by variations in plane, color, and texture. An angle carved from the entry helps to reduce the building’s mass; glazing which wraps the corner also softens and enlivens the entry. Subtle bands of light colored brick provide scale and visual interest through shadows and texture. Sleek metal wall panels contrast with the brick for a contemporary finish. Irregular but harmonious fenestration establishes a lively exterior rhythm. Horizontal bands of glazing highlight the entry, and are repeated on the opposite side of the elevated mass to provide contrast to an otherwise vertical pattern.


An elevated entry volume creates a sheltered drop-off to welcome patients into the building. The interior is a cheerful, modern, light-filled space with visual connectivity and efficient work flow. The design avoids both institutional finishes and enclosed offices, and the central volume of the atrium serves as the hub of the building. The distinctive wood “canopy” structure over the atrium waiting area provides a distinctive focal point while unifying the double-height space and creating a gentle sense of enclosure. The canopy is interspersed with edge-lit fin lighting to create a visual rhythm. A vertical ribbon of glazing delineates the light-filled stairways, highlighting the function from the exterior while illuminating the space with natural light.


TRANSFORM The new building is beautiful, and is creating a much better healthcare experience for its patients, physicians, and hospital system. It’s more welcoming, efficient, and effective. But can that be measured?


...absolutely. design of “ The the building was meant to enhance the patient experience. Patient flow has drastically been improved resulting in much greater physician as well as patient satisfaction.

DORA DAUGHTEE NHRMC Practice Administrator


And in terms of numbers With the new building, • Clinics are able to accommodate more than 200 patients per day in special testing, the cardiac clinic, and the device clinic. • The imaging staff is able to assist 25 more patients a day than before. • The cardiac rehab staff can now work with 140 patients a day, capitalizing on the added benefit of having cardiac and pulmonary services in one location instead of two. • NHRMS is now paying for operations, maintenance, staffing, and facilities costs of one building instead of three. • The new facility has already saved +/-$500 K in operations costs, due to changes in patient volumes along with the elimination of redundant positions


This new building transforms the healthcare experience for the patients, transforms the work environment for the physicians, and transforms operations for the client. In short:

Design matters.


LS3P partnered with us and our physicians to discuss our long term objectives, understand the flow and process of the individual practices, and find a delivery method that was the proper fit for our financial model. It has been a pleasure to work with the LS3P team. Their creativity, attentiveness to detail and dedication have been displayed through all phases of our project and we look forward to our continued relationship.” CHRISTINA MAROULIS, Director of Construction Services, New Hanover Regional Medical Center NHRMC Cardiology Center


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Profile for LS3P

Getting to the Heart of the Matter: New Hanover Regional Medical Center Heart Center  

Healthcare can be stressful. For patients dealing with the emotions and physical constraints of a new diagnosis, navigating through a medic...

Getting to the Heart of the Matter: New Hanover Regional Medical Center Heart Center  

Healthcare can be stressful. For patients dealing with the emotions and physical constraints of a new diagnosis, navigating through a medic...

Profile for ls3p

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