Group Health Cooperative

ExamSlide™

These exam rooms featured AD Systems ExamSlide™ by Goldfinch Brothers.

The 50,000 square foot Puyallup Medical Center- designed by Collins Woerman architects of Seattle, WA- opened in December 2012 as a striking new facility to serve Group Health Cooperative members in the growing Puyallup area. The clinic is a replacement of an existing facility located nearby and offers services including family medicine, obstetrics, eye care, and breast cancer screenings. The $20 million facility is located in a beautifully wooded area and was built to LEED Gold standards.

One innovative feature of the clinic cited by Group Health in their announcements was the clinic’s use of “the new ‘PLOW’—a portable lab on wheels that will enable staff to travel to exam rooms for patient blood draws.” The philosophy behind this innovation was to bring services to patients. This seems to parallel the ideas behind the rapid growth in specialty and ambulatory care clinics in suburban areas and small towns – state of the art clinical care in sophisticated facilities need not involve a trip to the city center. Collins Woerman cites the desire of their clients to establish a new clinical model of a “medical home” for their members (http://www.collinswoerman.com/group-health-cooperative-puyallup).

The ground floor features a large OfficeSlide™ installation with structural glazed lights and two tall sliding doors

Other features of the building include the use of recycled timbers for architectural features and benches, a green roof, a pharmacy, and eye care center with easy access from the entrance. The Clinic’s exam rooms are all identical 10’ x 12’ spaces with the exception of four larger 12’x12’ rooms. The exam room flow followed lean design principles in which there is no waiting room: patients proceed directly to the designated room through patient corridors. Nurses are stationed in a provider area on the opposite side of the room. The goal of this design is to minimize wait times and maximize the amount of time patients get to spend with their provider.

These exam rooms featured the AD Systems’ ExamSlide™ by Goldfinch Brothers. The space savings of the sliding barn doors contributed towards the goals of efficient use of space in a setting where the relatively compact exam rooms require 2 doors each. The Group Health project also featured an automatic door bottom on select ExamSlide™ doors for enhanced speech privacy along the patient corridor. Smooth rolling sliders with features such as soft closers and also offer usability advantages when you consider the operation of the PLOW carts or other medical equipment where a large clear opening is required and minimizing the amount of effort to push through the door is an essential part of the facilities efficient and patient -centered operation. Additional ExamSlide™ barn doors with glass lights were used for office and staff locations and the ground floor features a large OfficeSlide™ installation with structural glazed lights and two tall sliding doors.  Group Health Cooperative is a truly stunning medical care facility in terms of its aesthetic appeal and Group Health members are sure to benefit from the design process that created this prototype as a future model for clinical care.

The clinic is a replacement of an existing facility located nearby and offers services including family medicine, obstetrics, eye care, and breast cancer screenings.

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