A new Emergency Department challenges the status quo of banal government architecture resulting in dramatically better environments for the VA patient, family, caregivers, institution and broader community. The introduction of significant daylighting, clear and memorable architectural way-finding, and a highly functional, fluid and flexible layout to handle the spectrum of patient and family needs and maximize staff time with patients is transforming the George C. Whalen VAMC in Salt Lake City. The goal of creating an easily accessed and expanded state-of-the-art emergency department with stronger connections to Radiology will require complete demolition of the existing Administration Wing, doubling the size of emergency services to 23,000 square feet.
The expanded department has 20 exam/treatment rooms and 2 trauma rooms organized around a collegial central nurse/provider station, improving visibility and access to each patient room. The exam rooms are designed around the concept of efficient staff use and reduction of visual clutter by creating custom millwork to conceal the headwall components when not in use. TSA engaged the ED staff in a series of collaborative design workshops that will generate an ED that addresses the unique patient mix and needs of the veterans in the intermountain west. Integration of the TSA developed Campus Way-Finding Masterplan with LEED ‘Silver” sustainability measures, and patient-centered interior architecture will result in a dramatic transformation of emergency care.
Salt Lake City, Utah