Ocean Health Initiatives (OHI) provides a comprehensive range of primary and specialty health services and is classified as a Federally-Qualified Health Center. OHI challenged NORR to design a new 20,000-square-foot health care center in Toms River, NJ for a highly-integrated, inter-disciplinary approach to clinical care in an underserved community. Like many Health Sciences clients, OHI envisioned a patient-centric design as they recognized the environment is an important part of the patient experience.
The NORR design solution was characterized by clusters of exam rooms that flank team work rooms, which helps to promote the inter-disciplinary continuum of care. This concept is further developed to clarify the separation of on-stage and off-stage activity and circulation. The patient and family circulation paths are clearly delineated so that wayfinding is simple, and patients remain in the on-stage areas. Staff circulation paths are similarly separate from patient circulation but interconnected allowing the staff to move freely from one work area to another. Depending on the patient care schedule, an exam room cluster, typically five or six per cluster, may serve interchangeable sub-specialties.
The resulting patient-centric design featured 29 exam rooms, five dental operatories, sterilization area, lab space, a pharmacy, employee break room and offices supporting inter-disciplinary services, including pediatric and adolescent medicine, obstetrics and gynecology services, internal medicine, family medicine, pharmacy and social services.
Above all, the new center serves the low income, uninsured and underinsured populations in the community. The NORR design team brought the client’s vision and mission to life by creating a patient experience that does not feel like a typical public health clinic. The response is more evocative of a boutique health center, while the finish selections all meet the client’s budget, as well as the rigors required for a high use healthcare environment.
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Vice President, Health Sciences, North America
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