Case Study: Renovating your Healthcare Facility on a Tight Budget

With unpredictable changes in patient demand and recent revisions to healthcare reimbursement legislation, the number of ways hospitals can generate revenue are becoming scarce. Small hospitals operate on limited budgets, so even investment opportunities to bring in new revenue must be economical investments. One approach is to renovate unused spaces into specialized departments, as REES did with Dallas Medical Center.
Dallas Medical Center reached out to redesign an existing and vacant patient floor into a geropsychiatric unit. The main goals of the conversion were to control renovation costs and ensure patient freedom while providing safety for patients and staff.

Control Renovation Costs

Finding ways to re-purpose features of an existing patient unit are essential to controlling renovation costs. To begin, our design team kept many of the existing patient room configurations. REES then studied several different solutions that would provide security at existing window openings. We provided both retrofit and full replacements options for window security systems and studied window treatments ranging from roller shades to internal blinds.

Patient bathrooms also needed to be updated to meet safety needs and adhere to building code requirements. We were able to modify the floor to provide the code-required accessible patient rooms without replacing all patient rooms on the unit. Thanks to new door hardware options, only frames and doors were replaced, allowing the existing in-swinging patient room door configurations to remain in place. Solutions like this allow the hospital to save time and money.

Ensure Patient Freedom and Security

Dallas Medical Center wanted the new geropsychiatric space to move away from “institutional” design into a more nurturing, hospitable atmosphere. Our design provided patients freedom of movement within the limits of their condition. Rooms for group therapy, consultation, examinations and activities were included into the floor plan. The design team worked with hospital administration to develop a secure vestibule configuration that would reduce the possibility of patient leaving the floor unknowingly.

Provide Safety for Staff

We designed the geropsychiatric unit to be consistent with the welcoming atmosphere of other hospital areas without sacrificing a safe environment for staff. Instead of boxing in the nurse’s station, the design team used staggered, frosted glass panels to add a modern flare to the space. This not only provided needed safety for staff, but also refrains from the “institutional” feel Dallas Medical Center wanted to avoid.

Small hospitals are often hesitant to undergo renovations due to the upfront costs. This project with Dallas Medical Center shows that profitable renovations can be done while keeping costs low. REES’ designs meet both your facility’s needs and budget.