Portland Gastroenterology & Portland Endoscopy Center
The new Portland Gastroenterology Center replaces and nearly doubles the square footage of their former facility. The large group practice has 12 physicians and 4 mid-level providers with a total staff count reaching close to 100. An eighteen-month planning and design process began with a study to determine whether their existing space could be expanded and reworked to meet the demands of the growing practice. The study concluded that finding a new location and starting fresh rather than making further investment in their existing facility was the way to move forward. When they found a building that addressed both location and parking, CHA Architecture tested the program against the building’s plan. In the following months, CHA Architecture worked closely with a variety of PGC stakeholders to complete the design.
Guiding principles carried through the design process include:
- Provide patients with a more private, quiet, dignified experience
- Improve patient and staff flow; limit travel distances
- Separate front and back stage functions
- Improve operations through design
- Improve the flow of shipping and receiving and make it invisible to patients
- Design in flexibility for expansion
- Design staff areas that promote collaboration
- Incorporate sustainable products and finishes that support a healthy environment
For Portland Gastroenterology’s website, click here.
Portland Gastroentrology (Practice)
PGC’s practice, located on the third floor, was organized with a clear separation between clinical and staff functions. It was important to provide the patients with a calm and quiet experience without exposing them to day-to-day office operations. The separation allows staff to collaborate openly without concerns about conversations being overheard. Because the building’s existing elevators and stairs are centrally located, the floor’s program was split symmetrically down the middle. Design focus and organizing features include:
Incoming patients step out of the elevator within direct sight of check-in without having to negotiate corridors and signage.
The waiting room is located beyond check-in along the exterior wall and is filled with natural light.
Two pods of seven exam rooms flank the waiting room with a circulation loop that leads back to the elevator lobby. One of the seven exam rooms is oversized for patients arriving on stretchers and located for easy access to and from the elevator. Two additional rooms were plumbed for future use as exam rooms.
Each exam pod has a two-provider touch-down booth so trips back to their offices between patients aren’t necessary.
A check-out hub, located at the end of the loop, consists of two small consult rooms where patients can privately receive treatment instructions and/or schedule additional appointments.
Two additional rooms were designed for future patient services that will complement their specialty.
Small provider offices are adjacent to each exam pod but within the staff/administrative zone.
Open work areas for nurses and medical assistants are located across the corridor from glass-enclosed provider offices to encourage a collaborative work environment.
Portland Endoscopy Center
The Endoscopy Center, an ambulatory surgery center by definition, is located on the fourth floor, so that new mechanical equipment on the roof could serve the space more readily. Much of the building’s infrastructure had to be either upgraded or replaced to meet the demands of an ASC, as the building was originally designed for offices. A new central medical gas system and generator were added. Natural gas was brought in, the fire alarm system was replaced, and electrical and water services were upgraded. Design focus and organizing features include:
From the elevator, patients have direct sight of the check-in with a light-filled waiting room beyond.
The waiting room is set up for longer wait times by family members for the duration of a procedure. It has ample space organized with a variety of seating areas and WiFi access. A nearby snack room provides a place to have refreshments or lunch or work while waiting.
The endoscopy center’s plan is organized around a central service core bordered by three procedure rooms on each side.
The service core allows staff to move efficiently “backstage” without entering the patient areas. Each procedure room has a stretcher entrance on the prep/recovery side and a service entrance on the service core side. The service core also includes a scope processing room, scope storage, staff changing and showers, clean supply, soiled utility, and other necessary support.
Twenty-two prep recovery bays are split equally, with eleven serving each bank of procedure rooms. The bays are enclosed on three sides with full height walls, with a cubicle curtain along the front side. This arrangement offers more privacy to patients while providing required visibility by staff. A larger nurse station is located at each patient entrance, and sub-nurse stations are dispersed among the bays to allow closer proximity to patients.
The Pathology Lab provides services to the Endoscopy Center throughout the day. It is outside the ASC but convenient for picking up samples that need to be tested in real time as the patients undergo procedures. The space was designed to align with pathology lab work flow. Flexibility was built in for inevitable equipment upgrades.
PGC's Infusion Center offers patients IV medications in a comfortable outpatient setting. The space is filled with natural light and views of Portland’s Back Cove. Six patient bays line the exterior wall, each with a recliner, personal TV, and WiFi. Clinical support space includes a consult room, nourishment, clean supply, nurses’ station, and medication prep area. Other support functions are available outside the center and shared with the floor.