Redefining the surgical experience

UPMC Mercy Surgical Services Renovation

Pittsburgh, PA | Renovation | 67,000 square feet | In Construction thru 2025 | Construction value: $49M

behind the design

Reducing stress through thoughtful planning

In 2018, an ambitious master planning effort was initiated with the aim of modernizing a surgical department that had faithfully served its purpose for over four decades.

Over the course of a year, a comprehensive master plan was developed that recognized the Hospital’s need to adapt to advancements in medical technology and remain adaptable in the future, positioning them at the forefront of medical excellence. The design includes 16 operating rooms, 43 perioperative cubicles, a satellite pharmacy and a pathology lab. The ORs and perioperative cubicles are all universally designed to provide flexibility within the department and ensure that staff can utilize all spaces. A number of improvements for patients and families were created, including a new entry sequence beginning at the elevator lobby leading to the new waiting area, that provide an intuitive path for patients and visitors to navigate throughout the department. For staff, an expanded staff lounge and training space has been incorporated into the design. Staff workspaces were relocated to be contiguous within surgical suite, fostering a unified environment for seamless collaboration.

working together

Designing side-by-side with stakeholders

The design team collaborated closely with the all design partners - architects, engineers, healthcare providers, corporate stakeholders, infrastructure teams and the construction manager.

Throughout the design process, the team worked with Owner stakeholders including user groups, corporate management, facilities management and information technology groups to identify and capture all of their requirements and needs. The design team hosted many open and collaborative conversations. Our priority was to listen and gather information. For this project, full scale mock ups of the clinical spaces were constructed. All the end users – nurses, doctors, administration - were able to walk the spaces and test the layouts. We met collaboratively and mocked up the different types of procedures within the spaces and learned of ways they could be organized to improve work flows. The mockups had a significant impact on the final design.

our creative voice

Prioritizing well-being

This project was designed and constructed utilizing BIM and clash detection software. This technology was necessary to assist with the phased construction, where the entire department has remained functional during construction.

Additionally, incorporation of biophilic elements, along with a design that draws inspiration from both natural and artificial lighting, creates an improved experience for both staff and patients. The design features include tree canopy patterning, backlit and reflective materials, and other nature-inspired architectural elements. Access to natural light was preserved and celebrated throughout the suite in both patient and staff areas. In perioperative bays that had existing windows, overhead booms were installed to house headwall devices in lieu of traditional headwall systems. The layout of the surgical corridor circulation and above ceiling infrastructure was thoughtfully planned to align with the perimeter, enabling access to existing windows. The ceilings were designed to bring light into the space, while also shielding anyone traveling on a gurney from harsh overhead lighting. The integration of these design features supports a healthcare environment that prioritizes the well-being of its occupants, helps in the reduction of stress, and increases satisfaction with the environment.

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