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Hart Freeland Roberts, Inc. Final Design – 3D View. Final Design Floor Plan. Established in 1910 A full-service architectural and engineering design firm

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Hart Freeland Roberts, Inc.

Final Design – 3D View

Final Design Floor Plan

  • Established in 1910

  • A full-service architectural and engineering design firm

  • Design specialties include: healthcare planning, structural engineering, civil engineering, and architectural design of educational, healthcare, and corporate buildings

  • Main healthcare planning division in Brentwood, Tennessee

    • Other branches located in Kansas City, MO, Louisville, KY, Phoenix, AZ, and Jackson, TN.

Adaptable Patient Room Design for a Critical Access HospitalMarti Chance, Elizabeth Copenhaver, Kelsey Hoffman, Elizabeth SalmonDepartment of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TNAdvisors: Jim Easter, Emily Mowry of Hart Freeland Roberts, Inc.

Project Importance and Description

  • Room designed specifically for Memorial Hospital in Carthage, Illinois:

    • Rural area with a population of 2,725 people

    • Median household income is $34,677

    • Illinois has an adult obesity rate of 23.9% (23rd highest in the nation)

    • Memorial Hospital is a critical access hospital (CAH), and therefore receives increased government funding

      • To maintain CAH status, must have less than 25 beds and be at least 35 miles from any other hospital, amongst other requirements

  • Information gathered from interviews and literature guided our design:

    • Use design to decrease daily sanitizing requirements to save money long-term:

      • Easy-to-clean wood laminate flooring over standard tile flooring

    • Budget restraints negate possibility of bariatric lifts in every inpatient room

    • Maximize family space in order to incorporate the sense of community found in a small rural town

  • New concepts introduced into our design:

    • Private patient rooms as mandated by AIA code 3.1.1

    • Final design is adaptable to suit the changing needs of the hospital

  • Our overall goals in this project:

    • Incorporate codes, patient opinions, nursing opinions and customer demands into an ideal design

    • With a focus on: 

      • Family area

      • Adaptable room concept

      • Nursing needs and ease of use

      • Toilet/shower factors

      • Asepsis

      • Views to and from door and out window

  • Our deliverable:

    • Room layout drawn in Revit complete with a computer simulated walkthrough tour of our room.

Figure 2

Figure 1

Room Specifications:

Total Area: 370 ft2

Bathroom: 82 ft2

Main Room Area: 288 ft2

Clear Space: 144 ft2

Walking Distances:

Nurse (door to sink to bed): 15ft

Patient (bed to bathroom): 8.5 ft

Flooring: Wood Laminate

Window Size: 4’ x 6’

Figures 1, 2 and 3 show different three dimensional views of our patient room design. Figure 1 focuses on the patient area and entryway, Figure 2 on the bathroom, and Figure 3 shows the extensive family area. Not visible are the patient dresser and flat screen television.

Cost Analysis

Figure 3

Design Analysis


  • Room Attributes:

  • Family area is large with comfortable seating and overnight sleeping accommodations.

  • Room design minimizes nurses walking distance within the room.

  • The placement of the nurses sink within the room encourages sterile practices.

  • The distance that the patient must walk to the bathroom is minimized and grab bars are provided along this path to reduce the likelihood of patient falls.

  • Viewing window from hallway (see floor plan) allows nurses to periodically monitor their patients without having to enter the room.

  • The room includes a nurse server, a cabinet with access from both the hallway and within the room, for easy linen and medication supply.

  • The design of the corridor allows for the incorporation of mini nurses stations outside the room should Memorial Hospital later choose to upgrade to this option.

  • There is space allocated next to the patient bed for the “cows” (computers on wheels) that Memorial Hospital will be using.

  • The large window allows for natural light, which has been cited by AIA as an important component of the healing process.

  • A large door size (3’ 10” with insert) is compatible for bariatric patient beds.

  • Wood laminate flooring is not only more aesthetically pleasing but also takes 1/3 of the time to clean compared to traditional tile flooring.

  • Plumbing in the bathroom lines up with the adjacent room to reduce construction and plumbing costs (see floor plan).

  • Mirror imagery of rooms often decreases patient confusion should they walk into the wrong room.

Designing a patient room is a complex process that requires the incorporation of safety features, codes and guidelines, and consumer desires. During the process we were able to gather input from professionals to see what many current rooms lack. With our design, we were able to create a modern layout that first and foremost focused on the well-being of the patient. Also important to the design were features that will continue to be appealing to healthcare professionals (i.e. nurses) and help to increase their productivity.

We designed our room keeping in mind that even small details could have a large impact on the wellness of the patient and the work environment for the healthcare professionals. With this goal in mind, we believe that we have designed a room that is targeted to both of these groups. The patients benefit from natural light in a warm and welcoming room environment that also has an emphasis on family. We also designed to minimize the fatigue and stress experienced by nurses by creating an efficient room layout that with short walking distances, viewing windows, and “nurse servers”. Overall, we think that our design is both innovative and useful in these regards.

Specific Customer Demands

  • Decrease daily sanitizing requirements to save money long-term

  • Wood laminate flooring over standard tile flooring 

  • Omit bariatric lifts in general inpatient rooms due to budget restraints

  • Maximize family space to incorporate the sense of community found in a small, rural town like Carthage, Ill.

  • Allocate space for nurse server and computers on wheels

  • Design for viewing window from hallway

  • Create an aesthetically pleasing room


  • Jim Easter, Emily Mowry, and the entire HFR staff – Hart Freeland Roberts, Inc.