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HOK and RDG Complete Lauritzen Outpatient Center in Omaha

in Companies/News

New 170,000-sq.-ft. facility incorporates smart design and new technology to optimize the patient experience at Nebraska Medicine.

A new one-stop shop for comprehensive outpatient services has begun serving patients at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha.

HOK’s St. Louis practice teamed with Omaha-based RDG Planning & Design to design the $71 million Lauritzen Outpatient Center, which consolidates Nebraska Medicine – Nebraska Medical Center’s outpatient services in a 170,000-sq.-ft. medical building with a below-ground parking garage.

HOK, which led the overall programming for the Lauritzen Outpatient Center, guided the medical planning and layout of the clinical spaces. RDG provided architectural, interior design and medical documentation.

As part of the planning process, the two firms gathered input from 150 medical and administrative personnel at Nebraska Medicine’s outpatient facilities in Omaha. During a planning workshop, clinical teams created mock-up exam and operating rooms and studied patient flows. The design team used this information to guide planning discussions and develop a final building layout that breaks down departmental silos and creates adjacencies that enable clinicians to provide the best possible patient care.

“Our team made every decision through a filter of creating the optimal experience for Nebraska Medicine patients,” said Kerry Cheung, AIA, senior medical planner at HOK. “For example, we located the orthopedic clinic, rehab therapies and radiology department together to increase collaboration among clinicians and to create a one-stop-shop for patients. Exam rooms are intuitively arranged in pods according to specialties.”

“It was an incredibly thoughtful process to unify Nebraska Medicine personnel, designers and the building team in a single vision devoted to creating the best patient experience,” added Nate Gieselman, RDG architect and project manager. “This also streamlined the planning process, which normally would have taken four years but only took two-and-a half years.”

The design features an abundance of natural light with fritted windows and sunscreens that moderate heat load while brightening waiting areas and public spaces on all four floors. A prominent central stairway is bathed in light, promoting health and well-being. Clear wayfinding and a highly efficient layout help reduce wait times and provide easy access to ambulatory services.

The first floor unites related services including the orthopedic clinic, radiology department and an outpatient pharmacy. It also features a rehabilitation gym for the center’s sports medicine practice.

The second floor houses the Fritch Surgery Center, which comprises 10 operating rooms and 40 pre- and post-operation rooms. The surgery center waiting area includes private consultation rooms for doctors and families. Work is underway to create a skywalk connecting the second floor to Nebraska Medicine’s Truhlsen Eye Institute next door.

Specialized clinics occupying the third floor of the building include services for Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), Audiology, Allergy, General Surgery Clinic, Trauma Clinic, Plastics Clinic, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral Facial Prosthetics and Urology Surgery. The fourth floor houses orthopedics faculty and research and telemedicine staff.

“There are so many talented healthcare professionals under one roof at the Lauritzen Outpatient Center,” said Jared Long, ENT clinic manager. “It has been fun to watch the teams grow into the new space and lean on each other to create the optimal patient experience. Care coordination has been streamlined. For example, a patient arrives in the General Surgery Clinic for a consult, but really needs to see an ENT specialist. When appropriate, nurses and providers have partnered together across specialties—located on the same floor—to work these patients into the schedule, preventing them from having to return a different day.”

The team designed the center to facilitate ease of registration with self-check-in kiosks and online registration, which will be implemented in the future. The plan also allows for personal check-ins with outpatient healthcare staff.

“We struck a balance between the efficiency of online check-ins and providing a more personal touch,” said Cheung. “This idea borrows from today’s airport experience, where you can check in online or at the ticket counter.”

The Lauritzen Outpatient Center is named for the family of Bruce Lauritzen, chairman of First National of Nebraska and the lead financial donor for the project. The surgery center’s name acknowledges a capital gift from Dr. Charles Fritch and his wife, Judy.

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm.

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