Goodbye paper trail...

Thursday 28 Apr 2011

ZZ Architects completes innovative new hospital in Bangalore

The first paperless hospital in India, this 285-bed hospital is spread over 8 floors and an area of approx. 1,70,000 sq ft. The facade is designed to catch one's attention even from a distance. The concept for the signage was to merge it with the building elevations. Hence, a visually strong graphic of a heartbeat pattern is printed on glass demarcating the building as a medical facility. This dramatic signage is enhanced with a digital water curtain at the base of the building. At the ground level, a vertical garden is provided at the compound wall.

In this paperless hospital the information is directly transmitted from the patient's palm pilot to a Jaotech screen. In this manner, the design has enhanced the user experience as information is easily accessible to both the staff as well as the patient, without compromising the patient's privacy. The Jaotech screen is also used by the patient for video conferencing with their relatives as well the doctors. Paperwork is non existent as the billing process is also carried through these screens. For the OPD, doctor clusters have been created wherein each specialty is given two senior and two junior doctors. In this manner, patients receive full priority in their treatment, as they are diagnosed based on the complexity of their illness.

In the OPD waiting areas, digital screens outside the doctors' cubicle highlights the patient’s photo & corresponding doctor’s photo, when it is the patient's turn to be examined. The doctors' cabin is designed to be a large open space with an informal discussion table and examination bed, which puts the patient to ease in front of the doctor. A unique feature of the hospital is that the ICU area separates the patients from their visitors only physically, not visually. A long clear glass walled corridor connected to the visitor’s waiting room enables the patients to see their loved ones on the other side of the glass, thus giving them the emotional support required, without increasing the risk of spreading infection.

Innovation in terms of hospital design is also seen in the concept of the 'capsule lift'. This cylindrical pressure chute is located behind the nurses' station and allows for easy transfer of medicines to the labs for sampling. Visually, various design elements have been introduced into the hospital interiors. Graphic images of soothing landscapes are added to the ceiling in the semi private rooms. Each floor is colour-coded and the interiors reflect this in the smallest detail. From coloured bands in the lift lobbies, to the coloured ceiling graphics in the semi private rooms, this helps in identifying the floor for the users.

Silk, a material indigenous to the city, is also used as part of the material palette in the interiors. The location of the hospital is also reflected in photographs of the rich architectural history of the city, which acts as a backdrop to the reception and waiting areas. The interiors are designed to be hospitality driven; instead of waiting benches, plush sofas with silk cushions are provided, making the ambiance warm and welcoming. While being the first hospital in the country to implement the above features, basic functions and necessities like hygiene have been considered in detail as well.

The examination beds in the doctor's OPD cubicles have a plastic roll attached to them. After each patient uses the bed, that plastic sheet is disposed and automatically a fresh plastic sheet is loaded. Vikram Hospital caters to both their staff and the patient’s needs through the design. From the latest technology to the introduction of graphic visual elements, this hospital stands out amongst other hospitals in design and conceptual strengths.

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