A life-size 3D cardboard mock-up of rooms for the new Lee Health Village at Coconut Point allows Lee Memorial Health System (LMHS) to test the most efficient use of space prior to design and construction.

Outlook Newsletter Spring 2016 IssueA life-size 3D cardboard mock-up of rooms for the new Lee Health Village at Coconut Point allows Lee Memorial Health System (LMHS) to test the most efficient use of space prior to design and construction.

When designing and planning something as important as a comprehensive medical village, you want to ensure you are creating the safest, most efficient and effective facility possible. The best way to do this is through creating real world simulations that allow doctors, nurses, and other healthcare personnel to test out the proposed physical space, floor plans, and flows of various departments prior to design and construction.

For the Lee Health Village at Coconut Point, LMHS staff and clinicians constructed 3D models of specific areas of the facility by using large pieces of freestanding cardboard to recreate realistic rooms. This allowed the staff to touch and feel as if they were truly in a patient exam room and adjust the layout accordingly.

The room prototypes included patient check-in areas equipped with full workstations, patient exam rooms with exam tables and sitting areas, laboratory and pharmacy layouts, as well as full replicas of the emergency center, and more, all constructed out of cardboard.

In order to increase efficiency, the team looks at everything as small as a location of gloves and supplies, to as large as the most proficient location of the surgical equipment, monitors, and booms over operating tables. The team also evaluated the size of the rooms and doorways to ensure they had enough space to bring in any needed large equipment to provide the necessary medical care during critical moments. Handwritten words on the cardboard walls indicate clinician’s recommendations for where specific items should be located in the final design.

The simulations provided a first-hand experience to test if the new facility’s design will work in the real world and not just on paper. Reenacting various medical scenarios gives healthcare professionals the opportunity to shape the delivery of care and improve upon the design, based on their own experience working in a clinical setting.

After the simulations, staff debriefs and assesses the space to propose various modifications to the design, which is then evaluated for feasibility to incorporate into the design. The simulations help determine the arrangement and organization of interior spaces to maximize utility and efficient delivery of service. Flad Architects will use this information to refine the building functions and form, and engage with our Johnson Engineering planners, engineers, and landscape architects throughout the process so the design of site features including access, parking, water management, and open spaces are in harmony and lend to the quality of experience for those who work at and visit the facility.

The Lee Health Village at Coconut Point in Estero will be the first of its kind within Lee County and is slated to open in 2018. The approximately 150,000 square foot medical village will be located on 31 acres off Via Coconut Road, across from the Coconut Point Mall.

The Lee Health Village will be comprised of:
– Healthy Life Center, various components to inspire healthier lifestyles
– Free Standing Emergency Department open 24/7/365
– Outpatient Surgery Center (OSC)
– Recovery Care Center/Clinical Decision Unit
– Rehabilitation Therapy
– Cardiac Testing and Rehabilitation
– Laboratory
– Pharmacy
– Imaging
– Physician’s office space

Having worked on countless other projects with LMHS, it’s rewarding to see their consistent strategy for health, wellness, and well-being. Watching these simulations used so early on in the design phase shows their patient-based, patient-focused design, and their continued commitment to wellness by building the safest, most efficient medical facility they can.

For more information, contact Dana Hume at [email protected].