The new $1.1 billion building at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, designed to showcase a 21st century healing environment, has nurses thrilled about changes in the way they work and the impact on patients.
Decentralized work areas bring computers and supplies closer. A quieter nurse call system has replaced overhead paging, enabling nurses to respond more quickly to patients, who all will have private rooms.
“I feel like it was designed to make nursing easier so I have more time to spend at my patients bedside,” said Stacey Danielczyk, RN, BSN, CWOCN, an educator for the orthopedic trauma unit and a nurse clinician 3.
“Everything is at arms reach,” she said. “We have supply carts in the room. We have the nurse call system. We have computers. Even the way they designed our supply room — now everything is combined into one room” instead of different locations for medications, linens and other supplies.
Nurses say they feel rejuvenated by the move into the 1.6 million-square-foot-facility, which opened to the public May 1. The building includes two, 12-story patient towers: The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center and the Sheikh Zayed Tower, where the rooftop accommodates patients arriving by helicopter.
A total of 560 private rooms — each with a sleeper sofa for family members — will help to improve patient healing, said Barbara Sills-Hall, RN, patient and family-centered care coordinator for the department of pediatrics.
Single-patient rooms enable parents to stay at their childs bedside. Family lounges, kitchens and laundry facilities allow parents more opportunities to stay close and connected to their children, Sills-Hall said.
Amenities that include a basketball hoop in a two-story playroom, an interactive TV system and playful animal sculptures are designed to help youngsters feel at ease.
The new building includes 33 spacious operating rooms, expansive adult and pediatric EDs and advanced technology.
The Sheikh Zayed Tower provides an array of adult services, including cardiovascular care. It has 355 private rooms, including 224 designated for acute care.
Welcoming touches include more than 500 pieces of artwork and spaces filled with sunlight.Shelley Baranowski, RN
The building emphasizes a quieter atmosphere to reduce patient stress, said Danielczyk, whose unit piloted the portable phones that eliminate nurse paging and lessen patients wait time.
“Traditionally you had to rely on a unit secretary or clinical customer rep to answer a call bell,” Danielczyk said. “Now, if someone is away from the desk, after 60 seconds those calls go to the nurses portable phone. I can talk directly with my patient and find out what the need is.”
Acoustical ceiling tiles and sound-absorbing features in corridors help promote a quieter environment.
Maria “Cookie” Moning, RN, BSN, a charge nurse in the progressive cardiac care unit — the only adult unit in the Children’s Center — likes other changes, such as separate patient-transport elevators that are roomy enough for necessary equipment and staff.
Separate hallways make sense “so you dont see dirty linens pushed down the hallway or deliveries being made,” said Moning, a nurse at Hopkins since 1986.
“We are hoping with providing private rooms and different hallways, we will decrease the noise and provide not just good nursing care but provide nice amenities as well,” she said.
The new facility also benefits from an initiative initially geared to nurses. A program to strengthen communication and behavioral skills to support families in crisis has proved so popular “we have incorporated the two-hour session for all staff throughout the organization,” said Director of Pediatric Nursing Shelley Baranowski, RN, MS.
“We are really excited about that, as this is the first time I have been involved in this kind of initiative,” said Baranowski, a nurse for 35 years.
Robin Farmer is a freelance writer.