Since last fall, we have been working on the design of the new Infusion Center that will be located in the Sandra R. Berman Pavilion – new home of the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute. Our new building is slated to open in early 2025.
A team of staff: Christine Tapley, RN, Brittni Hamilton, RN, Bishal Bista, PharmD, and I have been working on this project. The Infusion Center project includes patient care and nursing areas as well as the pharmacy. We work with a dedicated group of architects who will complete the design and building to make our vision a reality.
The first thing we were tasked with was looking at our current space and imagining future needs. The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to look at our space and how it functioned in a new way and brought several things to light – especially the need for separate, private spaces and the need for isolation.
Our Oncology Support Services team held virtual focus groups that gave us insight into what our patients want to see in an Infusion Center. All of the opinions they collected were taken into consideration when planning our space in the new building. Patients don’t always see things the same way we do or want the same things, so we are grateful for their input.
Once the square footage of our areas was established, we started planning the design. We brought ideas from the focus groups together with our own perspective when discussing planning options. Some patients in the group wanted more privacy, while others like the openness we have now. In our new space, we have 10 private rooms, two isolation rooms, and 14 infusion stations in more open areas so patients can choose. This plan also gives us greater flexibility in times like COVID-19, or when patients need an infusion but need to be separated from everyone else. The new isolation rooms have their own bathrooms, just for that purpose.
The number of restrooms has also increased as a result of the feedback we received. The new space will have six general bathrooms. We will have a symptom management space with three chairs and its own restroom. This area is designed to take add-on patients (same day) that might have issues with side effects from their therapy that can be treated with hydration, antiemetics, electrolyte replacement, etc. The goal is to be able to service our patients here and help them avoid trips to the Emergency Department.
A new consult room will give doctors and their patients a place to speak in private, rather than among others getting treatment.
One feature we are all looking forward to is a newly designed, state-of-the-art infusion pharmacy, located in the Infusion Center. The Infusion Center will have its own check-in/check-out space and waiting room, since it will be on the second floor of the Sandra R. Berman Pavilion, above the clinic and exam rooms.
We will still have a nutrition area for patients and a “fast track” room for quick appointments, as well as rooms for clean and dirty linens and equipment storage.
During the last meeting, we got to pick out finishes for our areas, including flooring, tiles, countertops, paint colors, etc. It is nice to see how everything comes together.
We are not finished yet; we have a way to go. But I must say the space is really shaping up nicely! We cannot wait to begin caring for patients in the new building!