Two critical access hospitals merge to provide innovative healthcare in rural Kansas
Patterson Health Center
Harper, Kansas

Rendering courtesy of Gould Evans

With a goal of transforming healthcare by providing innovative care to rural Kansas, two critical access hospitals, Anthony Medical Center and Harper Hospital District #5 partnered with Architect of Record Gould Evans and Kahler Slater’s team of Medical Planning Consultants to design a new critical access hospital: Patterson Health Center. Located adjacent to their community’s shared high school, Patterson Health Center brings opportunities for both facilities such as introductory training programs for future healthcare professionals and improving the health of teenagers via wellness programs and sports medicine.

The new health center’s goals are to create a healthy campus focused on promoting wellness for their patients and surrounding communities and to deliver healthcare in this rural area with resilient, flexible, and cost-effective operations.  The campus design features a large front lawn for facility-sponsored health fairs, community events such as farmers’ markets or run/walk events and future Wellness Center, community gardens and walking trails.

The project planning and design were inspired by the philosophy of providing “high-quality care, locally delivered” as well as the manifesto “Get well, stay well and eat well.”

Get Well.  Design and operational innovations include a new inpatient care unit with 10 large, private bedrooms where a family member can stay overnight.  The remaining three semi-private rooms will be licensed as patient beds for peaks in census and will also be used for multiple procedures, such as outpatient infusions and same day surgery prep/recovery beds.  The nurse stations for the inpatient unit and the four-room ED are interconnected to efficiently operate the two services and allow staff and providers to easily flow between the two services.

Stay Well.  A 22-exam room clinic is connected to the critical access hospital and features an Integrated Care Team clinic delivery model for its primary and specialty care providers.  Dual access exam rooms are located around two large “off-stage” collaboration areas to allow clinic staff and providers to more easily collaborate and communicate, thereby enhancing care coordination and the patient experience.  

An 18-equipment station outpatient rehabilitation gym with several private treatment rooms and an in-ground hydrotherapy pool will provide physical, occupational and cardiopulmonary therapies for outpatients, and will be available for staff to use off-hours to meet their own fitness goals.

Eat Well.  A new kitchen offering locally-grown produce and more healthy menu options will be provided with interior and exterior dining options.  The dietary service hopes to serve not only patients, staff and visitors to the health center, but also offer another dining opportunity to the public.

The health center will be rich in state-of-the-art information and medical technologies to support innovation in rural healthcare delivery, including a new electronic medical record, electronic outpatient registration, digital patient tracking, telemedicine capabilities for clinic and trauma patients, automated medication dispensing units, and contemporary surgical and diagnostic imaging equipment. By incorporating technology into their healthcare design and operational practices, the team aims to improve workflow and efficiency, create a better patient experience and increase access to care.

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