UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland expands services, caters to kid-friendly design with new outpatient center

The new outpatient center boasts clinic space, an expanded orthopedics department and new rehabilitation center as system sees wave of expansion plan

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

Credit: HDR and Taylor DesignCredit: HDR and Taylor Design

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland has unveiled a new 6-story outpatient center that has added 89,000 square feet of exam rooms, treatment facilities, and other services, making UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland the East Bay's largest specialty care center for kids, the system announced.

The new center will also increase access to the system's numerous specialists.

Located on the main campus of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, the Pediatric Outpatient Center is home to more than 25 pediatric-focused clinics that schedule over 42,000 patients for 222,000 visits each year. The new building boosts clinic space by 30 rooms in various specialty areas and has designated rooms for its cystic fibrosis patients with integrated HEPA filters to reduce cross-infection. The new center also increases the  orthopedics department capacity by 20 percent.

It touts a 17,000-square-foot rehabilitation center that includes a spacious physical therapy gym and an additional outdoor agility course, and has added lab facility space allowing for more life-saving pediatric research. State-of-the-art technologies such as virtual reality, high definition screens and current diagnostic imaging equipment are also present in the new center.

The new building welcomes visitors with its colorful glass and panel façade. The design elements were designed to create harmony with the existing hospital building. In its design are active floor patterns, art installations and super-graphics in clinical care areas that provide patients and their families with a "positive distraction, encouraging a positive state of mind," the hospital said.

"We focused on designing through the eyes of children," said Allison Couture, lead interior designer for the project. "Our design concept is about celebrating the unlimited potential which lives within all children." 

This has been a big year in terms of expansion plans and new construction for UCSF and in general. In addition to the new outpatient center, University of California San Francisco has plans to design and build a new hospital at its Parnassus Heights campus and earlier this year scored a $500 million funding pledge from the Helen Diller Foundation for the project.

Currently, UCSF Health's Moffit building must comply with seismic codes and has to be rebuilt by 2030. The new hospital project is slated to cost about $1.5 billion, and is expected to be built as an energy efficient and environmentally sustainable building. 

In the month of May alone more than a billion dollars in construction projects were either announced or actually got underway.

A recent survey from Black Book showed the importance of maximizing patient experience, no matter the type of hospital, as a full 92 percent of healthcare consumers surveyed said that improving customer experience should be a top strategic priority for medical providers in the next year.

A great patient experience hinges on everything from visual design, such as the child-friendly accents implemented in the new center, to other patients comforts like sound-absorbing panels on patient room walls and in hallways that facilitate better sleep. Focus points like this are actually steering hospital design, as patients demand more for their healthcare dollar and flex their collective muscles as valuable consumers.

Twitter: @BethJSanborn
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