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Victorian Heart Hospital

Context

Rapid changes in the health care industry are resulting in the consolidation of services into massive hospital complexes, usually located in major urban centers. The Victorian Heart Hospital (VHH), a partnership between the State of Victoria and Monash University in Melbourne, will be Australia’s first stand-alone cardiac care center. The VHH will provide immediate clinical care to the local community and be a cutting-edge, world-class center for cardiac research and a teaching hospital. It also will foster public-private partnerships to promote advances in the technologies associated with cardiac care.

Problem

This reconceptualization of hospital facilities— in size, in the complexity of their functions and array of services offered—coincides with a revolution in the scientific understanding of the impact of built environmental design on human health and wellbeing. Crowded waiting areas; tiny inpatient rooms; uncontrolled soundscapes; lack of attractive spaces for social engagement— all these features demonstrably diminish patients’ well-being and inhibits successful treatment. How to develop a design and construction process for these large urban facilities that incorporates the best available research about design and human health, and uses it to the best advantage?

Solution

Turf Advisory was engaged at the earliest stages of the VHH design. Our task was to educate funders, public officials, hospital administrators and physicians about how design would help achieve their goal of a cutting-edge cardiac care facility that would maximize its patients’ wellness. Turf’s solution:

  • Engaged all stakeholders to understand design’s crucial importance, its priority for the well-being and health of patients, their families, physicians, staff, the State of Victoria, and the public.

  • Created a common language that everyone— no matter their prior knowledge of design—could embrace and use.

  • Convinced all parties to understand that better design is achievable at any price point.

  • Jumpstarted the process toward developing a clear, precisely articulated set of wellness design priorities and helping devise strategies to ensure their realization in the final project.