Children needing urgent attention receive treatment at a separate pediatric ED at 300 Pasteur Drive. Previously, children and adults were seen in the same location.
“As we put together protocols for COVID, the space really enabled us to create a very effective environment that was safe for our patients, our staff and our faculty,” said Helen Wilmot, vice president of facilities services and planning at Stanford Health Care. “It would have been super-challenging to do that in the existing space.”
The hospital’s many years of planning have paid off during the pandemic, Tingwald said. For instance, the designers had long envisioned the parking garage as an overflow facility in the event of a major disaster. So the infrastructure was in place to create the emergency department’s drive-up telemedicine-care system in a matter of hours.
Patients also benefited from Stanford Medicine’s early development of a sophisticated COVID-19 test, which at the time supplied results in 24 hours. (The turnaround is now about 4 ½ hours.) The adult emergency department has processed as many as 100 tests a day, Callagy said.
“The pandemic challenged all of us to innovate, adapt and learn,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine. “The new Stanford Hospital served as an incubator for discovery, while providing an unmatched setting for high-quality patient care.”
Resourceful staff, helpful design features
Inside the emergency department, staff members identified some creative ways to use the space to minimize infection risk. For instance, they took X-rays through a set of glass doors, as gowned and gloved nurses in the rooms placed the imaging film behind the patient’s back, then left the room as a radiology technician shot the pictures from behind the transparent door.
“We were saving personal protective equipment and decreasing the risk of exposure and contamination, as the machine didn’t have to be wiped down between patients,” Callagy said.
Throughout the new hospital, various design features have helped reduce chances of viral transmission. From the outset, the building’s planners considered it “absolutely essential” that all rooms be private to minimize the possibility of infection, Tingwald said.
Patient Dylan Thomas, 23, who has been in and out of the hospital for much of his life, said he relishes the quiet, the space, the views and, above all, the safety, of having a room to himself.
“In all of my stays, I never had to worry I would get COVID because of the private rooms,” said Thomas, who lives in Los Altos Hills. “With the private rooms, I’m isolated from other patients. The nurses do a very good job of washing their hands. So I’ve always felt as safe as I could be.”