E4H Expansion Continues
E4H Environments for Health Architecture, an architecture firm focused exclusively on healthcare, today announced its latest expansion effort with the opening of its Nashville office and the appointment of Brian Willer, Managing Partner, to lead the office. With 16 years of experience, Mr. Willer will oversee services to major healthcare provider clients with headquarters in the South where demand for experienced healthcare design professionals is on the rise. The office is located at 750 Old Hickory Boulevard, Building 1 – Suite 275, Brentwood, TN 37027.
E4H offers comprehensive architectural services in healthcare design, with an expanded depth of experience, talent, and geographic reach. The firm has 160 healthcare planners and architects in offices across the United States and has collectively completed more than 6,500 healthcare projects over the past four decades. The E4H portfolio includes over $6 billion in projects, encompassing community hospitals, academic medical centers, life science laboratories, R&D space, children's hospitals, mental health facilities, ambulatory care centers, rehabilitation facilities, assisted living, and medical office buildings. Services include healthcare planning, architecture, and interior design.
“I look forward to growing E4H’s presence in this important market and am excited to build out our team of architects here further in the coming months,” said Brian Willer. I have lived in Nashville for 25 years and believe it is a special place, so it is an honor to be able to open an office for Environments for Health here and serve the community.”
Prior to joining E4H, Mr. Willer was an Senior Design Manager at Earl Swensson Associates and a Design Manager at the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), where he worked across the country managing the design process on multi-million-dollar projects.
“As our firm continues to grow and provide innovative design solutions to top national healthcare provider systems, it’s critical to expand our capabilities in key markets,” said Dan Morris, Partner, E4H. “We are thrilled to build a team out under Brian who understands the need providers have to balance the delivery of care with business imperatives.”
With 100% of its practice devoted to healthcare and health innovation, E4H focuses on delivering lean solutions to provide value, maximize the quality of care, and reduce overall costs.
Committed exclusively to the design of innovative health facilities, E4H Environments for Health is a national architecture firm focused on improving outcomes through inspired design. Our team of future-focused strategists and visionary health and life science architects create flexible, state-of-the-art facilities designed to enhance the well-being of our clients’ patients, staff and families. With more than four decades of experience, we provide value to our clients through the design of LEAN, economically and environmentally sustainable spaces. E4H’s unique SmartDesign process fosters collaboration and drives next-generation solutions to complex challenges encountered in today’s health landscape. Combining experience with for-profit and non-profit institutions allows us to provide efficient, speed-to-market solutions for our clients.
Shady Grove Fertility Outpatient Fertili
Shady Grove Fertility is a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence with 28 locations throughout MD, PA, VA, GA, and DC. This project involved full design services for 50,000SF relocation and expansion to their largest IVF lab and surgery center in the Mid-Atlantic. Amongst the many project initiatives, a significant effort was directed towards improving the overall experience for patients and workspaces for staff. “Zero” VOC finishes, increased quantity and privacy of sub-wait areas, use of technology for self-check in, and video monitors in procedure rooms were complimenting project goals. Curved walls and access to natural light make for a dynamic and patient-friendly environment.
Micro-hospitals are on the rise
Smaller medical facilities have found favor with healthcare providers, are convenient for patients, and might offer opportunities to investors
Micro-hospitals, ranging in size from about 15,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet, are springing up around the United States, in part because they are positioned to deliver care in a more economical and operationally efficient manner than larger-scale facilities. What’s more, they can thrive in urban, suburban and rural areas, and are considered a patient-friendly model of care.
Architect Jason Carney, partner at E4H Environments for Health Architecture, has 15 years of healthcare-facility design experience encompassing a broad range of project sizes and types, including the design and construction of micro-hospitals.
What Is the definition of a micro-hospital?
Micro-hospitals are an affordable, effective way to provide a large variety of big-hospital services in the community, including surgery, radiology, emergency departments and related services. Typically, they are 24/7, small-scale inpatient facilities, roughly 15,000 to 50,000 square feet, with between five and 15 inpatient beds for observation and short-stay use. In some cases, based on market demand, these facilities can reach 50 beds. While micro-hospitals can treat some high-acuity needs when necessary, more are located within 20 miles of a full-service hospital to ensure a seamless transfer process when warranted.
Why are they growing in popularity?
Because not only do they offer a full set of services that are typically found in large hospitals, they provide greater accessibility and convenience for many consumers, as well as affordable market-growth opportunities for providers.
What problem do they solve or advantages do they offer?
Cost, convenience and location are three of the leading advantages micro-hospitals offer. Compared to large medical centers, micro-hospitals can be 90 percent less expensive to build, staff and operate, and the format allows providers to deliver services in locations that, because of population density or other factors, could never sustain a full-size hospital. Micro-hospitals also offer communities a much more robust suite of medical services than you find in a typical urgent-care clinic or outpatient facility. Compared to a standard full-size hospital, however, the smaller footprint makes them feel much more intimate and calm for patients, and makes daily work flow more efficient for physicians, and nurses and care providers.
From a real estate investment standpoint, how do micro-hospitals perform?
We think the overall numbers and continued growth of micro-hospital design proposal requests are the strongest validation of the financial merits of the concept. As of the beginning of this year, 19 different states have at least one micro-hospital in operation, and across the country more than 50 micro-hospitals are now serving patients. These hospitals are particularly popular in parts of the Midwest and certain Western states, notably Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Texas. Most of the micro-hospitals in operation or under construction are located in states facing the strongest pressures to control the growth in healthcare costs and get the historical overbuilding of healthcare facilities under control.
You have suggested the healthcare industry can learn some design lessons from the hospitality business. Give us some examples.
A great example is E4H’s recent work with a New York hospital to create a long-term space for immune-compromised patients going through a procedure such as a bone-marrow transplant (BMT). The first phase of a BMT— surgery and initial recuperation — obviously must take place in an inpatient hospital setting. But in later phases, when patients are recovering and need mainly to be monitored closely for infections or complications, they do not require a standard inpatient hospital room and can enjoy a much better, less-costly experience in a specially designed, hotel-like space. For our client, we created a space for this in-between population that has private, suite-style rooms; specialized water-filtration systems to protect immune-suppressed patients; and more of a hotel aesthetic. Patients are served by a concierge instead of a charge/ desk nurse. If any of them develop complications, of course, they are quickly detected, and patients can rapidly be brought back into the hospital for treatment. But if their recovery proceeds without incident, they can enjoy the equivalent of a long-term hotel stay, instead of long-term hospitalization, after their BMT. We find that these lessons are also relevant for those serving rural populations. Patients and families who must travel great distances for healthcare will often seek out options that provide a balance of the best patient care and the most comfortable experience for family members during the stay. Providing a comfortable, welcoming space that accommodates family members at the patient’s bedside adds important practical and emotional support to the patient experience. The availability of family support improves outcomes.
On the Boards
Central Hub for Kettering Health Network
A conceptional design for Kettering Health Network Outpatient Surgery Waiting and Café encompasses all the latest evidence based design and human needs that are vital in healthcare environments. The concept was developed based on Ohio’s native botany and referenced throughout the design to create soft forms and use of indigenous materials. The space is a destination in the hospital that includes an open lounge area for staff to patient interaction, a café with ample seating, natural day light, and connectivity to the outdoors. The space has a monumental greeters desk which acts as the central framework from which additional features spire. The space overlooks a lush evergreen botanical garden - a space of respite for patients and staff.